I asked the writer Christy Crutchfield for her writing advice, here’s what she said:
Chris Bachelder said something along these lines (not a direct quote): “Get the bad writing out of your system now because it will still be bad later.” I have to remember this when my writing is making me angry. Sometimes I have to write something shitty before I can get to something good.
Agree or Disagree? Agree. This is good advice, but I hate it. I hate good advice sometimes. I hate that my writing can suck sometimes. I hate to be in the middle of something and for everything to be terrible. But you know it’s gonna come, that it’s going to be there and that every magical word won’t see be in the finished product. It sucks, but it’s a fact.
Someone once asked me why I wrote from the male perspective. There are enough people telling a man’s story–why not tell a woman’s story? This person had only read two of my stories (I write from the POV of both women and men), but regardless, even if he had good intentions, it felt so limiting and short sighted.
Agree or Disagree? Agree That It’s Bad Advice.
Agree. Sure it’s fine to write from any perspective, as long as it’s credible. I’m a guy but that doesn’t mean I know everything about men. And I think it’s the same for women. When people say that men can’t write women or women can’t write men, well, maybe they don’t know a person from another gender who’s like that? Maybe we’re just basing it all on stereotypes? Writing from another gender can be fun, empowering and provoke some new thought processes. In this case we’re talking about fiction, I think, even though I can see it working in journalism. With a non-fiction piece, you’d have to be true to the person (no matter what gender they are) and write from their exact perspective. But in fiction, it’s made-up right? And it should be fun or what are we doing?
Christy Crutchfield writes and teaches in Western Massachusetts. Her work has appeared in Mississippi Review online, Salt Hill Journal, the Collagist, Newfound, and others. Her novel How to Catch a Coyote is forthcoming from Publishing Genius in 2014. She is a contributor to the Small Press Book Review and a native of Atlanta. Here’s a great interview with Christy at Publishing Genius.