Monday, April 18, 2011
I read a lot. And I assume everyone trying to be a writer does too. And I end up reading a lot of great stuff. I pay attention to everything: the voice, the descriptions, the pace, what makes the characters round. And, more often than not, I find myself wondering how on earth they pulled that off. And, more importantly, if I’m good enough to do the same.
I always read the author bio on the book jacket, and there’s usually some similarity to the characters. Usually the story takes place somewhere the author has lived, the MC graduated from the same college the author did, or they share the same religion, relationship status or love for whatever it is that they love. I have, for instance, seen an alarming number of romantic comedies where the messed up MC is a journalist. And yet I went to journalism school. Go figure. Anyway. The point is, no matter how small it is, there’s always something that comes from the author’s experience. And I sometimes find myself thinking “damn, if only I had been through this or lived in that place or been Jewish, I could write something like this”.
Yeah. You got it. You know where I’m going. Pep talk time. So here it goes: There’s always something that only you can write. There’s got to be something that makes you unique. You just have to convince yourself that it’s worth writing, even if your life sounds a lot less impressive – and when you figure out how to do that, come back here and teach me. But, well, it’s true. It might not be the most original advice (maybe my “O” post should’ve been originality), but it’s a valid one. You won’t get to be anyone else other than you. So just find whatever it is that only you can bring to the table. And put it out there.