Sure. If you want.
But, may I suggest that you begin with: YOURSELF.
Your life experiences differ from everyone else: your parents, your siblings, your friends, your lover, your hero, etc, etc; therefore, it makes sense to write from the point you know best, the point of: YOU.
Yes, if you write what you think other people want to hear. Yes, if you shy from your core values and copy another voice. Yes, if your motivation is to earn praises and congratulations. (Yes, if you loathe the REWRITE.)
No, if you write what you want to say (concerning things people want to hear). No, if your core values and your voice and a desire to connect to readers guides your writing.
But to do this, you must know: YOURSELF.
And how well do you know yourself?
Don't shut down.
This isn't a counseling session.
It's just a good question.
How thoroughly and HONESTLY do you know yourself and how willing are you to deal with it? - not the Facebook self or the twitter self or any other media self you have established - but the self that stares in the mirror, as the toothpaste runs down your chin, and thinks: "oh...I'm only human, after all." This is the self that knows your limitations and faults. And, we all have limitations and faults, my friends.
Yet, we have something to say, some perspective that can stand up and be counted.
What's important to you?
What riles you?
What moves you to action, to meditation, to tears, to laughter?
These things comprise your perspective. (And, guess what: it's okay for elements of that perspective to change/mature with time.)Is it all worthwhile? Is it all worthy of print? NO. But that falls under the REWRITING section, and we'll get to that later.
WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW. And you should know yourself. The other activities and information you possess will stem from this self knowledge.
So, to start: Know Yourself. (Know Thyself - if you prefer the drama of old English rhetoric.)
Until you're honest about who you are everything you write will be FALSE.
Are there any exercises or tools you can use to better understand who you are and what it is that motivates you? YES, and I'll talk about those in another post. Enticing, isn't it?
- Mark Botts