These nasty little bugaboos are called Hobyahs. They appear in the English fairy tale "The Hobyahs," which you can read by following the link.
Be forewarned that this story will leave you wondering what is wrong with English people.
In the story, the Hobyahs loudly announce their intent to tear down the hemp stalk farmhouse, eat the farmer and his wife, and carry off the little girl. The farmer's dog barks to warn the farmer about the Hobyahs, but rather than pay heed, the farmer punishes the dog for barking by lopping off its appendages. Eventually, the farmer lops off the unfortunate dog's head, and the Hobyahs eat him and his wife because he refused to pay heed to the dog's warning.
I told you it was a messed-up story. But it isn't just a messed-up story, it's a metaphor for being stubborn and not paying heed to warning signs.
I have been ignoring my inner Little Dog Turpie, who has been warning me that focusing on gaining outside approval for my work rather than focusing on telling the stories I enjoy was going to come to no good end. After writing Monday's post, I had a long, hard think about what I really wish to do with my writing. Oh, and by the way, I may have initially told my inner Little Dog Turpie to shut up, but I didn't lop off any of his appendages.
Here's the link to Monday's miserable post.
I didn't want to keep feeling like this. So I asked myself what I'd be doing if I didn't care about making money or growing an audience.
I'd be telling the stories that gnaw away at me if I don't tell them. I wouldn't worry about marketability or popularity or trends or any of that swizz. I'd spin my fix-up novel yarns into patchwork webs and invite anyone who dared to give them a read.
(What is this "give him a read" nonsense, ProWritingAid? My stories are neither male nor female and they are many.)
I started working on Cosmically Bonded again and it was like a weight lifted off me. This story is very niche and probably will never have much of an audience. Even if the only people who read it are the three people I dedicated it to, that's okay.
I realized that while most of the time my attitude towards rejection from publishers is like my attitude about taking tests, seeing the metric butt-ton of rejections in my Submittable account did a number on me. Writing was feeling like working a job and that is one thing I can never allow it to become. The stuff I create when I must rather than because I want to is stale, lifeless, and two-dimensional. When I feel like I'm selling my soul to gain approval, it's time to take a step back.
Again I ask myself, what are the things I really love to write.
My serials/fix-up novels (non-erotica).
My erotica series. You may wonder why someone with a libido like a car with four flat tires and a cracked engine block enjoys writing erotica. I think I appreciate the hyperbolic aspect of the genre.
Recipes. Yes, really. I love sharing recipes with the Good Stuff from Grover blog.
Mental health and guidance posts like this one.
I absolutely prefer self-publishing to the traditional route, but I do like to write stories for anthologies sometimes. My son suggests I need to be very selective about the anthologies I'm writing for so the writing remains fun rather than becoming horrible homework.
The reason I began pursuing the path of submitting my work elsewhere is that I really, really, really, really, suck at promotion. A lot. I mean I really suck at promotion. Truly. Not making this up.
To boil it down to the Condensed Soup for the Soul version, if I succeed at something that makes me miserable, I haven't really succeeded. I needed to get myself back on track and I need to apologize to Little Dog Turpie for ignoring him. At least the hunter came along and rescued me from the Hobyahs.
This week's shout-out goes to Lisabet Sarai, who hosts the monthly Charity Sunday blog hop.
Spirit of the Universe, please help me to stay true to my vision. Help me to remember that if it feels wrong, I'm not doing it right. Amen.
~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~
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52 Weeks of Writing
The Icky, Sticky, Nit-Picky Legalese If You Please (Or Don't Please)
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