Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Insecure Writers: Writing for You
She is extremely supportive of everything I do and I’m quite sure if I phoned her today to tell her I invented time travel or a cure of cancer, she would not be surprised. Because in her mind, I can do anything.
But when it comes to writing, if I let it…her love would cripple me.
I have to block out her abhorrence for foul language or the credo of ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ that she raised me to believe in. If I don’t blindfold her watchful eye over my shoulder or strangle her sweet voice in my head, then the most my characters would ever do is hold hands and sip tea as they pondered the beauty of the world and isn’t everything just NICE?
No, it’s not. I want my characters to scream curses as they run with sharp objects that oh yes could definitely put someone’s eye out and kiss with their TONGUES, and betray friends and tell horrible lies and maybe the ultimate bad of all…not ever listen to their mothers.
You can’t write like your momma is watching. Or your father or the pastor of your church or that old dude who smokes hand rolled cigarettes and stares at you while you pump gas every week at the corner store.
You have to write for YOU. You have to let go of the fear and allow your own voice to speak. If you don’t then your work will show it, it will be stifled and stiff, and your characters just stick figures that never come to life.
Maybe killing your darlings isn’t just about the delete button on your keyboard…maybe it’s about those disapproving voices in your head too.
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