2.14.2011

Write What You Love

A couple of weeks ago, author Sarah Hockler put up a post listing ten ways to stay sane as a published writer. As an unpublished writer, of course, I found some of the tips more currently applicable than others. This one was my favorite, and it applies to every writer:
7. Write what you love. Notice I didn’t say the oft-spouted “write what you know.” You don’t have to know anything. You just have to care about it enough to find out, to imagine, to create.
Perhaps the greatest compensation we writers ever receive from our effort is the chance to spend extended amounts of time with a beloved creation, shaping it, forming its features from the dust, putting pieces of ourselves into it, and breathing into it the breath of life. Or if not the greatest, it's second only to having someone else say they loved it, with a light in their face that tells you it mattered to them almost as much as it matters to you.

It's well worth drawing characters, settings, plots, and concepts from what we love. What we don't know, we can always learn. And that, oh friends, is how I write about stars.

Now, I'm going to take Ms. Hockler's #9 advice and take a break from talking and dreaming about writing, for the sake of actually working at it.

5 comments:

  1. Actually writing something? Now, that's just crazy talk! ;)

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    ReplyDelete
  3. This is fantastic advice! I often feel pressured to write not about what I love but what others will be interested in reading. This is the people-pleaser in me, and to her I say, "pish posh!" My people-pleaser thanks you (and Hockler) for putting it in much kinder (and more reasonable) terms.

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  4. Haha, George. :D

    Carrie, I share the people-pleasing thing! But I've heard it said that when you write out of whatever's in your own heart, the work will find readers who love it. Believing that helps me!

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