I was reading my feeds today when I stumbled across this letter from Ray Bradbury:
Boy did I need to read that. I actually set it as the wallpaper on my computer to remind me the important lesson that I forgot.
It is easy for me as a writer to get caught up in the hype of others. Recently, I have been working on a new fantasy story, and I became obsessed with making the story fresh, original, and free from the clichés and tropes of the genre. How stupid is that?!
It is impossible to be original by willing it to be. Magical thinking, oddly enough, doesn't make it happen. It just leads to writers block. My goal should not have been to be original, but to write something that I would enjoy reading. I forgot that the experience is more important that the content in a lot of ways. As long as I am not copying another story, and telling the new one in my voice and style, it will be fresh, and if other people don't think so, then to hell with them.
While I need to write stories that you all will love and enjoy, if I don't love it, you will see that in the story and won't like it either.
I just need to focus on telling a story I love, and hope enough of you like it too. If I am not true to myself, what is the point?