Tip of the Day: Don’t ever be afraid to be yourself!
It’s strange Kate brought up writing challenges/exercises yesterday because they have been on my mind. I recently went to a local writing group led by a newspaper humor columnist. Each session he assigns a writing exercise for the group. When we were talking about what type of exercise might be good for that week, someone mentioned maybe it would be helpful to write a humorous piece, even if that’s not in the style of writing we typically write.
He seemed very leery and decided to go a different direction because his feelings with humor were basically you either have it or you don’t. And you can’t force it.
Now I’m never one to think you shouldn’t at least try something once. Because you never know you could be the next Meg Cabot and don’t even know it. But I do think there is some truth to the fact you have to figure out your writing voice and stick with it.
Because let’s face it, most of us aren’t the next Meg Cabot, are we? So it’s best to accept it, move on, and figure out what makes our writing stand out of the pack. If we are just imitating others, it just ain’t goina happen.
Actress/writer Amber Benson wrote an interesting blog article last week about how as an actress it was important for her to figure out who she was and play that up to get roles in Hollywood. Pretending to be the part she thought executives wanted her to be wasn’t working. I think that’s just as important in writing.
Are you good at complex characters? Witty one-liners? Quirky, yet lovable heroines? Dark, mysterious plot lines? Good! Then don’t be afraid to play up your strengths and use them to your advantage.
We don’t always have to be improving our weaknesses. Sometimes it’s just as important to capitalize on our strengths and be ourselves as a writer!
And because I just saw the most hilarious cheerleading movie ever, I thought it might be good to finally whip out my cheering skills:
Picture much hand clapping and cheesy smiles to the rhythm of the Be Aggressive chant:
Be ee Yourself.
Be ee yourself!
(Okay, yeah, maybe I should skip the cheerleading. But at least I tried it once, and figured out it wasn’t for me ;-) Moving on…)
--Emily, Miss Querylicious