Everyone is amazingly unique, which is to say, no one is.
I wholeheartedly believe that every person I meet has an incredible story. That doesn’t mean they know how to tell it. When it comes to working with authors, a great story doesn’t mean they know how to write it, and it most certainly doesn’t mean anyone is going to want to read it.
I’m not sure I can be any more blunt, but I’ll try. I’m going to border on insultingly honest. Your disease, addiction, grand excursion, near death experience, love story, whatever the hardest thing you’ve ever been through: none of them make you special. Let me reiterate, everyone has an amazing story, but very few have the talent to tell (write) it well.
It’s hard for any of us to escape our own ego, at least to the degree that would allow us to be unbiased enough to gauge whether or not someone else will want to read about our lives. Sure, your friends and family might be interested in the CliffNotes version, but how are you going to get a complete stranger completely enthralled with your words?
Here is how to start. This is what I tell nearly every aspiring author I work with. Write for yourself and edit for your audience. Stay open to feedback, and for the love of whatever you believe in – work with people who are going to tell you the truth.
*photo credit Sara Cimino