17th March, 2015. 2:52pm
NaBloPoMo, Tuesday, March 17, 2015
What unique stresses do you think women writers experience?
As someone who started out writing around for and with powerful women in an exceptionally competitive surrounding that is teen glossy, putting your name out there for the entire nation to see (err, read) can be hard. Not only are you competing with other female writers out there, you also need to think of your readers when writing your piece, which in my case, were female TEENAGERS.
Before my first article debuted in MEG, I’d always thought I’d never have a career as a writer. My grammar wasn’t as great as those who have worked with the magazine before me, and I didn’t come from any of those prestigious schools (ie; our own version of Ivy League) like them. I’m just an ordinary girl with a dream to have at least a chance to see her byline in her favorite magazine. Turns out, it’s not my school or my lack of being a wordsmith that are essential in pursuing that dream (although, of course, they are a contributing factor). What I need, as everyone does, is the right amount of passion, dedication and skill. Many people doubt I will ever work there, but I did. I managed to be accepted in the company after proving myself (I can do it).
You’d think it’d be easier once you’re in? Nope. Things just get doubly stressful. When you’re a female writer, and is working for a fast-paced company like a magazine or newspaper, you have to be on your toes… ALL THE TIME. You can’t be a shy girl (which I’m so bad at overcoming); speak up, let your thoughts be heard. I learned this when I left the magazine. The editors told me I have a potential, lots of it perhaps, but my inability to communicate personally hinders that potential. I think this is one unique stress that female writers, upcoming ones especially, experience.
Another thing that sucks as a female writer is, was, hiding behind a more “masculine” name. I remember an interview with J.K. Rowling where her publisher asked her to change her pen name because Joanne Rowling just doesn’t have quite a ring to go along with the Harry Potter series; she was basically told that she “should not publish under her real name, Joanne Rowling, because boys would not read a book written by a woman.” Of course, no one cared now that the master behind this iconic series was a woman, which only proves my point that it’s your passion, dedication and skill that will get you on top, not your sex or name, or even where you came from.
So why did J.K. Rowling published a book, The Cuckoo’s Calling, under another pseudonym, then? I presume it was so she could write something she likes without the pressure of being “THE AUTHOR OF HARRY POTTER SERIES.” I understand her, and it’s such a sad idea that some fans of Harry Potter would expect every other work that she writes will be something like Harry Potter, because The Cuckoo’s Calling was a great novel. (*No, this is not me being biased because I’m a Potterhead. I have actually read the book and liked it)
I know there are lots more stress that a female writer goes through, so these are just some of the examples, ones I’ve experienced myself, at least. I hope it wouldn’t have to be this way, but we all know that is far from not happening, maybe ever.