My mother always said she had no talents, but that wasn’t true. She was a wonderful cook who loved to feed her friends and family. No matter who showed up or when, it was a delight to her to whip the ingredients for a meal fit for a king. She loved children, and they loved her back. Whether blood or not, they called her “Granny,” and she enjoyed reading, playing multiple games of checkers and dolls with them. She had a special touch with her “art work.”
So you suppose the artists of these paintings put themselves into their work?
Do you think the architects of these buildings did a sloppy job, or did they study, plan, sketch and re-sketch to make sure their creation was both beautiful and memorable?
What do you think Louis L’Amour, or CS Lewis did to make their books stand out?
What is it about art that stands out to you? What is it about a book that draws you into the chapters? Into the pages? What is it about a craft that attracts your attention?
Three reasons I think every author needs to address to truly create a great piece of work.
- Write what you know. That’s good advice, but don’t be afraid to branch out, to venture into the unknown (that’s what research is for!), to dare to be you.
- Put yourself into your effort. Feel what your character in a book is feeling. Put yourself in that situation or scene, and feel the hatred, the romance, the sorrow or the fear. Imagine what that quilt would look like if you added a touch of a vivid color you’re hesitating over, afraid it might be too bright. Dab a bit of white in that drab scene you’re painting. How does it make you feel? What would put your heroine or hero into real anguish? How would they actually feel if the man they thought would never look their direction would stop, turn around, and stare straight into his/her eyes?
- Be true to the genre you feel called to write. Yes, I feel authors can write in more than one. Yes, I think it’s good to expand our writing horizons. Just be sure you know that’s what you’re suppose to do.
Doesn’t matter what you write: nonfiction, news articles, fiction, plays or screen plays, etc., if you’re a writer, you know it, or will know it. When you do, use every bit of talent you have. Don’t shortchange your novel or yourself. Make your work stand out from the crowd, make it powerful, make it poignant, feel it with energy!
AND GIVE IT ALL YOU’VE GOT!