Perhaps as someone who hasn’t published much except a few things online, I don’t have much of a say in this. However, it seems to me that the writers who excelled are the ones who didn’t try to be anyone but themselves. They may have been inspired by other authors, even borrowing some things from their style. In the end, their stories were still their own.
I tried so long to be like J.R.R. Tolkien and Charles Dickens and C.S. Lewis. It was all a failure, really, because I wasn’t reaching my true potential. My potential is not reached in trying to be someone else. I am not someone else. I am me. I write very distinctly and definitely with intensive detail. While I may be inspired by other authors, I cannot allow their styles to overshadow my own.
Maybe I’m going too far with this, but I don’t think I could be more insulted than being told I am the next version of an old author. I do not want to be the next C.S. Lewis, although I love C.S. Lewis. I don’t mind it being said that I write like a certain person. I have someone who I write somewhat like. I am fully aware that we have similar styles, and we’re actually good friends.
(This would be the fantastic Caitlin E. Jones that I am referring to, by the way. She is currently writing Chimehour, an excellent Gaslamp Fantasy.)
Still, our stories and content are very different, and I think both would be happy to say that we’re different.
Don’t try to be the next J.R.R. Tolkien or Emily Dickenson or Ernest Hemingway or Robert Frost. They’re all dead. Just try to be you, and you’re already on your way to greatness.
They’re all dead. Just try to be you, and you’re already on your way to greatness.
Just try to be you, and you’re already on your way to greatness.
Just a moment ago, I made a very depressing blog post about how I have become distressed over the very thing I want to enjoy. While it is true, I would like to make a rebuttal.
I love writing. I love my book, and I love all my followers – every single one! I have no need to have more twitter followers than I already do. I have no need to have thousands of people liking my things every second. I have no need of more Facebook fans or more views per week. I don’t need any of that.
Depression will get to me at times. It’s true, and it’s something I can’t ignore. There will definitely be times when I don’t want to write, I don’t want to talk about writing and times when I most certainly don’t want to blog about how awesome it is and how to do it better. But neither the highs or the lows define me.
But regardless of whether I want to do it or not, the muse stands beside me and waits. Because the simple fact is that writing is a part of my life. Through writing I have gained friends I could never have gained otherwise, many not even from my own country. I strive to write, day in, day out. Sometimes its great, sometimes its awful. Sometimes its depressing and sometimes it makes me feel more alive than I have ever felt.
And what can I do to keep me going? What can I do to make it better? I can answer this question for myself. The only thing I can do to keep me going is to keep on doing it.
To my fellow writers, I say this:
Write when you are happy. Write when you are sad. Write when it embraces and when it crushes. The world is not always sunshine and roses, and your writing doesn’t need to be either. Write when it hurts to write. Write when your pen flows easy. Be sure to take a break on the occasion. Drink some tea and lay back in your comfy armchair. But when you are done, write again! One day you may look back, and you will say that you are glad that you did it even when it was hard, because beauty was made in the midst of rubble.
Just write. And I assure you, you will feel better for it.