On Writing

Rafael Yglesias:

Write what horrifies you, write what charms you, write what repels you, write what you love, write, to be aphoristic, what you cannot stop yourself from writing.

Yes, you will have to find “your voice,” and yes, you will have to learn the craft of writing, which is endlessly demanding and so varied that you will probably never feel you are more than a clumsy student. And don’t limit yourself to study only the craft necessary to produce your particular kind of writing. Also learn how the writers you have contempt for do what they do; you may discover something useful for your work.

But all of those necessary skills are servants to your Lord and Master: write what you cannot stop yourself from thinking about, even if it disgusts everyone you know. Readers read to subsume their consciousness, for a profound but limited time, into another’s. Some want reassurance, some want challenge. Some want pleasant lies, some painful realities. You may be unlucky and be fated to have a small audience. That’s too bad. (By the way, it is the fate of almost every writer.) 

Over time, if you work hard and write what obsesses you, there will be readers who will want to live in your peculiar universe, and precisely because what you have provided is rare they will be all the more grateful for your creation.   

source: http://blog.writersdigest.com/norules/2011/02/23/ClichesForAspiringWriters.aspx

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