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The blog of m/m author Jaime Samms. 

Dare to Tell A Tale

Jaime Samms

pen and paper I think, as writers, sometimes we forget that once we've released a book out into the world, it is no longer ours. I've made this comparison before but I'll make it again. It's like my kids. I brought them into the world, and I'll do my very best to bring them up, teach them, nurture them and give them the very best tools I know of to make a favourable impression on the world. But once they're out there, on their own, they are no longer mine to control or protect. It doesn't mean I love them any less, but at a certain point, I have to say I've done all I can and I have to cast them out onto the sea of life, sink or swim as they will, and hope I've done a good enough job they have the resources and wherewithal to sail off into the sunset.

dreamstime_xs_gallion at sunsetWhat happens to them out there--books or kids--might reflect on the job I did, for sure. I might have to take responsibility for doing a crappy job and giving the world a shitty product. I might have the pleasure of accepting the responsibility for doing something right. Everything that happens to them out there is subject to the vaguarities of worlds I can't do anything about. Everyone approaching my creation brings their own world into play, and that alone makes their interaction with what I've produced theirs, and not mine. I can't have any control over that, and it isn't my place to try.

Once the book is out there, it isn't mine any more. It belongs to the hearts and minds of those who read it and love it or hate it. Or are indifferent to its existence. I am no longer the writer of that story. It's been told and laid down. I'm now the reader, bringing my world experience to the story, as well. That's going to change a story I've written as much as it will change a story I read that I didn't write. This is how the storytelling art creates legends. Everyone who reads it interprets it, changes it just that much, and a boy with a bow and arrow becomes Robin Hood. A lady in love with two valiant men becomes Gwenevere. A persuasive young man with a couple of loaves, a few fishes and a passionately spoken good idea becomes a god.

So before you put pen to paper, remember. Once you put it out there, it ceases to be yours. Because truth only exists in the eye and mind of the person who perceives it, and the truth is, a story never reads the same way twice.