Each of us is unique

My creative writing classmate and I went down to the coke machine during the break. His name was Jack and he had a wry sense of humour. Every conference we went to, he made me laugh, speculating about who was sleeping with whom. He was a great adventure writer and because of his position as the head of a large Milwaukee factory, he had a good feel for anything to do with the business world.

I loved everything I read of his.

The professor had been telling us how each of us was unique. Yes, he said, the subjects we were writing about had been written about before, but not from our point of view.

Jack pulled open the tab of his cola and took a swallow. A sad look filled his big face. “Nobody wants to hear what I have to say,” he said. Jack’s attitude is common today. Why? Do people want to hear what you have to say?

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2 responses to “Each of us is unique

  1. I found this post interesting because if you don’t think people don’t want to hear and read what you “have to say” you might be in the wrong business. I think its important to have an ego in this business we call writing. I think if we are all truthful to ourselves, we all want to be read and to be praised for our efforts.

    Ed has a good point that we are all unique as writers. We each bring something different to the table and we have a readership that will enjoy what we write. The key is be yourself. Figure out what type of writer you are and embrace it. Recently, I’ve struggled with this. I’ve been workshopping with a group of writers who are far more “literary” than me. My confidence waned as I struggled by allowing myself to compare my writing to theirs and really, it was really comparing apples to oranges. The turning point for me came when I realized what type of writer I was and I began to take pride in my abilities to write the types of stories that I enjoyed, my own unique brand. I stopped worrying about being literary, stopped writing literary fiction (if I ever did) and started having fun again writing the stories that I would like to read.

    A little long-winded but I think its important to give a real life example of Ed’s advice in action. Embrace your uniqueness. Be yourself as a writer.

    • Right you are. Long ago I realized I was writing for the supermarket and not for the literary magazines. You gave a great example of honouring your own unique nature, David. Thank you.. Good for you. Glory in yourself. My old writing buddy is gone now. He left no writing behind for his family perhaps because he didn’t believe in himself.

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