I’ve been writing fiction now for six years; full-time for the last year and a half. And like most writers, I have certain philosophies and hopes.
My philosophy about writing is that you should write what you like, not just what you know. American Poet, Howard Nemerov said,” Write what you know. That should leave you with a lot of free time.” Seems we’re on the same page.
I believe you should also write what brings you joy because writing is HARD. I found it comforting to read the comments from Joyce Carol Oates, one of the most prolific writers of our time. In the article, “Joyce Carol Oates on Writing: ‘Don’t Give Up,'” she compared starting her writing day to pushing an enormous rock up a hill.
My gosh! I thought it was just me — and certainly not someone who’s been writing for over 50 years and published more than 100 books of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama.
Since writing is hard, as attested to by Ms. Oates, I think it’s better to write about something that makes you happy rather than something that will drag you down into the doldrums.
When I began writing my first novel I knew I was doing it for the pure joy of telling a story. And I was doing it for the joy I hoped it would bring to others. I had so much fun writing that first story.
The second novel in the series has been more of a challenge to write. I haven’t yet been able to hit the kind of stride or get into the writing “zone” with this story as I did with the first. But still I persevere!
I love writing fiction because it’s so liberating. You have total control. If you don’t like what you’ve written, just hit the backspace key or the delete key and replace it with something you like better.
And with fiction you can create your story be whatever you want it to be as long as it’s believable enough for readers to come along for the ride and not roll their eyes and say, “This couldn’t possibly happen.”
I never had as a primary goal writing to get rich or to make money for that matter. I recall when I was researching how to create a business plan for my writing business, I was momentarily stunned at the mention of fees being paid for writing projects.
My hope is that my writing inspires and uplifts those who read it. I heard Marlon Wayans say in an interview that he doesn’t expect his comedy to change the world, he just hopes it changes a mood.
That’s my hope! When someone reads one of my novels, I hope it changes whatever mood they are in, especially if they are tired, or discouraged, or lonely, and carries them away to a place of adventure and intrigue. I want them to be totally captivated by the world they’ve entered.
Just as great movies entertain, I hope my novels entertain. I want readers to fall in love with my characters. When they put the book aside, I want them to wonder what the characters are going to do next and be anxious to get back to the story.
And when they finish reading the novel, I want them to hate that it’s over like a cherished love affair and pine for my main character’s return. (Smile)
Well, what about you? What is your philosophy about writing? Or what is your hope for the future? Drop me a line or two and let me know. I’d love to hear from you!