Molly Ringwald On Writing

The Breakfast Club
Photo via Wikipedia

I bet that’s a headline you never thought you’d see.

Ringwald has apparently written a novel, and in this New York Times piece she draws the connection between acting and writing. (Which I, obviously, find very astute. Right down to the headline: “Act Like a Writer.”)

It’s a pretty thoughtful essay, and though it’s geared mainly to fiction writing I think any writer (or actor) can appreciate the lessons here.

One of those has to do with control, and it’s a good reminder that we can craft and hone and polish all we want, but ultimately we’ll never be able to predict how our audience interprets the words:

A writer will never be able to control entirely how his or her words are read, just as an actor will never be the one to decide which take will be used.

It’s like the old Breakfast Club line: “You see us as you want to see us” — through the prism of your own viewpoints, experiences and prejudices.

In other words, success is not in how well you communicate, but in how well you’re understood.

2 thoughts on “Molly Ringwald On Writing

  1. Rob, so true!

    I write a weekly blog and I’m never sure how the audience will react.

    I’ve come to the conclusion I need to continue to write about things that interest me. Then, write in a way that reflects my voice

  2. Steve, I agree completely — after all, if the things you write about don’t interest you first, then the product (and the blogger) will suffer.

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