Confessional: Becoming the writer you need to be

What I learned was that to write a book you have to first become the person you need to be to write that book. I had to, like, literally change. I had to become a new person. I had to grow the f— up.
Junot Diaz

I love Junot Diaz. Not in the I wanna have his babies way that most people think about when using the words “I love” in front of a name. No. My love for Junot is strictly literary and really pride. I’ve described awhile back what his winning the Pulitzer means to Latinos and me in particular. So I’m not going into that.

But this quote is so true. To write the story you want to write you have to change. It’s like the old advice that if your character has a hobby, you should learn about the hobby and do it so that you can write about it better.

So as I’m gearing up to finish the murder mystery and dive back into Boleros (still haven’t found my index cards by the way) I wonder what type of person should I be?

I guess this anxiety comes from my characters and their wants and needs. And probably because I like one more than the other. But although the character that I like does take over part of the narration in my book, the other character isn’t one that I can identify with. Mostly because I’m not heartless and partially because I’ve never been married or made a rash, straight from the gut, careless decision.

So does that mean I have to be that type of person, too — careless and irresponsible?

Admittedly, that’s what I love about writing this book it’s NOTHING like my first one and therefore nothing like me. The Year of Us (which is looking for a home, hint, hint.) is chick lit. Straight fun in the sun, like The Last Single Girl. Boleros is opposite, more literary and it’s kicking my butt. I like that challenge.

But the think is, The Year of Us and The Last Single Girl are me. I was characters, in that, we had enough things in common so that I can write with authority. As a founder of Single, No Chaser, what do I know about the decisions to end a marriage?

What I do identify with is living with a decision you’re not crazy about, Caridad’s whole life is a bad decision. How long, though, will I be able to hold on to that connection?

This will be tricky and I hope to give the story justice. I guess I’ll have to “grow the f— up.”

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