A Book is a Book: Literary Vs. Commercial

A Book is a Book: Literary Vs. Commercial

Hello everyone,

What do you see in the picture? Books, right? A book means someone (the author) is trying to give you a message. Trying to transport you to a different place, time, or simply to make you see your own world in a different point of view. The whole purpose of a book is simply to give you a message, to make you think critically, or to make you stop thinking about your daily life, and just drown within its pages. The same for a movie, play, music, painting, or any form of art that triggers something inside you.

But I was astonished to discover over the weekend, while I was taking a self-publishing course, that here in Brazil some books are not considered Literature because they are more commercial or because their writing style isn’t as refined as others. I felt like these types of books were underestimated, as if they weren’t as good or valued as the others.

I always thought we had one Young-Adult genre, where all the sub-genres derived from, however, we have a Literary YA, and a commercial YA. (The names are different in Portuguese but won’t change the meaning of what I’m saying.) So where does this in-between commercial YA lies? Why Brazilians are not publishing Young-Adult novels that are not so refined (but still sends you a message clearly), and are more commercial? Most of the books we consume here are Young-Adult novels that come from English speaking countries, however, we ourselves are not writing them.

Doesn’t a book still have the same value even if it’s simply entertaining, and not didactic or refined, or stylistic more polished? I believe that books, no matter what genre, should all have the same value, because they are all trying to teach you something, entertain you, or make you feel something. The more rules we put on how books should look like, the fewer people will read it, because they will stay within one category. A book is supposed to make you feel fun, silly, courageous, strong, vulnerable, and intelligent. Just like we have different moods and tastes, so should books. Yes, some people think that YA books are silly or for teenagers, but they still make me feel good. Isn’t that the whole point of reading something? Having a good time?

If we want to stop complaining that the new generation doesn’t read that many books, why don’t we stop discriminating books in the first place? If it makes you feel happy, whole, and overall satisfied that is all that matters.

Don’t give up reading,

Fernanda.

Poem Moment

Poem Moment

I was going through my journal and found an old poem I wrote two years ago. It made me realize how some things might seem that will destroy you as if you wouldn’t be able to pass through it. But then, time passes and you are okay, and whole again. We need to remember that we don’t need to put our faith or happiness on people. They should be part of it and grow from it, but they shouldn’t be the source of it. We need to learn how to be complete on our own, so people will come and share their “complete” with you, and more and more will be added to who you are.

With that being said, I am sharing the poem I wrote, because even if it’s not a part of who I am anymore, it was a part of me for quite some time. Some people might see themselves in the poem, or recognize the feelings they are having. So, for those who do I say, “It’s okay, you will get through whatever is haunting your soul, and it won’t kill you. It will make you stronger.”

Unnamed Poem:

To say okay, when you are not okay

To smile, when you want to cry

To pretend you don’t care, when you do

It’s all a mask, it’s all a lie

It’s a cry for help that you are failing to see

I’m hurting inside, how can it be?

That you neglect me when I’m near

Don’t try to find me when I disappear

But if I do, would you miss me?

Or shed a tear and move on quickly

When I would break if you ever left me. 

 

I didn’t break. I’m still here, and so are all of you.

Love,

Fernanda.

Taking a Risk

Taking a Risk

Okay, so have you ever had a project that you felt like it was your baby?

That was my book to me. I worked on it on the course of two years, writing it up till four AM, with my headphones on and the whole world off. The funny thing is, the writing was the easiest part. After you write a book, you have to go back and edit it, fixing all grammar, spelling or story mistakes you can find. I probably read my book about ten times during the editing period, and after each person who read it gave me feedbacks, I would go back and fix it some more.

My final draft doesn’t look anything like the first. I’ve changed so many things until I thought it was the best way I could tell that story. I was twenty-one years old when I started, and now at twenty-six I finally had the guts to self-publish it. You know what’s scarier than putting your work out there? Is having someone review it.

Let me tell you, I was terrified of receiving feedback because as I said, this project was so close to my heart that I just wanted people to love it as much as I do. However, we have to let go of that fear and take a risk, because people should know about your work.

I’ve received my first review this week, and for me, it was really helpful. I had some critiques, but they were well structured and clear, which will help me write my next book. When you know your weaknesses, you know where you need to pay more attention to. Even more so, I could see someone else–from outside my own social circle–read, enjoy, connect, and identify with my characters, and that for me is the most gratifying part of this job. All I ever wanted was to tell a story people wanted to hear (or read in this case).

For a girl who speaks English as a second language, to be able to write an entire book in English, and have it published, is something to be proud of. So, if you have a project you are passionate about, but you are not sure people will like it, you should take a risk, like I did, and show it to the world. Like I once heard on a TV show a long time ago, if my art can touch at least one person then I am happy enough.

Take a risk,

Fernanda

 

 

Writer’s Block

Writer’s Block

Hello peeps,

It’s funny how easily we can get caught in the rush of life and forget to work on our personal projects, isn’t it?

Every week I set for myself the goal of sitting and working on my blog, and every week something else came up, something that it would be more important or more urgent, or let’s be honest, I was just tired and didn’t want to think. Who hasn’t felt that way, right?

Also, lately I haven’t been in touch with my creative side. In other words, I’ve been feeling a massive writer’s block, and haven’t been able to shake that feeling off.

I keep saying to myself, “don’t worry, you will write when you feel creative again.” But that just doesn’t happen. You know why? Because writing is a craft. It’s like a muscle that you have to keep exercising to get stronger, even on those days that you feel lazy and not wanting to go to the gym. So the best way to push past this block is to get back at exercising my writing muscle, which is what brings me here today.

I just need to remember to be patient with myself, because the strength and ability won’t come right away. So, today I just wanted to tell you that it’s okay to sometimes feel blocked, or uninspired, or set your personal projects aside for a while. As long as you don’t get stuck in that loop and don’t put yourself together to pull you out of it.

Take a breath, accept that these things happen, but don’t get used to the feeling, work your way back to focusing on you and your goals. And don’t forget, be patient.

Much love,

Fernanda

“The One and Only” Girl

“The One and Only” Girl

Hi guys,

 

I’ve written many poems in my life but never had the courage to show or post it for anyone to see, so in my new mantra of trying new things and taking risks, I’ve decided to share this little one.

It started coming to shape in my head in one of my many walks from the airplane to the baggage claim, while I was listening to Teddy Geiger’s song “For You I Will” and it sort of just came to life. Little by little I breathed more soul into it, and I was able to finish it tonight. So I hope you enjoy it and that maybe it touches you like it touched me.

“The Only One” Girl

By Artemis Moon

I’m the girl in a music video,

the one who walks around with distant eyes and a distracted smile.

A thousand worlds inhabit her mind,

but she can’t seem to fit into the one she lives in.

I’m the girl who people say should experience more of life,

but who, perhaps, just feels and sees life from a different perspective than everyone else.

I’m the girl in a portrait,

frozen in space and time as if she doesn’t belong here,

or there, or anywhere.

I’m the girl in an adventure book,

strong and fierce, but not quite real,

not quite tangible, and somehow quite damaged.

I’m the girl whose eyes can scare you,

because they carry the weight of all the expectations her mouth can’t pronounce.

I’m the girl that tries to pretend she doesn’t believe in love,

but who secretly hurts with how the world seems to have forgotten all about the magic of it.

I’m the girl that cries alone in her bedroom about her loss,

but who you will see smiling and pretending to be okay,

because she refuses to look weak.

I’m the girl who feels as if she wasn’t good enough,

when you were more than enough for her.

As if she lacked a secret ingredient,

always blend, always overlooked.

I’m this girl,

I’m that girl,

I’m any girl,

But I’m never “the one and only” girl.

The power of writing

The power of writing

Writing for me is more than a form of expression. It is also a form of release.

Once I really started writing, developed my own stories and got attached to my characters, I realized how some of my own feelings, desires, fears, and frustrations became real on the page.

I was going through a really tough time, and somehow by putting my own characters in my situation, I could see things from a whole new perspective. Writing helped me accept and understand certain events and people of my life.

Kiera Cass, the writer of The Selection Series, once said the same thing, about how putting her characters in her own situations, helped her deal with her problems.

Somehow you are able to detach yourself from the whole picture and take a look at things from a different point of view. By doing that you release yourself from those feelings that chain you down. You get the sensation that you lock your inner demons on those pages, instead of battling them inside yourself.

If you get people to read your work, you might even help them deal with their own demons. I let a friend read one of my works, and she said that what happened to my character hit her right in her wound. She saw herself in my character, and she felt real relief when my character said out loud everything she always wanted to say.

For me seeing how much my work impacted someone made all the effort, all the pain and all the joy I went through that inspired my story, to somehow be worth it. That’s what telling stories are all about. It’s about sharing experiences, taking people to other places, helping each other, healing old wounds, and giving courage to those who need it.

I write to understand the world, and better yet, to understand myself.

Writing is a journey, and reading is an escape.

The Diary of Anne Frank

The Diary of Anne Frank

Have you ever avoided reading a book because you were afraid it would be too sad or impactful?

That was The Diary of Anne Frank for me until recently I created the courage to read it. And I’m so glad that I finally did.

The book was nothing like what I expected. I was waiting for some tearful, heart-wrenching war memorial, however, Anne Frank was a person so full of life and happiness that even in her darkest times, she knew how to brush everything off.

I caught myself laughing out loud many times, and even though we have an age gap of about 10 years, I felt like she also understood me. She understood human nature, and somehow she could detach herself from the bigger picture and see the world in someone else’s point of view, something I realize, It’s an artist quality.

Reading the book I did not only started to imagine how life in a “cage” could be like, but I also started to understand more about myself. Like most of us, Anne Frank is coming of age, and we never stop coming of age, because there is always room to grow and change. All the change of feelings, towards other people and herself, resonated really true and familiar to me.

It is amazing to see how a person who has been deprived of living life, teaches people from generations to come, how to live life to the fullest.

Now more than ever, I understand why Anne Frank is such an inspiration to people. She is not just a sob story, she is a “live your life story.”