June 29, 2010 § 1 Comment

It seems like great writers have one thing in common—they say things other people don’t. They do this for various reasons.

  • Some are great story tellers and then they tell stories other people can’t think of. 
  • Some are great at saying something complicated in an eloquent way. 
  • Some say things other people don’t want to mess with.

The book The Help by Kathryn Stockett is partly about a woman who writes a book no one else wants to mess with. She thought of her book idea after an editor in New York encouraged her to mail in her best ideas for some feedback. The writer, Miss Skeeter, says this:

It’s not until after I mail the letter that I realize I probably chose those ideas she would think impressive, rather than ones I was really interested in.

“Oh Miss Skeeter!” I thought, “Big mistake! You have to write what you think!”  Then I smugly read on, waiting for silly Miss Skeeter to figure out what the rest of us already know.

I must say though, since then that line has been bugging me. I have always written with an audience in mind, which I think leads to my constant self-editing which definitely leads to YAWN. So, I’m starting a new project which is a TOP SECRET (keep out)  journal. I kind of wish it was a notebook with a padlock that I kept buried in the lawn, but it’s actually just a Word Doc on my computer.

Anyway, my goal is to write stuff in there that I would die (just die!) if someone else read. I’ve only put a few entries down so far but WOW, what a bunch of junk. And WOW, I feel like I’m in high school again. But I’ve committed to trying this for a while to see if it makes my writing better. I’ll let you know.


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§ One Response to TOP SECRET(Keep Out)

  • Dave says:

    That kind of writing can be fun and informative, but a word of advice (FROM EXPERIENCE) — if you write it, it will get read — like it or not. (Another of Murphy’s laws, I think.)

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