This is a little more of a personal question than I usually share here, but I figure, what’s a community for, if not learning and growing together.
So here’s the thing: I wrote a book.
Yay, me! Right?
Thing #2: It’s a rhyming book.
Thing #3: The rhymes are good. Yeah, I’m sure. I’d be mighty proud of them, except for…
Thing #4: The book is about… snot.
I made it up one day while fantasizing with my 6-year-old, who has allergies and also gets colds a LOT of the time. He sniffles a LOT. And I thought out loud – what if you could take a pill and just get rid of all that snot at once?
So I sat down and in a particularly boring Hebrew class, I dreamed up and wrote out the entire story – in verse.
Like I said, it’s good. But also like I said, it’s about snot.
The trouble with snot, farts, etc
But I suppose I generally think of myself as a more delicate sort, especially because the bulk of what I’ve written has been aimed at a religious audience.who would undoubtedly Not be Amused at a book about snot.
I’m not ashamed to admit that with limited access to television and popular culture, all 4 of my kids have been raised with perhaps a more formal approach to language, in particular to rude language. I try not to even let them say “hate,” let alone some of the nastier things kids say around the house these days.
My approach to bodily functions has always been that they’re 100% fine to discuss in a “real” way, like if there’s something wrong with you. Bodies are nothing to be ashamed of. But if you just want to say the words for fun, or for the shock value – you’ve got to go do it in the bathroom. The word “snot” is kind of borderline. It doesn’t really shock me, but I generally discourage it, if only for consistency’s sake.
I guess that now makes me a great big hypocrite.
My inner con(snot?)flict
It’s really weird for me to be all a-dither. I usually have strong opinions and stick with them, no matter what.
In this case, those instincts are totally failing to guide me.
The other part says, if I love the story, love the rhymes, even love the crude pictures I had made to go with the story, then why not take it to the next level and try to turn it into a book?
On another hand, I could try to publish it with a pseudonym… but there are all kinds of drawbacks to that, as well.
What do you think?
Seriously, nobody has all the answers all the time. I certainly don’t.
My humble re(snot)quest
I know the best blogs are the ones written by “authority figures,” or at least, the authority figures who write blogs about blogging have told me so. :-)
But hey, I’m not your mom and I’m not some literary goddess, I’m just me – a writer who wants to be humble but is also (justifiably!) proud of her own work.
So what would you do??? Seriously. Guidance requested.
I understand this is a limited situation, so let’s open it up to be a little more general:
- Have you ever been in a situation where you weren’t sure if a book you wanted to write, or wanted to publish, was appropriate?
- Did you worry about writing something that might “shock” what you previously thought of as your audience, or market?
- Or, if not outright inappropriate, didn’t really FIT with your genre, within the niche where you’re generally niched? (sure, it’s a verb!)
Can you help me out here? I know it’s my problem… but let’s work through it together. :-)
Send me an email, leave a comment or just telepathically send your answer as a dream in the middle of the night. I’m waiting with what some of the worst writers have referred to as “baited” breath. Ew.