So, today's post is a bit different, and yet pertains to all artists of any medium and their struggles. I recently read the actress Viola Davis' memoir "Finding Me." She dives right in and gives raw, passionate, desperate descriptions of the life she has led. I felt uncomfortable in the first few chapters, but each time I thought to put the book down, I picked it back up and did what she wanted me to do. I dived in and swam right along with her. Her story is of course courageous, loving, and again, raw. Her life is not sugar coated and her story all the more touching for her honesty. What amazed and inspired me was this painful honesty and her true, deep modesty. She inspires the true meaning of freedom and the responsibility for that freedom, hard-earned and well deserved. She was born into the same country I was, but her story is vastly different from mine. She took responsibility at an early age to be the best that she could be in a world that stood against her. She also presents a lesson to me as a writer that goes very well with the question of the month in August. "...do you try to be original, or do you write what readers want to read?" Viola Davis' story is this question: Do you be original or give what you think your audience wants? "Finding Me," her answer to that question, is a compassionate, sharp, no nonsense read.
August 3 question: When you set out to write a story, do you try to be original or do you try to give readers what (you think) they want?
I start out writing what I want to write. Once I get the first draft down and am revising, I often change things that little voices in my head (and not the ones I should be listening to, as in, my characters) tell me will make readers like it better. Then I have to go back and weed some of those nasties out and go for what my characters tell me they want/need to do as best I can. This little balancing game drives me mad. Reading Viola's story has made me re-think what I'm going to do next...
Please visit our IWSG co-hosts this month and thank them for helping out!
Loni Townsend, https://www.lonitownsend.com/
Lee Lowery, http://leelowery.com
Tara Tyler, http://taratylertalks.blogspot.com/