Monday, January 27, 2014

Unintentional

My children love to read. They picked that up from me.  They saw me reading every chance I got, or carrying around a book, just in case I had a spare few seconds.  I also read to them. Constantly. We go to the library every week or two. They've learned that reading and books are important and loved. It's so amazing when I realize I've had an influence on them, that I've been able to make their lives better.

Unless I haven't.

I've also noticed that they tend to pick up on my more questionable habits. (No, putting books before cleaning is not a questionable habit) They mispronounce words I mispronounce. Whine about things I whine about.  I never tried to pass these things on, but it happened anyway because my children were watching.

It worries me sometimes what little things I might be putting into my books without realizing it.  Are there unplanned themes that will be apparent to readers? Overuse of a certain sentence structure? Author intrusion?  I know that my writing is all me.  All the characters are me.  But at the same time, they are who they are.  I've never written an autobiographical character, Never intentionally put family or friends in my books, but are they creeping in anyway?  I guess the only thing I can do, is write the best I know how, and hope that beta readers can call me on the rest. 

They say that there are only so many stories, that we have to learn how to tell the story in a new way. In our way.  Only I can write the books I write because others would have written the same story differently. I need to trust that I'm putting in the good parts of me, the ones I want to share, and not letting the rest creep in. No matter how I look at it writing keeps coming back to trust. But that's a post for another time.

25 comments:

  1. I hate how my kids pick up my bad habits.
    The work "Hate" we try not to use this word, but alas they have heard me too many times say it. So now instead of "Hate" I say I "Dislike it intensely".

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    1. Ha! That's one of the words I've had to stop saying too! Fortunately we're somewhat successful with that word, because if I slip and say it my son says, "Mommy, we don't say 'hate'."

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    2. YES! I love being corrected by my own children!

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  2. Sara, this post got me thinking about how we can only put into our writing what is in our own life experience, behavior, and knowledge. I think the fact that you're even concerned about your habits is an indication that you probably have nothing to worry about!

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  3. We can only try to be conscious of our bad habits and fears and try not to instill them in our kids. But they will pick up some of them just like they pick up some of our good ones. It'll be the same for them.

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  4. Putting the parts of yourself that you don't like or aren't proud of into your writing does make writing real though...

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  5. We have to be so careful because they emulate almost everything.

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  6. I really see that as my kids grow into adults. Yes, they have both the positive and negative tendencies of both my husband and I. But, glory be, they also learn and develop better and more fully too, learning from us an adding their own insights and maturity. I bet it's the same with our writing.

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    1. I hope it's true for both children and writing.

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  7. 'Only I can write the books I write because others would have written the same story differently.'

    Truer words have never been, erm, written. :)

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  8. I never loved to read as a kid so I'm SO HAPPY my children love it... and I do think it's probably because they see me doing it...

    Really great post, Sara. :)

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  9. I thought I posted a comment, but it never went live... so let me try this again.

    I just wanted to say that we can only try our best and be easy on ourselves when parts of ourselves that we had not intended to expose to others end up getting absorbed by them.

    I think it's wonderful that you're exposing your children to the importance of reading. That's something I'm trying to do more of too.

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    1. I hate when that happens. Sorry my blog ate your comment. Hmm, that's an interesting thought. I wonder how much of my worry about what I'm passing on is connected to a desire to keep myself distanced from the writing and the book?

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  10. Doing our best is all anyone can ask of us--in all things including writing.

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  11. I wasn't a reader as a child. I discovered its allure as an adult, when my girls were small. We were at the library every single day. I'm so glad that they became readers early!

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    1. I think it's easier to get them hooked earlier. Though you should never give up. I have a couple brothers that didn't start enjoying reading until after they were married.

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  12. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who worries about little stuff creeping into their writing from real life :) It's bound to happen, I just hope I catch it! And I have to say that I totally love that you and your kids read so much together--it's a great thing! :)

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    1. Thanks. It does give us some bonding time together.

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  13. LOL! Sara, they don't call our books our babies for nothing, do they? ;-)

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  14. I know what you mean. My kids are reading my books, so I'm SUPER sensitive about what goes into them. (We're talking ages 8- 13 here.) My goal is to never have anything in there that I wouldn't want them to read. Now there's a great measuring tool, eh?

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  15. A good start in life for your children. Good luck with your writing.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

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  16. Hi Sara, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
    http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

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  17. If it helps, I remember my sister saying Rosa from Out of the Water sounded like me a lot. I asked her for specific examples, and each one she named was emphatically something I wouldn't have done and only Rosa would do!

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