"Is it safe?"
By Kenneth Mark Hoover at Hoover's Corner
A writer friend of mine, Sandra Wickham, was trying to brainstorm ideas and found herself, in her own words, “floundering.” She wondered aloud if people had any tips on how to dig deep for a big idea.
I expect she got lots of good advice, because if writers have anything in over abundance it’s advice. Myself included. But, here is what I told her:
“Take chances. Push the envelope. Think outside the areas you are comfortable in and imagine what makes you uncomfortable.”
This fits in with my own philosophy about writing. I don’t believe in playing it safe when it comes to writing. I don’t know if that has ever been part of my makeup when it comes to writing, but it may have been early on before I wised up. I grew up a big Henry Miller fan and he was a huge inspiration to me when I started to write in a serious way. You can’t delve into Miller and come away with the thought process that your writing should be dull and uninspiring. You may not like Miller, but you can’t argue he ever played it safe.
Remember Marathon Man, that movie with Dustin Hoffman and Laurence Olivier? There’s a chilling scene where Hoffman is asked over and over again by Olivier, “Is it safe? Is it safe?“
As a writer I believe you should ask yourself the same question about every story you write. If the answer to any part of the story is Yes, it is safe…then you should probably pass it by unless you have a very good reason not to... (con't on Hoover's Corner)