I met a rather lovely guy in a sociology class today, who asked me what I did when I wasn’t studying. When I told him I was a novel writer, he said, ‘Romance?’ When I politely told him I wrote fantasy, he replied, ‘Oh, magical romance.’
Now, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing harmful about a woman writing romance. Some of my favourite books are firmly seated in that genre, written by women whose ability to create story and structure leaves me in awe. What I resent is the assumption that being a woman and a writer automatically means I write romance to the exclusion or subversion of any other genre.
Feeling a bit glum at having to discuss women’s ability to write damn good fiction no matter the genre, I used a study break to look up inspiring quotes by female writers. Naturally, there’s a lot, so I’ll be posting a few every week. This is to remind myself and others that female authors are important and valuable contributors in the writing industry, and do not deserve to be pigeonholed because of gender. Enjoy.
“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” Jane Goodall
“Tell almost the whole story.” Anne Sexton
“Sometimes writing is running downhill, your fingers jerking behind you on the keyboard the way your legs do when they can’t quite keep up with gravity.” Rainbow Rowell
“If you want to cry, you’re not going to like my books.” Janet Evanovich
“I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.” Jane Austen
“Write what should not be forgotten.” Isabel Allende