Tuesday, July 19, 2011

2,000 Miles to Graceland

I believe it was Stephen King who said that if you want to be a writer, you should write 2,000 words each day. But what do you write about?

Should you sit in front of the screen and ponder the meaning of life, waxing philosophical about moments of your existence that clearly point to a higher level of consciousness? What about over-analyzing the romantic happenings of your already naturally confusing and heavy-on-the-busy-side lifestyle? Should you regale readers with the details of your every waking moment - First, I woke up; Second, I twitched to the left half an inch; third, I thought about rolling over but ultimately decided my right shoulder was more comfortable - ?

Am I writing for myself or for an audience? If it's the latter, who is my audience and what would they like to read about? How can I tweak my style to accommodate to their personal taste, but in mass?

See the problem with being a writer, in my opinion, is that sometimes you write for yourself and that's all dandy and such, but if you're like me and you'd like to make a career doing what you love - writing - then you are also writing for everyone else, at the same time. This presents certain problems for writers that suffer from tunnel vision - the inability to write outside of their comfort zone. The inability to adapt to your audience is a hindrance for many people. Yes, your style is of course awesome (I'm sure), but is it awesome enough that you can connect with your reader. Is it accessible to others? Accessible. That's a word the universal "they" throw around a lot. Can people read your piece and relate. Can they connect with your thoughts and in return exchange them for an emotional response?

That's why I write. I strongly believe that writing is cathartic and can be a form of release for emotions unexpressed, but if that's all I was looking for - let's be honest, I could just talk to myself. I want to write pieces that bring me closer to someone that I've never met. That allows me to share something about me with someone that is nothing like me. To be a voice in chaos of things you've never thought about, not because you wouldn't think of them, but because they haven't yet crossed your mind; a point of view undiscovered by your consciousness.

That wasn't 2,000 words, but it's a start. My name is Lindsay and I am a writer.