Stop Asking For Permission!

Every so often, you’ll see a thread like this. Usually it’s posted in your favorite online writing forum, or it’s posted in the section of your favorite forum with a writing based community.

“Should I do this in my story?”

“I want to write that kind of story, but I don’t know if I should.”

“I want all of the characters in my math based kids series to have names that start with the letter O. What do you think?”

Do you know what you’ll never see in a forum though, whether it is writing based or not? You will never see a post like this.

“Hey everyone, I wanted to run this idea by you. I’m going to write my autobiography, but it’s going to be written as if I were a 400 year old woman who began life as a man.”

You’ll never read, “I’m going to write a short story where it turns out a Chinese inventor developed the earliest form of flying machine. Then I’m going to explore the themes of fear and oppression by having the emperor destroy the machine and kill the inventor before someone missuses the invention. What do you think? Should I write that story?”

You’ll never read those posts. One reason is that the first author passed away well before the invention of the commercially available Internet connection and the second author was a Luddite.

None of the authors you will find in your favorite bookstore asked anyone for permission before writing their story. Okay, you could argue that the proposal package and the query letter was a form of asking for permission, but in most cases the story was already written. And if it wasn’t their first story published, then it will probably resurface as a “First in Print” edition after proving themselves in the literary arena.

What I’m saying is, stop asking for permission. Write the story. Tastes are always going to be subjective and people will always have an opinion about whether or not  you should have or should not have done it, but they’re not the ones who will win or lose if you take their advice.

But if this still doesn’t convince you, then try to think of it this way:

You have my blanket permission to write whatever story you want, however you want to write it.

One thought on “Stop Asking For Permission!

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