Today, I faced a really difficult decision concerning my writing and my beliefs. Actually, I faced two big decisions, one regarding a guest blog post, and one regarding my novel.
Today, I continued writing a little, finding some time here and there to sit at the computer, and I came to a part in my story where I had a big decision to make. I had outlined my novel chapter by chapter early on in my writing process, and I was up to this huge conflict that the protagonist faces that kind of shifts the story line... but I had to decide which conflict I was going to use.
One conflict would be kind of meek and mild; it would get the job done and move the story along as I wanted it to, but it wouldn't be truly relatable to many readers. The other conflict would be hard-hitting news; people would be able to relate to it, understand it, and feel the protagonist's pain as she faced this conflict. It seems like a no-brainer, right? Go with the more exciting, relatable conflict?
If I chose the more dramatic conflict, then I entered into this territory where I walked a fine line between being too realistic and rubbing people the wrong way, or just calling attention to a real problem in the world and setting a good example for conflict-resolution through my novel.
I thought about it for quite a while, and decided to go with the bigger, more dramatic conflict. I'm no where near being finished with this part of the novel; it's only just beginning to take shape. I feel better knowing that I have a direction in mind, though, and even if I change the path to that destination slightly, I know what I want to accomplish with this conflict. With this decision made, I thought all major thought-provoking problems were finished for the day.
I should have known better.
My second major decision was more pressing than the first. I had to make this decision today because it was time sensitive. This decision wasn't like which conflict to include in my novel, option A or option B. No, this decision was more like the knot I had to untangle on my sister's shoe last week, a tangled web which left me wondering where to start.
A few weeks ago, I had written a guest post for another blog, and it was due to be published tomorrow. It was your basic introductory post, explaining who I am and how my family got started as a foster/adoptive family. Somewhat similar to a guest post that I had written once before, but still very different since this was a brand new writing. The blogger had given me guidelines to adhere to, as far as length and topic, and I was excited for the post to be featured.
This morning I received an email from this blogger with a link to view the post before it was actually published. I was told to respond with anything that I thought had to be edited, though I knew I had already re-read my post multiple times before sending it over. Still, I pulled up the link, and I re-opened my saved document on my computer, and I started reading. Wow, it was a good thing I checked it over carefully! An entire chunk of my post was missing. A whole piece of my family's story. Where was it?
To make a long story short, the blogger had purposefully cut my writing. I had never been asked if it was okay for my post to be changed in any way, and yet this complete stranger was changing my work. By deleting the paragraph from my post, this blogger was changing my family's history. So I emailed the blogger very politely and tried to get it changed back to the way I had originally written it, but I was told that the post needed to be shorter.
I had written a post that fell within the guidelines the blogger had given me for a length requirement. I had followed what this blogger had asked. Yet this blogger couldn't include my entire post no matter what I said. So I had to make a decision: let the post go up without the full story, or ask the blogger not to put up my guest post at all.
I struggled with the decision and slowly had to sort through what I believe in bit by bit. I wanted the exposure. I wanted to stick to my guns. I wanted my story out there. I didn't want just half of the story out there. I felt torn in so many directions and didn't know what I wanted to do. But by the end of the night, I decided that I had to be true to myself and tell the other blogger that I did not want my post being featured. Instead, I would hold the post until I found another blogger who wanted to feature it in its entirety. Sure, I wish that things could have worked out differently, but I feel like I made the right call.
Standing up for what you believe in may not always be easy, but it's what must be done.
Thank you so much for your continued support! I look forward to sharing more stories about my experience with foster care, and hopefully hearing from readers who have questions or similar stories to share. I'm always willing to answer questions and hear about other experiences! Please don't forget to like and share my Facebook author page as well!
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