Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Writing Is Expression, but Is It the Only Expression You Allow?
By OFW Member: Renee Miller
Published: November 12, 2014

 

 

Since the dawn of time, man has expressed himself through art, through ideas, through creativity. We drew on cave walls and tinkered with shit until we discovered awesome things like fire, the wheel, and words. Oh I love me the guy who decided we needed more than grunts and gestures.

I express myself primarily through writing. It’s what I know. It’s what I’m good at. (I think.) This world needs more expressing and less judging. Recently I got a tattoo, (I’ll get back to this later) my first and probably my last, and I find with every negative reaction to this tattoo, I’m pondering more and more why it is we have to judge how others express their individuality. It’s my body, my skin and my choice.

Expression is personal. Most of us have more than one way to show the world what makes us different, special, and it’s none of anyone else’s business why you do this or that. As long as your expression doesn’t hurt anyone, go on. Be free. Do what you do. It’s cool, even if it’s not what I’d do. Just do what you do and be happy. No labels. No judgment.

Okay fine. I’ll take off my rose-colored “mom” glasses and be real here. There’s always judgment. We’ll never get away from it, but we can try to stand outside the pack. Stereotyping is a problem with all forms of self-expression; sexual, artistic or otherwise. You can’t be truly open-minded unless you actually open your damn mind. If you accept someone’s right to express their individuality, sexuality, whatever, then don’t give into the temptation to label them. When I write, I have trouble sticking to a genre simply because I am obsessed with exploring every point of view, every theme, every idea I can think up. I love the unpopular ways of thinking. I might not believe in them or agree, but I like to put myself in those shoes and try to understand it. This is what we need to do with life in general. Instead of judging or stereotyping, let’s put ourselves in that person’s shoes.

If I were to write a literary novel, would you consider me an opaque, elitist snob? Hardly. So why are books classed as literature given that label by genre fans and authors. (oh, you know you do it) There are so many fantastic stories you’re missing out on if you avoid literary works. If I were to write a romance or erotica, would you consider me a fluffy-headed nympho desperate housewife? Better not. I’m anything but desperate. Jesus, folks. And you shouldn’t classify romance authors and readers in such a way either. You’re missing out on brilliant stories and characters and some pretty spicy shit. The genres they choose to write are their way of expressing their ideas. Just as that girl with all the metal in her face isn’t a serial killer or a pothead. She just feels that piercings are attractive or provocative, and chooses to express her individuality in that way. Just as my tattoo might not be your cup of tea, but it’s my way of working through my grief and showing the world that my dad played a huge role in who I am. I'm proud of it. It’s my tribute to him. What is it? It’s a couple of butterflies flanking the words, “Fuck it.”

Words I try to live by. Why don’t we all give it a try?

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