Lisa Burstein

This Be Where I Blog

Embracing the UGLY

on February 10, 2013

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I recently read a blog post by Lindsey Leavitt that made me think http://lindseyleavitt.blogspot.com/2013/01/embracing-cute.html 

It was all about her being unapologetic for the kind of books she wrote. In her case: cute. Which some readers love and some readers don’t. Her post was about her coming to terms with this fact and I loved it.

It made me think about the kind of books I wrote. They have been called in positive reviews: raw, honest, sharp, and real.

And, in negative reviews: depressing, angry, annoying, and too much.

I have been told my books have the ability to make you snot-laugh and snot-cry, but also have been told that some readers want to throw them across the room.

Basically for some reason thinking about it this way jogged something loose in my brain. I saw that what people LOVED and HATED about my books were the exact same thing. That they either saw it was something they responded to, or didn’t. That they either got, or didn’t.

This was a revelation. For some reason I had never seen it this black and white before and I have Lindsey Leavitt and her post to thank for that.

So from now on I am going to embrace the UGLY in my books. They are about real life and real problems and very real characters and for some people than can be: depressing, angry, annoying, and too much.

For some people that can be UGLY.

But for others, it can beautiful and exactly what they need.

I guess this post is just to say EMBRACE whatever it is people might think you are doing wrong in your writing, because to other people more than likely, you are doing it JUST RIGHT.

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10 responses to “Embracing the UGLY

  1. Great post Lisa! I had a hard time learning to accept the sort of “manic grit” in my own writing. I’m good with it now, but it took me awhile to get there. Embrace the ugly, there’s truth in that! 🙂

  2. John Clark says:

    Terrific! You have captured the best aspect of writing. Getting readers to feel and feel deeply about your work. Even if they hate your books, they still have them as part of their reality and I think that’s cool.

  3. BellaBunnell says:

    Never stop writing the real, raw and gritty. It always helps someone get through, vet past or gain some understanding into someone else’s not so perfect life. It tears me apart, makes me slobber and bawl, but it lets me be safe in the knowledge that (no matter how old I get), someone has been through just as bad- maybe worse- and guess what? We all survive. Some of us need someone to reach out to, reach out to us, or just know that whatever the situation you’ve gone home through it alone.

    I applaud all the authors, especially the YA/New Adult authors that get real and make me look inside and outside of myself. They give me the opportunity to look a little closer at others and realize they’re just trying to get through life too.

    Thank you for getting down, raw and not playing it safe. Isn’t that what it’s all about anyway? Life is an experiment. Live it. Breathe it. Good and bad.

  4. Emberchyld says:

    There are teens who need the ugly, need to see themselves and the hard parts of their lives in books. Without these mirrors, they feel deserted. And the ones who don’t need a chance to put themselves into someone else’s shoes. They say that reading helps develop a sense of empathy in children/teens, and books like Amy do just that.

    I’m more of a sparkle reader/writer myself rather than grit, but I enjoyed empathasizing with Amy.

  5. Awesome post Lisa!! I personally love dark, gritty, and honest books!! They are the ones that seem so much more real, that bring out the emotions from you. I think that if people are looking for an escape, they are not the types of books they should read, but if they want real and deep they are exactly the right books!!

  6. Exactly. Embrace who you are. Accept what you do. Let the chips fall where they may.

  7. […] inspired by Lisa Burstien’s post, which Lindsay Leavitt’s post […]

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