Happy New Year, Writers!
Have you ever read a book or watched a movie or TV show and thought to yourself, “If that was my story, I would’ve done it this way or I would have written it that way”? Do you find yourself wondering what the writer(s) were thinking when they scripted a story a certain way and how you may have done it differently?
When you are writing, do you ever feel self-conscious about your writing and who may read it? I mean to the point of where you actually tone down your writing or alter your words and end up diminishing your message?
I ask these questions because as writers, we are responsible for our words, but we are also responsible to our artistic voice and our craft (more on loving your craft in an upcoming post). There is a balance that must be achieved between these things as they sometimes conflict with one another. Personally, I believe that the balance should tilt in favor of our responsibility to our voice and the craft of writing.
In my experience, there is no way to please everyone with your writing. There will always be critics, there will always be those who take offense at your writing. While I am not an advocate of purposely provoking negative attention, I do encourage all writers to stay true to their voice so long as they are willing to deal with the effects of your writing.
As writers we are constantly trying to cover new ground by finding new stories to tell and new ways to tell those stories. In doing this, we must discover new ways to push the limits of our writing. As writers we should all be voracious readers, so with each story we read, our minds should also be working our own stories, trying to find new ways to make our writing stand-out from that of our contemporaries.
It is our goal to individualize our writing and establish our identities as writers. So, don’t be afraid of going where no writer has gone before. Don’t allow your writing to hide in a self-imposed “safe-zone” because you over-worry of who you will offend or who will lack understanding of your message.
When you look at your writing, ask yourself: is your writing cliché and boring or it is as original and daring as it can be? Does your writing read like another author’s or does it standout and reflect your own, unique voice? If your writing isn't everything it could be, what can you do to change that? The ability and encouragement to push forward and create new trends is ever-present in today’s world and this should fuel our motivations as we write. Without this motivation, we risk our writing being nothing more than mundane and unoriginal; nothing more than “faceless, nameless words in a crowd”.
Let's make we sure we all continue to push the limits…