Just for today, let’s be outrageous.
Let’s find everything within us that is wild and improbable, that is fantastic beyond imagination, and let’s use it to elevate our writing. To seize the moment. To be the writers we were meant to be.
Let’s realize, just for today, that we have the ability to use words so that no reader walks away unchanged.
“What? Are we in the business of changing people?”
Only if you think writing something worth remembering is your calling.
Only if you care about your reader.
Only if you believe it’s possible for humans to change and grow and that this means you, too.
Because, really, how do you think they do that, that change and grow thing? Is it by thinking the same thoughts over and over? By taking the same actions? By seeing the world in the same way? By feeling only what they’ve felt before?
No, no, a thousand times no.
In the world of change, writers burn bright.
We are among the few who are allowed inside the mind and hearts of complete strangers. We change the world one page at a time, one reader at a time.
We go in there and use their own imaginations to create a reality (guided by our words) they have never experienced until they read what we have written. They “see” what we write, entire worlds not just words. Their bodies respond with real chemical changes. We can even change how they breathe.
That’s some heady stuff.
But I think most writers waste this opportunity to change the world. They retell stories we’ve heard before, with only slight variation. They write what we already know. They forget that the first person to change is themselves.
Imagine writing something that expands you? You are your first audience, right?
So back to being outrageous. The point is that writing is powerful stuff, and it’s easy to slip into meeting writing deadlines, getting the story told, and getting a check mark.
A good way to kick yourself in the butt is to be outrageous. On purpose. Outrageously amazing writing will get you a little bit closer to that heady stuff.
5 Outrageous Ways To Focus Your Writing and Change the World
#1 Write Outrageous Moments
You know the ones. It’s what you’ll forever remember after you’re done reading and why you clip the article, save the book, and underline the passage.
It’s that one scene that will forever be frozen in your memory..
The moment you see the hidden web of connection.
The illuminated conclusion.
The conversation that changed the trajectory of all action to come.
The moment that your breathing changed.
#2 Write Outrageous Characters
Give us a new myth, a new version of who we are or could become.
Show us that part of ourselves that we wouldn’t look at if we had a choice.
Make us realize we are more complex than we thought possible. Scare us, heal us, amaze us, or leave us shocked. But above all, mesmerize us through the lens of character.
#3 Uncover Outrageous Truths
Don’t stop writing until you do. Until you have told a truth, you have only flung words onto the page. Nice words. Well behaved. Pseudo-deep and full of empty spaces held together with twine and half-hearted glue.
#4 Take Outrageous Risks
As a writer, you need to feel the brisk and ice-cold wind of near death. Safe prose, workable scenes, they don’t change anything or anyone.
Take a risk and let your brave face take the onslaught of cutting ice and jagged, wild expression, that razor-sharp prose with teeth. You’ll feel alive and so will your reader.
#5 Find the Outrageous Ending that is Greater than the Sum of the Words.
Go somewhere important. Blow our doors off. Realize what your subconscious was telling you as your wrote everything that came before, and then write it with everything you’ve got.
The reverberation will be something to behold.
And today, you’ll have been outrageous.