A book someone needs to write

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CharleeVale
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A book someone needs to write

Post by CharleeVale » May 23rd, 2012, 2:23 am

It's no secret that people use books as opportunities for messages. Or to illustrate a specific issue. But lately, as i've been dealing with an issue, I've been thinking about the lack of literature on the subject.

Phobias.

Now, I'm not a wilting flower type, and not a lot scares me. But I do have one particularly severe phobia (which for privacy reasons I frankly don't want to blast all over the internet). And it has been bothering me how I hear people all the time people throw around the word 'phobia' like it's something normal. Just because something makes people uncomfortable they think they have a phobia. That's not true.

Let me tell you a little about what having a phobia is like, shall I? It's in your mind at all times. Even when you're having the best time of your life, a small part of your brain is thinking about it, whether it's conscious or not. You automatically think about whether or not you'll do things, or accept invitations, or go on vacations, or go to the store, or ANYTHING, solely based on the likely hood of interacting with that thing.

In a sense, it's a form of OCD, and I find that no one understands. They don't get what it's like to be trapped inside your own brain with a fear that you KNOW is irrational. People say 'it's no big deal,' 'get over it,' 'you'll grow out of it.' (And before anyone suggests I go to therapy, I've been there already, and I have gotten better by a few degrees) But it's not that simple.

We have a tendency now to magnify our fears for the sake of sport. Fear is funny, it's not supposed to make you have panic attacks in the middle of your driveway. It's not supposed to make you afraid to go outside on a beautiful Summer day. No, those reactions are for crazy people--phobias are silly, they aren't real. They only time I've seen real books that affect the most common phobic topics, are those in the horror section of the bookstore. I'm not interested in reading a book in which someone has magnified my phobia for a thrill.

I would love to see a book that portrays the reality of what it's like living with a true phobia, and how stifling it can be. I would right it myself, but I only have one phobia to work with, and the research I might have to do for the book would probably kill me. Though I would gladly talk to anybody who wanted to truly know.

I don't mean to rant, I was just reading a blog post about emotion triggers for some other heavy topics and how we can't shy away from them because those people need to look somewhere and guidance. And the entire time I was reading I kept thinking, where are the books for someone like me?

To make this more of a conversation starter than a rant, are there any difficult topics you wish were more covered in literature?

CV

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polymath
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Re: A book someone needs to write

Post by polymath » May 23rd, 2012, 3:27 am

I too suffer from an emotional condition, a spectrum condition that includes an assortment of DSM IV conditions of varying degrees. OCD, bipolar, Asperger's narccissism, to name a few, but one overriding and misunderstood condition. Along with it comes a couple crippling phobias. Traumatic existential crises are the causes. It's not a matter of a cure, but developing healthy coping strategies. Medications and counseling were disastrous because the clinicians wanted to label me and treat for one of the big sexy conditions instead of understanding what the core causal condition is. Assembly line medicine, phbbt! Sufferer, heal thyself if thee wish any meaningful progress.

Other medical topics I'd like to write or see someone write about creatively, diabetes, carpal tunnel syndrome, COPD, congestive heart disease, and addictive behaviors. Vocational and epidemiological conditions part of the Postmodern existence. A challenge is avoiding whining about woe is me. Dramatic complication might be a want for transformation that goes horribly awry. John Grisham writes legal thrillers. Medical thrillers are big business for television, not as much for written word. Written word would all but require reporting an individual, private, intimate, personal experience with broad public implications. Private and public complications and stakes and outcomes in order to appeal to a large enough audience.

I guess you could say I've put some thought into this. And I have creatively written about my phobias to good audience reception.
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wilderness
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Re: A book someone needs to write

Post by wilderness » May 23rd, 2012, 1:08 pm

Charlee, you should write the book! I think it would be fascinating. You could focus on only one particular phobia, and it could be fiction if you wanted.
CharleeVale wrote: To make this more of a conversation starter than a rant, are there any difficult topics you wish were more covered in literature?
Personally, I would like to see subtle racism and subtle sexism covered. People think that unless these things are overt, they don't exist. I actually did try to tackle this a little in my first novel. I don't think it worked very well. My new tactic in my current WIP is simply to write strong female minority characters.

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Re: A book someone needs to write

Post by Sommer Leigh » May 23rd, 2012, 5:03 pm

Like Wilderness, I'd like to see a lot of subjects tackled in subtle ways - subtle sexism, subtle harassment, subtle racism, subtle depression, subtle but dangerous passivity, subtle sex issues, subtle dealing with psychological disorders.

Issue books, particularly in YA, tend to be what the entire plot is about. They are horn blowing, neon lights, in your face about the subject matter, but it's my experience that most of these things aren't overt. No one even really understands they are happening and they don't tie up neatly at the end. I'd like to read more books where these things aren't the the central plot but complicate whatever the central plot is.
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