Why everyone can and should read YA books.

Quite often, too often in my opinion, I look at my bookshelves and feel guilty. Guilty for not having more ‘adult’ books up there like the classics or some with characters who have jobs or are older than 21.

It’s a sort of shame about mostly reading young adult fiction novels. Like I’m too old for them all of a sudden, or I shouldn’t be reading them anymore.

It’s brought on mostly by the fear that people will judge me, will think I’m immature or childish because I read that genre. Quite often I see articles shaming adults for still reading YA novels and it both frustrates me and gets under my skin.

Why are people judged for what they read?

I’d much more likely find it harder to understand why someone never reads than why they read YA novels. I’ve been living in so many different worlds through my life I find it hard to understand someone who only needs one. But not everyone needs an escape, and that’s fine.

Anyway, the umbrella of YA books has expanded dramatically these past years. Now I can find books about 11 year olds all the way to someone just turned 20 in that section. And it reflects the readership. Now, more adults than ever before are reading YA books. One article stated that there are more adults than there are teenagers reading the genre.

And why not? Sure, there are some books filled to the brim with gooey romance and teen angst. But there are also a lot of books with complex plots and deep emotions. The line is blurred between what is adult and what is YA.

I mean, quite a lot of adults are still young right? Would you call someone who’s 30 old? When is the marker for giving up the books we love to read? When is it right to say that people should stop reading a genre?

I think there is never a good enough reason to say someone should stop reading.

Sometimes the only way I can get my fix of paranormal creatures, the supernatural, anything otherworldly, is to read from the YA section. Show me an adult book based around mermaids and I’ll rush out to buy it. But until then leave me alone in my reading nook, reading whatever I want to read, because I can.

YA is for everyone, heck, all genres of books are for everyone. And anyone who says differently just doesn’t understand how much love readers can have for their books.

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Writing my dreams.

I’ve always loved sleep. I look forward to my dreams, I even try to create my own dreams as I fall asleep. Putting myself into my favourite books or films and imagining how I would affect the plot.

And, the more I got into writing the more vivid and interesting my dreams have become. I regularly wake up and grab my notebook to write down the latest dream or possible short story down before it fades away to nothing.

Even my nightmares are now ‘good nightmares’, in that they tend to be less scary and more interesting. Like a film in my head that I have a small amount of control over.

Apparently, if a person is more creative, they are more likely to remember their dreams and have them be more vivid. Also, if a person plays a lot of video games, they are more likely to be able to control their dreams and their nightmares tend to be less scary. A creative person who plays a lot of video games should therefore have both. This leads to some pretty awesome dreams.

So anyway, this is a pretty short post due to my blog being a bit glitchy recently and some of my posts disappearing into the ether. Apologies if you haven’t had a post each week on average, I’m not sure which ones are actually posting. That, and my brain being a bit light on the ideas front.

Happy dreaming everyone.

Advice about writing that I’m not so sure about.

Disclaimer: this post somehow deleted itself but was originally intended to be posted on the 12th June. Apologies.

1. To be a good writer, you have to experience everything.

Or, in other words, you have to try a lot of things, have a full life, get your heart broken etc.

But I don’t think that’s true.
Of course, it makes things easier; writing about what you know, and having lots of things that you know, allows you to write about a lot more.

But what about the people that haven’t been able to do a lot of things, go on a lot of adventures? Are they doomed to not be as great of a writer as they could have been?

It’s not fair to generalise, or make people feel bad for not having enough money, time, or being in the wrong place, to do a lot of things in their life.

I personally think that anyone can be a great writer. Most writers have lived thousands of lives purely in the books they read. (Though not all writers need to be avid readers either, I don’t want to be a hypocrite in my own argument here.)

So I’ve already had those life experiences, just through someone else’s eyes. If anything, that means I’ve had enough life experience to last me an infinite number of lifetimes. Why can’t that make me a good writer?

A good writer is just about being able to write well, not about what you’ve done, or how many people you’ve gone out with. At least, that’s in my opinion.

2. If you are a true writer, you’ll find time to write. Never stop writing.

Okay, so this just resurfaced in a writing page I follow. Someone was asking for advice on how to become a writer when she was really busy. This was the advice she got.

I thought it was pretty harsh.

I mean, I myself haven’t had much time to write at all this past month. Between finishing my dissertation, exams, and looking for jobs, I’ve barely been able to keep my own weekly post goal on this blog, let alone get back into writing.

It’s only this past week that I’ve been able to write barely 500 words in a book that I’ve been planning for half a year.

Sometimes you actually physically don’t have the physical time or mental capacity to write. And that’s okay.

Taking a break doesn’t mean you are ‘unworthy’ of being a writer. A lot of professional writers can take years out in between series. Taking your mind out of one world and into another can be tough, or sometimes you just need to rest. Whatever, it shouldn’t matter.

You are a writer if you want to and love to write. Even if you just like it as a hobby, call yourself a writer. There should be no rules governing what you can and cannot be.

So just go out, call yourself a writer, and write. Forget about how you ‘should’ do it. There’s no right way to write. Ha, that rhymed.

Interview with a guy.

Yes, it’s that one obligatory sexism post after the shootings.

Two of the phrases that have been going around after, perhaps even before, this happened have really stuck with me. They are:

‘ “Not all men!” Okay, so by that logic, Russian roulette is perfectly safe. Not ALL of the chambers have bullets in them.’ (I prefer this to the candy analogy, because getting a guy who doesn’t rape or kill you isn’t a reward, it’s just not dying. He could still be a bad guy.)

‘Because the odds of being attacked by a shark are around 1 in 3,000,000 and the odds of a woman being raped are 1 in 6. Yet a fear of sharks is seen as rational whereas a fear of men is seen as misandry.’

So I thought I’d ask some questions that the women I know think about a lot, or just wonder about occasionally. I sent them to a guy friend who I trusted to answer them honestly. This was the result:

  1. How long, on average, do you think it takes you to realise you like a girl after you first see her?

Well trying to put an average on this is hard. Sometimes you just realise that you like a girl, other times you don’t even realise till someone mentions it to you. Some of the guys I spoke to about this said it will normally take a couple of weeks for real emotions to kick in, but have been known to ‘fall’ at first sight.

  1. Do you think the friendzone actually exists? Why do you think guys hold on to this concept so strongly?

 

I personally think that the friendzone is a silly concept, but that is only something I realised recently when talking to a friend who is slightly less grown up about the whole dating thing. His view was that any girl he shows an interest in who does not reciprocate, but still tries to be his friend, has clearly friendzoned him. I think that guys hold on to the concept as a safety net which they use to protect their egos when a girl is not interested.

 

  1. Have you ever held out hope for a relationship over a long period of time, even if the girl has shown no interest?

 

Well, I am a bit of a hopeless romantic, and have been known in the past to hang on to what little chance there was, but I think this is something guys do less as they grow up. Sometimes I think I hold on to the idea of a relationship like this because I want to know why the girl shows no interest. At this point I want to point out that I am not an egomaniac who requires everyone’s affection.  I have also found in the past that some of the best friendships I have with females came out of these ‘no hope’ situations and I think that’s why I still exercise the idea that these relationship are not hopeless.

 

  1. Were you ever angry at a girl for liking someone else even though you had never told her how you felt? If yes, why do you think that was?

 

Once again I think it is very much a maturity thing. In the past I used to get really annoyed by the whole thing, but that was because I was bad at talking to women and my mates were all that bit better. Since leaving home and heading off to university I have found that just because they are attracted to someone else is no reason for me to get annoyed, its only when the girl knows how you feel and then tries to use that to her advantage,  that’s when I get angry.

 

  1. What are you most afraid of happening on a night out? What are you most afraid of happening to a female friend with you on a night out?

 

Well, although I am in a city that has been deemed the third safest university city, I feel that nights out can often be dangerous, more so for my female friends then myself. I am six foot tall and most people try to avoid me. Some of the worst things to happen on a night out for me were mainly when I end up intervening in the problems of others, I have had to stop a large number of drunken fights and help get people away from groups of overly eager guys. It’s to the point that, on nights when I know people are going out, I have to leave my phone on loud just in case someone needs me.

The biggest worry on a night out I have for my female friends is they’ll be taken advantage of by a guy. Without sounding sexist I want to point out that I feel the need to protect the girls from guys who are a little too keen. I guess there is always a constant fear that one of the girls will be attacked or raped on the way home if unescorted. I know that this will most likely not happen but I don’t like to think of how bad I would feel if I let that happen on my watch.

 

  1. Have you ever felt the need to pretend to be in a relationship with a female friend to get her out of a conversation with someone she didn’t want to talk to? Why do you think that worked, and her saying ‘No, thank you’ didn’t?

 

Yeah this is something that happens a lot, sometimes more than once a night. It’s something kind of like an unwritten rule that guys will back off if a girl is taken.

 

I think the fact that most often this happens in clubs is an important point when understanding why guys don’t take no for an answer. The female most often goes to the club to dress up, dance and have a nice night, whereas no guy goes to a club without a vague understanding that he is trying to meet someone and take them home. I myself am guilty of this, in fact I don’t even go near the places when I’m in a relationship. I think when a girl says ‘no thanks’ a guy often sees it as a ‘not now’, not a no. Which is horrible.

 

  1. Have you ever been hit on by a guy? If so, did it make you feel uncomfortable? Why? And did that make you think a bit more about how some guys make girls feel in the same situation?

 

I have been hit on by a guy but my guess is that, unlike the sort of guys that hit on girls, he was not so forceful about the matter. I have been told at times that I give off a flamboyant vibe when I have been drinking, mainly singing and being overly cheerful, which may explain why I have been hit on but it did not make me overly uncomfortable, just a little confused at first. Other times I have been accidentally ‘touched’ in a club by overly drunk guys trying to feel up my companions which has given me a perspective on the horrors that girls must feel when subjected to the male of the species.

 

As a final close I would like to point out that for the most part this is the opinion of one male who tries to avoid being grouped with the bad side of the gender who take advantage of the situation and cause women hassle. I do not speak on behalf of all males and have consulted my close friends for advice when answering them. I hope I have not caused offence to any readers.

Sincerely

Connor

 

It ended up much nicer than I thought it would. But maybe that’s just because I don’t have many sexist friends.

Anyway, at least this has shown that even the ‘Not all men’ can understand that ‘Yes all women’ struggle with this every day.