So Google has foiled me once again! Too bad their new privacy settings don’t alert them when my email is clogged…But life goes on and I’m finally here with today’s Wicked Little Wednesday with Aretha Smith! Aretha is blogging today on the freedom of being a writer. I have to say, I wholeheartedly agree with her. Someone, whose name escapes me, once said, “A writer is someone who has taught his mind how to misbehave.” So why should we only write what we know? We’re writers, damnit! The masters of our own universes. We are authors, hear us roar!!
She’s also giving a little taste of her upcoming release, Hearts of Time… I’m tingling with anticipation!
Saying No to Writing Only What I Know
One of the freedoms of writing fiction is the power and control to create the characters you want and the plotlines you want, sometimes even farfetched ones. With that freedom comes the ability to create characters that live lives far more interesting than mine, and those who encounter life situations that I have not yet, and in many cases, would hope I’d never have to encounter. But I’ve often heard it mentioned over the years that us writers should play it safe by writing only what we know. Well I have a problem with this notion, since if I stuck to writing only what I knew, I’d be relegated to writing about librarians, piano players, church-going seamstresses and gym rats who obsessively count every caloric morsel that goes into their mouths on a daily basis, because you see, that’s what I know and that’s who I am. Now mind you, a talented writer can create a character that has the most boring profession in the world and still manage to write an interesting story around him or her. I’m certainly don’t dispute this fact.
One of the beautiful things about the Internet is that it puts knowledge at our fingertips–literally. Long gone are the days where one had to trek across town to the public library and spend hours between the dust bunny-ridden aisles, leafing through books to find information on subjects they know nothing about. Now, all one need do is logon onto the world-wide-web, Google something specific and be greeted with a host of search hits from semi-relevant to dead-on-specific in regards to the information they seek. One of the things I’ve learned as a writer is that research is my friend. In fact, my passion as a writer couldn’t possibly be more well-matched in terms of my educational background; I am fortunate to have a background in both libraries and research and this comes in quite handy when it comes time to get down to serious research for my stories.
When it comes to the Internet, of course it goes without saying that not everything on the Internet can be taken as fact, there are plenty of reputable websites that contain hoards of information on any desired subject, not to mention the advent of social media and it’s subsequent aspect of social networking has opened plenty of doors to network with others who have lived the exact experiences one may seek to write about in a novel. I’d like to think that having not fought in the Vietnam War would prevent me from writing a good story about a character who is a Vietnam War vet. And one of the best things about doing research for my novels is that I learn so many things along the way that I may not have learned otherwise.
So telling me to stick to writing only what I know is akin to tying my hands behind my back as a writer. Writing fiction is one of those freeing experiences that I treasure almost like no other. When I sit down at my laptop and dream up intriguing characters, I need to be free to let my mind explore possibilities and experiences for my characters that I may never in this lifetime ever get to experience. Taking that ability away from me would cripple my passion, and as a writer who prides herself on her creative abilities, I simply can’t have that.
I look forward to sharing my upcoming April 17th release, Hearts of Time with you!
Hearts of Time Blurb:
Isn’t it funny when the thing you want the least becomes the thing you want the most?
Olivia Putnam is a fiercely independent, twenty-nine year old career woman. Having survived her mother’s untimely death eight years ago, she’s managed to raise her younger sister all on her own along with fulfilling her dream of becoming successful corporate attorney. She has lots of money, designer clothes, and the other luxuries of life. The man in her life, Theo Griffin, wants her for a lifetime and would gladly marry her on the spot, but two things stand in the way: Olivia’s reservations about commitment and her obsessive work habits. She’s torn between finding time for her relationship and devoting time to growing her career. But when she meets successful realtor, thirty-one year old Alistair Davenport, at her best friend’s wedding, her ideas about love and commitment are about to change. Although falling in love is the last thing on both their minds, Alistair’s chance business proposal to Olivia proves to be the catalyst that ignites their passion for each other…
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