Stop Worrying About What Not to Write

Are you afraid of messing around with tropes? What about your plot? Is it too dark? Too light? Is your main character too perfect? Too flawed? Are you afraid to bore, perturb, or even disgust?

Tell me the truth: how many articles did you read this week that made you look back at your own work and cringe?

There’s no limit to the number of voices out there that are only too happy to tell us what or how not to write. I’m not here to fit you with rose-colored glasses. A lot of what these people say is true. Some things work for stories. Some things don’t.

As a creative, no matter what you do, there’s always the risk that your work won’t be well received. There’s also the chance that it will.

Readers aren’t stupid. They aren’t looking to be pandered to. Most readers are intelligent enough to realize that a story is simply an invitation to take a peek inside a writer’s inner world. They don’t have to like or even appreciate what they find there, but maybe they will. It’s all about entertaining the possibilities.

Don’t be afraid to take a silly idea and run with it. Revel in every second of writing it because once you’re done writing a story and you let it loose upon the world, you lose the ability to enjoy the “creating” part of the process. Now, you’re just another hapless author waiting to see how your work will be received. You may have an inkling. It might get accepted somewhere and your editor or publisher might be able to predict a story’s success with some degree of accuracy, but no one ever really knows for sure.

So why sit there staring at a blank page and worrying about stuff you can’t predict?

The best part of being a writer is the writing. Experiment. Carouse. Fuck up. That’s your freedom. That’s where the fun stuff happens. Tie yourself up in knots worrying about what comes later… later!

Don’t let worrying about what not to write ruin writing for you.

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