Something that I continually come up against each day (I’m sure you do too if we’re being honest) is staying true to self. This extends beyond my writing. Everything I’ve given since starting this blog has been my genuine voice. Thoughts are legit, lessons learned are still gripped tightly, and humor is straight from my wacky brain and how I view the world. I admit, I hold some things back but for the most part, I keep it level.
I know I’m not alone in this because I see so many people everyday whether in my day to day or on social media expressing these practices of self. Sometimes, you can tell people are still not all the way there but inching closer to understanding who they are, what they believe, and what their purpose is. One thing I’m forever grateful for is my own journey in this regard. To look back at my life just ten years ago, I get a little embarrassed knowing what I did and said to others and even what I thought about myself.
You can’t go back but you can learn from mistakes. It’s only by these mistakes that I am able to shake my head and thank God I’m not there anymore.
(At this time, you’re probably saying, “Oh, it’s one of these blog posts.” Yes, it is. I dare you to keep reading!)
How this relates to writing is simply you have to write what you know and like. I’ve tried writing stories set in another genre but not even I can push through the struggle. Now, I don’t think I will forever write fantasy (I truly hope not) because then I’d be limiting myself. My hope is that I can get these stories that are fresh and inside me out and off to the world, making way for others that might stray to different audiences. A great example is Stephen King. Love or hate him, he actually has stories that are not horror/thriller. Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile are both his and wonderful stories!
If I wanted to have success in the literary world (or just a better chance at it), then I’d chase whatever fad is happening at the moment. I tend to joke that I may do that just to see if I can get published faster but I’d feel too bad for selling out. (No vampire meets werewolf gets locked in a game to the death dystopian future will be found in my books. Ha!)
Again, in order for me to be able to push outside the boundaries (and comforts) of writing fantasy, it will require me to expand myself in new ways. I don’t know what that looks like at this time or even how it will come about (probably naturally since that’s how most major changes in my life take place). My climb out of the places of immaturity and naivety in my early twenties took quite a while (they do say boys take longer to become men and there’s definitely truth to that).
Perhaps a lot of people struggle with or are not willing to admit to their shortcomings or falls in youth but I love that I can share that journey. I’ve had the opportunity to do so a few times with others and it’s therapeutic to be genuine and honest about that part of my life. Even now, I have this sense of peace being a bit vulnerable and transparent with all of you. I write and I consider myself a writer but if I cannot be true to myself in that aspect of my life, how could I expect to anywhere else?
Call to Action: If I did write the vampire meets werewolf after getting locked in a game to the death dystopian future story, I’d call it “Fang Games”. Uh oh… I might have a fun little tongue-in-cheek story prompt I should throw out there to the interwebz. By the way, if you are one who wastes time on Pinterest (I say that light-heartedly of course), then follow my writing board where you will no doubt be entertained by my pins of what I enjoy and find inspiring to my writing. Find here: https://www.pinterest.com/adamhenderson49/my-writing-board/