I recently got asked by the lovely author Tammy Ferebee (author of Born This Way) to guest her on my blog. This daunted me a little to be honest, because I’ve never done something like this before. However, after reading this amazing piece I feel honored to be the one to share this with you as my reader. I hope you love reading this post just as much as me.
This post is all about fighting through the self-doubt many authors face when working on YA books. If you want to try something new and out-there, you will most likely be doubting yourself. The author shares about how she silences that doubtful voice in her head to create what she wants to write, no matter how dark it may be.
Please read this post and share with your friends, especially ones that want to write about unconventional topics. Write what you love, not what you think others will love.
Silencing Doubt To Create Dark Young Adult
Guest author – Tammy Ferebee
There are so many beautiful things about being an author. Creating characters and taking them on their own unique journeys is almost magical. After all, characters, their personalities, their struggles, their happy endings, etc., wouldn’t exist without a writer trusting their imagination and combining the perfect words to tell a story. This magical power isn’t always realized by writers/ authors, however. Trusting one’s gut, being led by one’s imagination, and taking a risk can be difficult and takes bravery, especially when doubt creeps in and begins to shout. When this happens, the wrong what ifs tend to set it. “What if no one wants to read my story?” “What if readers feel my story is too dark?” “What if my story gets bad reviews because there’s no romance?” “What if teens don’t like it because it’s not high fantasy or paranormal?” “What if…?” When doubt hits, it needs to be acknowledged as a roadblock and writers need to be proactive in silencing it to keep their true creative juices flowing.
How is doubt recognized? Romance feels good, paranormal is exciting, and sci-fi evokes a special kind of wonder. This is why these genres are so popular. But what about dark fiction? As a writer, what do you when you feel called to write something that won’t awaken the butterflies in a reader’s belly? What do you do when you want to create a tale that won’t force a reader’s heart to pound throughout fast-paced action scenes? What do you do when your imagination takes a dark turn and you want to write a piece that will anger some, break the heart of others, and force tears out of the readers who can directly relate to the protagonist? What do you do when you allow your imagination to lead you, but a whisper begins to get louder, telling you to create something jollier, something trendier, something that will likely draw in more readers, something more likely to sell? The first thing to do is to recognize that voice for what it is; doubt. Anything different or less popular will likely make writers doubt their direction and their story. It’s happened to me several times, but I’ve never given into doubt. I’ve acknowledged that no book is, and no book will ever be, universally loved. I feel strongly that every book has an audience and finding them will never happen if doubt is using my pen. To silence my doubt, I do one thing. I listen to my characters more than I listen to myself. I type through the doubt until I no longer hear it. The further into my stories, the more I focus on character building as opposed to the opinions I may or may not receive from readers, the less I hear those doubtful thoughts and the more truthful my characters feel.
The best advice I give to myself is, “Just write. Don’t worry about what your future readers will think”. It keeps me focused on my characters, allows me to touch on real-world issues in an emotional way, and my own advice allows my characters to be the stars in their stories, as opposed to me and my worry. Without following this advice and silencing doubt, I feel that I would neglect the most important aspect of my dark fiction. The underlying truth.
About the Author
Tammy Ferebee lives and writes in Baltimore, Maryland. She enjoys spending time with her two beautiful children, taking long road trips to new places, and will never grow tired of watching films and documentaries featuring her spirit animal, the orca whale. In her work, she enjoys taking risks, creating different kinds of characters, and showcasing the beauty of diversity.
- Author Page: https://www.tammyferebee.com/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/TammyFerebee
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Tammy-Ferebee-1030336110351033/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/indieauthor_n_booklover/
- Buy her book Born This Way (cover below) on Amazon