By Erica Verillo on Publishing … and Other Forms of Insanity:
Every year I write a New Year’s Resolution. Last year I resolved to write what I feared. Writers tend to find a niche for themselves, be it a genre, like science fiction, or a form, like poetry. It’s not a bad thing to have an area of expertise, but to truly expand, writers need to venture into unknown territory. Fiction writers need to experiment with nonfiction, poets with essays, memoirists with fiction.
Often these experiments produce godawful results, but just making the attempt to force one’s mind into a different form of expression can awaken new areas of creativity.
Not being a hypocrite (well, not much), I embarked valiantly on the form of writing I most feared: the truth. Writing in first person about actual events has always made me squirm, and just as I suspected, writing my memoir proved to be about as entertaining as pulling my own teeth. I got nowhere for months. And then, voila! I realized it was the same as writing fiction! There is a story arc, characters to develop, a whole world to explore.
So, now that I have faced my terror, there is only one more resolution in store for me.