There is a very strange little monster who lives just in the corner of my vision where I can catch glimpses of him when things aren’t quite right. I can hear him if he whines or purrs because he’s just that close where I can never catch him.
As we all know, there are some very loud conversations going
on about diversity, representation, and, my favorite, problematic content. To
elaborate, that would be: does potentially offensive, and/or triggering content
have a place in creative media, (fiction, art, film, etc.)?
The Answer is yes.
The Answer is always YES!
Welcome to the Cerebral Hedonist! I’m your Scholarly Squid and here comes a thought on:
The Diminishing Human Element in Creative Media
The demand for diversity and representation in books (especially from the Young Adult community) has become a cacophony of who is allowed to write marginalized cultures, characters, and experiences and how that should meet an all-positive checklist. This checklist excludes any traits that could be socially negative that would, on the average character, humanize them and make them more realistic. Essentially it infantilizes the character, story, and reader. There are words for these that no one’s using: Tokenism and Gatekeeping.
So, NaNoWriMo is the pinnacle I’ve tried to hit since I heard of it. That was like in, I don’t know, 2011? It wasn’t part of my writing expectations and I never took it too seriously until it became a habit. At the time, I thought that in order to be a real writer, I had to finish NaNo. Which is and isn’t weird because some of my favorite authors can finish a book in a month or don’t feel like they have to since they have so many other projects. But 50-thousand words in 30 days; how bad could it really be?
Well, I’ve never “won”!
I kept failing at it. Then, they added another month called Camp NaNo, then another. Both were meant to be less pressure with flexible guidelines. Even then I still didn’t get it done and god knows I tried. I would feel that weird sting of failure. It didn’t make sense to me. Realistically, I didn’t give two fucks and a Pop Tart about NaNoWriMo and I’d complete higher wordcounts in a manner of weeks before NaNo ever came into my life. Yet here, I was feeling a sense of dread every April, every July, and every November. Because if I opted out, I’d feel like I wasn’t taking what I was doing seriously. Seeing everyone doing it would make me feel like I’m lazy. So, I would opt in.
Doing it this year though? Tailoring it to one of the projects I’ve been excited for since Camp NaNo July, I realized what exactly the problem was.
NaNoWriMo is poison to me.
Let me explain before you pull out the pitchforks.
When I announced I was doing it, it was with dread, anxiety, and the set expectation that I would not finish it because what the hell is so different about this time as opposed to last year, and the year before that, and the year before that.