I Don’t Think So

I just read an interview with Neil Gaiman in July/August’s issue of Poets & Writers. He spoke about being able to write what he wants. He said in all his time as a journalist he had the chance to interview many writers. He found it sad that some of the writers were not writing what they wanted but what the public, and their publishers, expected. Neil Gaiman was offered a huge con…tract if he would only write more of a certain kind of book. He turned them down. He wanted to keep the freedom he has of writing what he wants.
I thought his words were interesting, and I could see how writers could be taken in at the thought of a book deal. But them I pushed aside the thought and went about my daily life.
My new book is in the editing process. One of the dear English teachers at church offered to edit it after reading the horrible job I did on my first book. After the editing was done she wrote a summary of her overall thoughts. She made suggestions, and offered some constructive comments.
What caught me by surprise was that she said to “use your template to write multiple books that are based in different settings.” So after reading Neil Gaiman’s interview, here I am reading a suggestion that I create an outline and stick to it? Have a formula and stick with it? Write the same story, different characters? Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the work she did for me on my book, and believe me it was tons of work. But the last thing I want to do is be a “same character, different movie” kind of writer.
I want to be like Neil Gaiman, writing what I want because it is the story that speaks to me. Writing the stories that speak to different people. Isn’t that what being creative is?
I write because I like to write, because I feel the need to write. I don’t write to make tons of money, or to be the next Stephen King, or be well known. I write to pass onto my children and grandchildren, and hopefully those who need to know God, what is inside of me.
So thanks, but no thanks.
Be the kind of writer you want other aspiring writers to look at and say, “I want to write just like that.”