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Friday, March 29, 2013

Be Yourself, Or Not

Whether through books, movies, television, friends, parents, or others, we are taught from birth to be ourselves and to embrace our individuality. Diversity is a gift, not always an easy one to open, but a gift nonetheless. So when a few people have asked me why I'm starting to write epic fantasy it really made me think.

I've always loved epic fantasy, seriously, always. It began with Lord of the Rings when I was very young and grew from there. When I first started writing, that's what I wrote. It is who I am. So why wasn't my first published book epic fantasy? Because I wasn't being myself. For many years I worked a career where I could not be myself. Where contact and conversation was kept at a minimum. You didn't tell them about yourself in any way, shape, or form. You had to become a different person at work, a robot without a personality almost. It's incredibly hard and it's a huge part of why so many drop out of the career, or worse. Eventually that can permeate every part of your life until you begin to lose your sense of self.

For years while working that career, I stopped writing altogether. Losing my father and a near death experience of my own is what it took to make me start again. Even then, I had lost so much of who I had been that I wrote something completely different from what I would normally write. I love that book, that series, and I always will. It was my road back to myself, and because of that it will always be special. But it isn't who I am. I am myself again and I will be true to myself from now on.

21 comments:

  1. I love epic fantasy too. Awesome you're connecting with who you are and what you love and doing it.

    I know what you mean about the separate life of a career. I certainly feel that in my job as an attorney. But for supporting my family, it's necessary as will a new job that may not be totally me when our company closes next year. The practical part of me has to win out.

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    1. Yay another person who loves epic fantasy! Oh my, how did I not realize you were an attorney?! In many ways, that is a lot like what I did. You see the world without tinted glasses and that's not always a good thing. I hope you find a fabulous new job next year.

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  2. It's wonderful that you've found yourself again. Being true to yourself is very difficult in this world. Everyone has an opinion about what you do and/or what you should do. Knowing yourself is important. We have to live to do that, have experiences that we work through, some being tough.

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    1. It is, and getting harder by the day it seems. Thanks hun!

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  3. Proud of you, Heather! And everything you write still comes from something that is truly within, regardless of genre. Glad you're going back to claim your first love, though. :)

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  4. Sometimes we don't even realize why we're writing what we are or if it's being true to our self. I think for me it's not genre but theme that keeps me true to myself, because I enjoy several different genres. :)

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    1. Not genre but theme, I like that. Sounds like a great way to keep things focused!

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  5. Heather, I have a feeling you have lots of epic fantasy lovers all around you, including me :-) Although I have an epic fantasy story of my own waiting to come out of the woodwork, I have a feeling some things come in due time. I suppose I never questioned your move to epic fantasy since I, too, love so many stories in different genres. It never crossed my mind lol!!

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    1. I love that you're an epic fantasy lover too! How did I not know that?! No wonder we get along thick as thieves. ;)

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  6. Dividing the "day job" persona from the writing persona can sometimes be difficult. Most days I'm pretty successful about segregating the two. I use the office elevators as the demark point. I try not to engage in "work" mode until stepping off the elevators, and at the end of the day, once those elevator doors open, I happily leave work behind.

    I also got too wrapped up in the day job stuff, and constant travel didn't help, so my writing suffered. I changed jobs, and promised that I wouldn't take a job that caused me to travel as much, so I could focus back on the things important to me.

    Congratulations for feeling like you're getting back to yourself. Write what you love... love what you write. :)

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    1. It's tough isn't it? We used to do a similar thing where I worked, where we 'left everything at the gate'. But when you work inside razor wire it has a way or wrapping around you and hanging on. Travel would make it tough for sure, you poor thing!

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  7. This resonates so much with me now. I am having many issues at my day job. It's so hard to do what you love and be true to who you are, when your full time work is depressing or defeating you. Thanks for being such an inspiration. I don't know what my path holds, but the reminder to be true to myself is well received.

    Best of luck with your adult fantasy novels. You already know of my love for Grendar. :) Can't wait to read more.

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    1. So very true! I'm glad I could help sweetie. Hang in there and take a leap of faith, change your life. It will be worth it.

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  8. Heather, this is beautiful! Just as you are. I love who you are. Everything about you. Keep being special!!

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    1. That means so much to me. :) Thank you.

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  9. Love this post Heather. I'm so glad you've returned to what you love and being true to yourself -- you give me inspiration more than you know.

    I'm making my way down a similar path. I know I'll get there one day!

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    1. I know you will too! Hang in there!

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  10. What a great post. Good for you. :)

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  11. Wow, there's a lot of power in that self-understanding, Heather. My first book was a way out of grief and began the process of getting back to myself, too. It's in a bottom drawer where it belongs, but I'll always love it, and I totally get what you're saying. Your epic fantasy is going to be EPIC.

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