by Dave White
"I wanna be Don Mattingly!"
"Well, then I can be Dave Winfield!"
Remember playing baseball when you were a kid? You always wanted to be the best player, and you wanted to pretend you were the best player on your favorite pro team.
Sometimes, when I'm cruising the crime blogs or reading blurbs, I see a mention of what a person wants to be.
I want to be Dennis Lehane.
The next Michael Connelly!
Something along those lines.
I don't get why that's an author's goal. I don't get why they want to be someone else.
I wish my name could be said in the same breath as those the authors I mentioned above. But I do not want to be them. My goal is to be Dave White. I want to have books that resonate on their own. I want to be my own man. I'm not out to try and write like someone else. I'm trying to write like me.
I want to be the best I can be. And I tend to like authors who strike out on their own.
If you're an aspiring writer, you should want to be the best you CAN be. Don't try to be Lee Child. Don't try to be Lehane or Crumley or Lippman or anyone else. Be yourself. Write the book you want to read.
Odds are that's going to make you put out something that hasn't been done before. You're going to have a voice. You're going to look at scenes from a different angle.
It's okay to have idols, mentors, and inspirations... but at some point people leave those behind and strike out on their own.
At some point you have to be yourself. And, if you ask me what my goal is as a writer, that is what I want to be.