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It’s A New Dawn

It’s a new day and I’m feeling…pish. 

Here are my thoughts thus far (it is 10.07).

  • I have no energy to write
  • I don’t want to write
  • I have no ideas
  • I can’t be a writer
  • This will never work
  • (goes to Starbucks and opens project, which I’m going to refer to as Midnight Shrine from now on, because I change projects so often that even I can’t keep track of what book I’m referring to in posts) Is this coffee actually decaf? (confirms with barista)
  • (reads yesterday’s work) This stuff is absolute garbage; I’m going to write out of order, writing a scene only when it’s epic
  • (reads old newsletters from Susan Dennard) I love Susan Dennard
  • (plays MS’s soundtrack; writes down fuzzy vision of what I want this book to be) I don’t have enough mystery for this book and the romance isn’t strong
  • I never had a flash of inspiration for this book; it all grew out of discovery-writing
  • Do I really want to write this book?
  • When was the last time I had a good idea for a book? Oh, THE NIGHT MAGE FFS. 
  • (mentally searches through old half-finished manuscripts such as The Forest King and, god help me, Beauty and the Beast) I don’t want to write any of these books either
  • I have no ideas I am broken do I even want to be a writer and is it relevant because it’s clear I cannot write and yeah I have no ideas
  • (reads through old blog posts about how I’ve been quitting too easily and have been driven mad by perfectionism and pressure to produce) Ohh….
  • Okay maybe I’ve been quitting too easily
  • Maybe Midnight Shrine is the best I’ve got so far
  • Maybe Midnight Shrine seems difficult because I have much higher standards these days and I want this book to be utterly gripping and jammed with mystery and damn that stuff is hard to write and I simply have a lot of work to do to get this book to where I want it to be and Midnight Shrine is the most complex book I’ve ever attempted to write
  • I promised myself I had to finish this book because it’s been so long since I finished one and if I don’t relearn how to complete a book my fledgling career is over before it ever got going
  • Okay gonna work on Midnight Shrine

It’s a new dawn, a new day, and I’m gonna write this bloody book even if it kills me. Even if it turns out so terrible it never sees the light of day, this is about me proving to myself that I can still write a novel. I’m not broken. I can’t believe that. 

I am not broken.

I Feel Pretty Pissed

Today I went to see I Feel Pretty. The film wasn’t perfect, but I had a jolly time. I laughed when it was funny, and cried when it was heartbreaking and true. I related to the film in many ways, and left the cinema feeling good about myself. When I came home, I looked up its critical reception. I told myself I was doing it out of interest – when really, I knew what I’d find. And that it would make me angry. 

The film was heavily criticised, which isn’t surprising given it has a female lead who isn’t there simply to be a sex object for men (see similar responses to A Wrinkle in Time and Tomb Raider). I read a few reviews and wondered if the writers had watched the whole film – not because I disagreed with their opinion, but because their take of the film felt so inaccurate. Some made me wonder if the reviewer had simply watched the trailer, or the first hour.  Some of the comments were also quite troubling, such as:

‘This movie [is] premised on the idea that self-esteem trumps physical beauty’. 

To me, this comment implies that the reverse might be true; that there is an argument against self-esteem trumping physical beauty. This is a destructive, toxic, and unfortunately common mindset. I used to think along the same lines, and I’m far, far happier now I’ve seen through this great lie. 

Amy Schumer is also analysed and judged to an inch of her life. She’s too pretty; she’s not funny… Basically, she can’t win. Like most women, she comes under much stronger scrutiny than her male counterparts.

Yes, the film has flaws (as all films do) and can certainly be criticised*, but the criticism is grossly enlarged, revealing how many people cannot accept women who don’t meet male-defined standards of beauty, women who dare to challenge said standards, or anything that is designed to empower women and make them feel good about themselves (whether the film is successful is irrelevant; it’s the intention that counts here).

Now, I know it’s easy to attack genuine criticism with the accusation of sexism. However, compare I Feel Pretty to the recent Avengers film, which is riddled with flaws. Avengers was received positively. It is no coincidence that Infinity War is filled, for the most part, with a bunch of heterosexual white men flexing their muscles and getting/rescuing/escaping from their girl. 

We’re making progress, but we still have a long way to go.

 

*This is a good review, IMO.