15. Take risks!
When I first started writing, I was very concerned with how people would view me as a person based on the things I wrote about, but then I realized that with that kind of mentality, I was not being true to my craft. Don’t be afraid to shock people! You are not who they think you are. This is important to understand because if not, it may limit you and your creativity. I look at myself like a vessel, and no matter how “good” or “bad”, content wise, my story is, I have to remain true to the story because everything is relative. As a child, my mother was addicted to drugs. My brother and I were in and out of foster care, my father wasn’t around, we were poor...I could go on and on and on. These life experiences helped shape me as a person, and although, I did not experience firsthand what it meant to be an addict, I lived the consequences. Now, I could write about unicorns and rainbows, but that was not my reality. In no way do I want to glorify some of the topics I discuss in my work—drug use, prostitution, infidelity, drug dealing, etc., but I do want to discuss the consequences of those actions in hopes that I can help the next person. That’s what writing is all about—to inform, inspire, entertain, or even to be provocative. Never shy away from your story even if it’s not truly “yours”. Remember, stories, characters, or plots come to you for a reason, so let them out!