4/16/12

I Must Be Me

I want to write like Patrick Ness.

Like Ally Carter and Ally Condie and Sara Zarr.

Like J. R. R. Tolkein, C. S. Lewis, and Victor Hugo.

Like Suzanne Collins, and Elizabeth Bunce, and Marissa Meyer.

Like Margaret Peterson Haddix and Megan Whalen Turner and Sherwood Smith.

Like Shannon Hale and Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker and Eva Ibbotson and Jean Thesman.


And I can't.

I can't write like they do. I want to. But I can't.

This is devastating, not going to lie. But it's also a stellar revelation.

I can't write like these awesome people. And if I could, what good would that do anybody? Because the world really needs two Ally Carters? Two Sherwood Smiths? Two Frank Perettis? Two? What would I do with two?*

There is already a Suzanne Collins. The world already has one Victor Hugo. These authors did not become great by becoming someone else. Not even Tolkein and Lewis, best friends, tried to be each other. They tried to be themselves. They had their own stories to tell, and they told them.
There is only one Melody. I can only be Melody. I can't be Megan or Margaret or Marissa. I can only write like Melody, I can only write the stories that Melody was born to write.
Attempting anything else would be hazardous to my health. It would be an insult to my identity, and it would deprive the world of me. I will accomplish nothing great by trying to do what's already been done. I must be original. I must be me.

*Why, the same thing you do with one!

2 comments:

Traci Kenworth said...

I feel the same way.

Shelley Sly said...

I know what you mean. But you have such a unique voice. I want you to be Melody, because I want to read books by Melody, not just copies of someone else. (I've read authors who are trying too hard to sound like XYZ, and it shows.) Who knows... maybe one day, readers will want to write in the style of Melody. ;)