I’m Kathryn. I write things.
I write all kinds of things. My most recent project with Familius, due out early this summer, is an adorable and hopefully hilarious ice cream cookbook, co-written with Barbara Beery to cure all of your terrible days with frozen dessert. That was a fun one to work on! I can’t wait to share the cover with you. Because it is rad. But I think it may still be secret.
I’ve published three short non-fiction books. I’ve written fiction, never published. I’ve written hundreds, possibly thousands of blog posts for several different sites.
But I still get writer’s block. Pretty much every time I sit down to write. I read something fun I’ve written in the past and think, “Who wrote that? I will never write anything fun again.” And the longer I wait in between writing sessions, the worse it gets, the less I believe I can string two coherent sentences together.
So, since my first attempt at fiction got side-tracked by several really fun (I’m so glad I did them) non-fiction projects, it’s been several years since I’ve attempted to make up stories. I keep coming up with ideas but when it comes to actually getting them typed out, I sit and stare at the screen, type a few sentences, delete them, and feel utterly and completely inadequate.
And so I keep reading. I read about great writing and how to execute it. I read great writing and drool all over it. And then I sit down to write and nothing measures up.
Well I’ve been focusing on streamlining my life lately, minimizing and essentializing, and I’ve decided to pour some real focus into fiction. 500 words per day. At least 4 days per week. That really isn’t a huge commitment. Unless you are crippled by overwhelming self-doubt and writer’s despair!!!
But this week I’m three for three. Three writing days, 1500 words. Woot. The first couple of days were super rough. But today I had an epiphany.
“Stop trying to write someone else’s book.”
I’ve read so many great authors in the past year. Shannon Hale, Jeanne Birdsall, Brandon Sanderson, Megan Whalen Turner, Grace Lin, Jennifer A. Nielsen. So, when I sit down to write, there’s some subconscious part of me that compares myself to them and tries to do what they do. And then my writing is crap.
The first two days I was writing like a poor man’s Shannon Hale. But I don’t write like Shannon Hale. I LERVE her! But our voices are way not the same. So, of course, if I’m trying to be her, to write one of her books, it will be sad. And not in a good way.
So for today’s 500 words, I wrote in my voice. And it was so much fun. Everything just flowed. Instead of saying, I need to sound more literary or sophisticated or artistic, I just wrote my story. My. Story. And I really like it.
So, you may not be a writer. But in some area of your life are you trying to write someone else’s story?
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I can’t wait to read anything you write. 100% you.
You’re the best Missy. Thanks!
I love your writing. Your writing. And I love blog posts like this. I’m going to try and not write anyone else’s story this week. Just mine.
Thanks Angee. I want to read your story!
I love to read anything you write! I am so glad that you are continually discovering your own voice. You always keep me happy with your thoughts! Thanks for sharing.