Things That Offend Me (or Excuse Me While I Spew My Ranting All Over the Internet)

frustrationIn general, I’m not an easily offended person.  After a lifetime of being The Girl Who Thinks Too Much, I’ve learned to roll with the punches … in fact, I’ve learned the “punches” are quite often in love.  As a writer, I am used to critical feedback about things that matter to me deeply.  And because I feel pretty confident just being Jackie Lea Sommers, throwaway comments don’t usually floor me.  I like to assume that people have good intentions (although you know what they say about good intentions … and adverbs …)

But there are a couple things that really get under my skin.

1) The belief that young adult literature is inherently sub-par.

A friend from my writing group recently went on an intense writing experience in Scotland where her absolutely brilliant instructor essentially told her that she was “too good” to be writing YA.

Excuse me?

I write young adult lit, and I demand of myself writing that is not only of the highest literary quality (beautiful, rhythmic, paced, character-driven, and clear) but also worthy of the minds of teenagers, whom I believe often outstrip adults in creativity and ingenuity.  I am writing for people who are on the horizon of the future.

2) The belief that I am “less than” because I’m single.

A co-worker was booking his honeymoon the other day, and another co-worker said, “Welcome to adulthood!”

Of course I took offense.

I am single in every sense of the word– does that somehow mean I haven’t reached true adulthood?  Am I not as important because I don’t have a spouse or children?

Not at all.

I hate the subtle ways that society declares this though.  Frustrates me to no end.


3) The stigma that it’s wrong/sinful to seek out help for mental illness.

I have dear, dear friends whom I cherish who propagate this idea on Facebook every day, and it takes all that is in me to cool off and not post, QUIT SHAMING ME FOR WANTING TO SLOW DOWN MY SEROTONIN REUPTAKE.  I’m glad juicing/yoga/whatever-it-is works for you.  I am not a bad person for taking Prozac.

Okay, that’s all.  Have a nice day! 🙂



7 thoughts on “Things That Offend Me (or Excuse Me While I Spew My Ranting All Over the Internet)

  1. Thank you for ranting, Jackie, because it helped me to rant along with you! 🙂 I don’t write YA, but I know it’s not sub-par writing. Excellent writing is excellent writing.

    I went through the same stigma of being single when I was single. It’s quite frustrating. I have another stigma I face–the idea that life is not complete because I don’t have children.

    And don’t get me started on people who belittle the idea of taking meds for mental illness. Meds are not a crutch. Meds are a tool. If they work, what is the problem?

    There, I’m done. Thank you again! :-).

  2. I couldn’t agree more with your rant. As a YA writer myself, I understand all the unique challenges it brings and the need for the writing to be as culturally relevant and current as the young person who will be reading it. Oh, and it has to be good.
    And as a newly married gal myself I still get offended on behalf of my single friends whenever anyone says, “We have to find her a husband!” My response is usually, “What makes you think she wants one?”
    And hey if natural remedies work for someone that’s great. But some people have legitimate chemical imbalances that need correction. Would you tell a diabetic to do yoga instead of taking insulin?! Ugh. Don’t get me started!

  3. Pingback: Singing the Praises of YA Lit | Lights All Around

  4. Pingback: If I Was Bleeding | Lights All Around

  5. Pingback: Stigma, Part Two: I Don’t CHOOSE to be Unhappy. | Lights All Around

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