Why I Write Straight from my Shameless, Outrageous, Warped Imagination
by Ashlyn Chase
I just read an article about how comedy writers should not use too much humor and how they should temper it, i.e. curb the urge to let the heroine crawl out the bathroom window. Huh? What’s wrong with that? Hey, I’ve done it myself (and I’m not just talking fiction!).
Fine. Some people aren’t comfortable letting their slips show. Isn’t that what editors are for? To reel us in when necessary? I don’t care if my Freudian slips show and it seems to be okay with my editors. Even more okay with fans. I can hardly believe that I actually have fans or that my work generates great reviews and reader mail! Maybe others are warped too, I don’t know.
What I do know is this. 1) Our world can use a few good belly-laughs and a lot of love. 2) I enjoy writing when I’m having fun with it and the more fun I have the less I care what people think. And 3) Readers can tell when words come from a place of passion and truth. My passion is making people laugh.
And truth? You might think that’s an odd word to describe a fiction writer’s goal, especially one who writes Vampire and Shapeshifter comedies. Here’s the thing…a wonderful quote I read ages ago said it best. “You must be fearless to be a writer.” I wish I could remember the fearless female’s name, but I can’t. The idea being that each writer has some sort of truth to tell, regardless of the manner in which they tell it. It takes guts to tell your own truth with your own voice. If you try to write “safe” you run the risk of boring your audience, and boredom is death to an author.
We all have words to live by. Whether positive or negative, some of these words hit a chord and stick. I’ve found some wonderful mentors along the way who’ve imparted words of wisdom I’ll never forget. My number one wise woman was my mother. She often said to me, “Nothing ventured; Nothing gained.” Yup. She was right. Well, except when great things just fall into one’s lap with absolutely no effort, but how often does that happen? It even takes faith, foresight, and effort to buy a lottery ticket.
She also said people would be jealous of me all my life. Wow, that was a trip to lay on a teenager! But she was right about that too. And you can’t let jealousy stop you. Some people will be jealous of the time you spend writing. Tough noogies. Some will be jealous that you can do something they can’t. Yay you. Who knows…some people might even be jealous that you once had the guts to climb out a bathroom window to avoid a lounge lizard who thought he could charm your pants off. So what? Be fearless enough to write about it. Whatever your gift, embrace it. Be passionate about it. Write whatever you really love and take no prisoners!