When I became interested in writing, I plowed through book after book on how to write well. How to create characters, how to construct perfect scenes, how to write within your chosen genre, etc. In fact, I read so much I almost forgot to write. I was so worried about getting it right, it was paralyzing.
Finally, after the gazillionth book, I figured I'd better stop reading and start doing or I'd never get anything done at all. I'd end up wanting to be a writer, but I'd never be a writer, so I put aside the writing books, rolled up my sleeves, and wrote. I wrote a couple of books, some short stories, a few articles. The other day I realized something.
What? How can that be?
I realized I've been trying to play it safe with my writing. When I first decided to write, I wanted to be more than "just" a writer; I wanted to be a successful writer! I wanted to make my living that way, to be that person signing books in a book store with a long line of people winding their way through the aisles and even out the doors, all clutching my book in their hands, waiting patiently for their turn to tell me how great a writer I am and how much they love me. But it didn't happen that way. I was left holding my book and wondering why it wasn't… more. More exciting, more passionate, more… whatever. Just… more.
For those of you who know me personally (you know who you are!), you know I'm not at all boring. I'm passionate and vital. Impulsive. I live life on the edge, generally on the fringe of what is considered "normal." I may be a bit strange, but boring? Not even close.
So I'm done writing that way. There will be no more "safe" writing from me. From now on, I'll write the way I live - with gusto and no safety net. I'll close my eyes and dream and my words will spill out of my strange brain and onto the computer screen the way I see and feel them. I'll taste their wildness. They'll have my own particular (and sometimes peculiar) accent and that's okay.
Because I will be writing for me.