I’ve had a few thoughts over the past couple weeks about my engagement with the horror genre and I wanted to share them.
First, my continued engagement with different authors is going well. But I think there is still some room for improvement.
I’ve certainly read more female authors this year than any year prior. There is still work to be done here, but I am excited by the fact that I am loving the different perspectives and approaches to story that I see by diversifying my own reading lens. I definitely have a bias toward male voices, but I think I am starting to chip away at that proclivity. And I think it’s been beneficial to my writing, as well as my reading.
But there is definitely still work to do. I haven’t been reading many writers of color or non-binary writers. I’m hoping to change that soon. The horror community is more diverse than it has ever been. I don’t want to miss out on those opportunities to engage with a new author. Hiding behind my to-be-read stack is not a good excuse.
Second, I fancy myself a horror film buff. But I recently had a realization that my international horror film knowledge is lacking. I can’t name a lot of international horror films that influence me. That’s too big of a blind spot to ignore.
For anyone looking to guilt themselves into international films, I recommend Eli Roth’s History of Horror podcast. For me, it was amazing to hear filmmakers talk about the movies they love. It lit a fire under me. My mission is to try to broaden my horror film understanding beyond the American tradition. So, add that to the goals list.
Finally, I’m learning that being a new/younger writer in the horror genre is tough. I know, obvious statement. I get that.
But I am looking to expand how I work and I’m finding that there isn’t much guidance or mentorship available to young authors. Case in point, I have a finished novella sitting around my house that I have no idea how to edit.
Part of me is saying that I should jump in, roll up my sleeves, and figure it out the way that I’ve had to figure everything else out since I started this journey. Another part of me is paralyzed, because of the size and scope of the project.
I think my paralysis is currently winning. It’s hard to find a way back into the work and I need to find that way in. If I’m ever going to write anything bu short stories, I need to figure out how to edit something longer than 7,000 words. It’s the facts, jack.
So, I’m lamenting the fact that I don’t have someone more experienced to say, “This is what worked for me…”
I’ll get over it. But I started this blog to be honest. And, honestly, I’m fucking scared of my own novella.
When I figure it out, I’ll write about the method here. And I will figure it out. It’s only a matter of time before I get frustrated enough to roll up those sleeves and conquer uncertainty.
That it. That’s the post. Keep up the good work. Read broadly and don’t let your own fears stop you from expanding your ability.