Stop Being An Ordinary Writer

By on November 30, 2018
Stop Being An Ordinary Writer- Writer's

When it comes to writing, being ordinary is not an option. With all the competition out there if you don’t do something different, something extraordinary that makes people sit up, pay attention and want to find out more, your writing will become lost in a sea of other voices all competing to be heard.

So what does being extraordinary mean? Beyond what is ordinary or usual, being highly exceptional and remarkable - that’s the actual definition - but applying that to one’s writing is a little more complicated.

Many of us shy away from the title of ‘writer’ despite writing productively for years we can often feel unworthy of such lofty accolade and feel only when we’ve sold a billion books or become a number one bestseller that we can be as arrogant as to call ourselves such. Being a writer can also conjure up visions of a tragic, or wildly adventurous life, one that’s entirely unlike the typical 9-5 working day, family dinners, doing mundane chores and a Saturday morning trip to Starbucks being the most exciting thing that happens to you all week.

Leading an ordinary life, however, doesn’t mean that your writing can’t be extraordinary. Most great writers didn’t start that way and had pretty mundane jobs before they were able to write full time.

In a way seeing what’s extraordinary about the ordinary is what makes successful writers stand out. There are a few whose lives seem to take unbelievable, jaw-dropping twists and turns. However, for many of us daily life is pretty monotonous - not necessarily in a bad way, but we all have our little routines.

The thing that’s great about that is that our readers do too, and readers like to be able to relate. That doesn’t mean that your stories should include painstaking details of everything that happens to your characters from the moment they wake up to the moment they fall asleep, but rather, including details of ordinary, daily life can help to create a believable character and a believable world.

However, writers must choose their words to make the ordinary interesting, they must find beauty or tragedy in the simplest of things, they way someone sweeps the floor, a knowing look, an ordered house, these images can be beautifully conveyed and tell the reader so much more than what they are saying on the surface.

Writers must also find the truth, the essence of things. They must be able to get back to the very purest form of an emotion; they must be able to make connections and convey thoughts and feelings in a way that draws readers in and helps them to feel inextricably linked to the characters and their journeys within the story.

Of course, being an extraordinary writer isn’t just about having the ability to take what is ordinary and make it extraordinary, it is also about the dedication to the craft itself. A successful writer is exceptional, simply because of the time, effort, and energy they put into their work. Truly committing to the art takes courage, determination, and a pretty thick skin - so writers are already highly remarkable creatures just because of the nature of what they do.

So to be extraordinary, you don’t have to discount the life you have, however ordinary it may seem. There is beauty and greatness and wonder in the everyday, and it is a remarkable writer that can transform these seemingly ordinary pieces of life into something that is truthful and beautiful and utterly captivating.

Bethany Cadman

Author of Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers

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