Kate DiCamillo was the closing speaker for the SCBWI in New Jersey this year. Her speech shared the contradictions of writing.
The second contradiction in her list was write only for others, write only for yourself. Kate quoted the phrase “What aileth thee?” A writer must ask this question and then answer it. She must ask others what ails them, then reach for the “heart of humanity”, the universal emotions that bond us all.
At the same time the writer is comforting humanity, the writer must not write to anyone else’s whims. Not write to the market trends. Not write to please anyone else. In order to grab the truth, the writer must write what is in his or her heart. In doing so, the joy and love of the words will flow honestly, truthfully, genuinely.
This habit of serving requires the writer to put people first.
Jeff Goins' suggests solving problems, answering questions, and helping people.
Although it is hard for me to think of myself as someone who offers advice or helps others because I feel so green myself, I strive to make this blog a place where others can pose questions and find answeres...if not through me, through others' comments.
So how am I going to practice this habit more often? I am going to actually strive to answer all correspondence on this blog. This is something that I have been lax in and I apologize. But from this moment, I want to respond to every comment. Jeff Goins says this how tribes are formed — through accessibility.
So thank you to all of those who have ever answered a question I might have had or taken me under your wing or included me in your social writers' circle. You have served and can call yourself a writer. I only hope to be able to serve others like you.
Happy Writing (and Serving) everyone!