An Author in Progress

This is where you'll find me trying to mould myself into a respectable writer - it may take sometime...
You'll find anything from a piece of experimental creative writing, some thoughts on my novel developments, to even the occasional literature-based academic paper.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Room to write outside of gender

First blog in an extremely long time. I'd be more sorry if it was beneficial to be, but this year I have to stop apologising and regretting things, accept I am who I am and do what I do... when I can.

Research has been jarring for months on the novel I am developing for my final year dissertation project. I love literary criticism and breaking it down in itself, I love theory but would love to try it all out and see how it works in fictional practise. Gendered language as a prison of classification, and the reading of the diaries of French Herculine Barbin who was classified as a '19th Century Hermaphrodite' has brought me here to try and create a different ending than suicide.

What keeps running through my head is this: what on earth was I thinking and what the heck do I know about the hell that society puts upon people born with intersexed bodies, or who feel the unavoidable, heartbreaking and brave journey through one gendered existence to another? Between changes at home that made even finding the head-space to read even my university reading lists a challenge, proving to people that you are a serious individual researching transgender/ intersex issues for a literary exploration is even more complex.

Trying to prove I am genuine to societies and closed help-groups who deal with these issues I would much prefer to understand before I progress, is a real hurdle. I would like to be one of those people who can just pretend, rummage through a few websites and magazines, read a couple of case studies and churn out word-counts, but that just is not me. Arguably, surely understanding the subject as a writer you hope to represent, as broadly as possible is the ideal?

What I would love of course is for all the research to flow, my brain to unblock itself, and for every door I knock on to magically open.

Life is not like this.

Writing is not like this – unless it's inside your book and you want to write it that way, but then how interesting a read would it be with no conflict to halt the narrative or to turn the perceptions of the reader, to alter the character? And more ideas will come from the result of research than I can hope to dredge out of my little mind, in my little writing room. If there's anyone out there who reads this, who may have an introduction they could make I'd be more than grateful.

I wont deny that at the moment I am my own biggest adversary. 'Darn you Sandra Murphy', I say with shaking fist! I have to be a bit more patient, but hey, that word has a double meaning. Writing can be a sickness sometimes that makes us grumpy as hell and prone to indulge on available and sometimes wonderful, modes of escapism. I guess the real part has to be a bit of dedication and acceptance that time management is essential for progress. A book, in concept alone, can be anything, but it amounts to nothing until you get yourself in gear.

Thus, Sandra has got to get herself in gear. But Sandra is also going to remind herself, here, in third person, that she would like very much to timetable in, with as little boring planning as possible, very frequent periods of rather wonderful escapism. After all, isn't that also a source of writing? Final thought: outside of gender, how the heck do I refer to myself in third person? Part of the reason for the research.