To give you a taste of this “25 things I want to say to ‘aspiring’ writers” post by Chuck Wendig, check out #1 below. Blunt, yes, but it needs to be said.
Here are the two states in which you may exist: person who writes, or person who does not. If you write: you are a writer. If you do not write: you are not. Aspiring is a meaningless null state that romanticizes Not Writing. It’s as ludicrous as saying, “I aspire to pick up that piece of paper that fell on the floor.” Either pick it up or don’t. I don’t want to hear about how your diaper’s full. Take it off or stop talking about it.
This essay by Dinah Lenney on memoirists and voice is one of the most original pieces I’ve ever read on the subject. Here’s a small taste:
"First person narrative, memoir in particular, is like jazz; largely about the player, about where he riffs and scats, and how and why, and whether or not we come away from the material — the narrative, that is — feeling different for having read."
“I refuse to conform to any narrative conventions that say, ‘Well, if you begin a film with voice-over you at least have to bookend it, have it at the end. You can’t just have it at the beginning and let it taper off.’ I’m thinking, I’m 50 and I’m going to use whatever cinematic device I want to.”—
When I purchased the tickets to see Idina Menzel perform with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, I expected an amazing experience. What I didn’t expect was to walk away from the concert with a list of writing lessons from my favorite Broadway Diva. During her concert, Idina told the story of how, several years ago, her manager told her about Red Rocks, which seats 9,500. At the time, he said, it would be a big stretch for her to perform in that venue size, but he believed that someday she could—and would—do it. From center stage, the singer peered up to the highest seats and teared up, sharing that she (and her manager) had exceeded their goal that night. Her story of exceeding what had seemed to be a lofty goal inspired me. If she can do it, why can’t I meet and exceed my own goals? Being me, I started searching for clues as to how she had become successful—besides having immense talent. Here’s what I learned: