The pros and cons of Kurt Vonnegut

. 1 min read

Among the seven (was it seven? I don't remember) books that are sure to give me an existential crisis is Kurt Vonnegut's Galapagos. So needless to say Vonnegut is both one of my favorite writers and a freaking genius in what he does. He's funny, powerful, and satirical, all in one. But above all else, he points out my own shortcomings.

I've read several of Vonnegut's works and every time, two things are painfully clear:

  1. Vonnegut's delightful style comes naturally to him, and
  2. I still haven't found my natural style, which makes me a sucky writer.

Now, I'm not necessarily saying that what I write or the quality of my writing is bad. My grammar is perfectly on point. I'm saying that until I find a style of writing that feels as much mine as Vonnegut's feels Vonnegut's, I have no hope of becoming anywhere as good as him, or any other writer whom I respect.

For example - I find myself often falling in the trap of taking my story too seriously after I've got it going. The beginning is easy because I have nothing to lose. But when I've grown too attached to the story and the characters and the meaning and what not, I fear I'll ruin the whole thing if I just write in a manner of having fun.

But, reading Vonnegut, it's obvious he never did anything but have fun with his writing!

So until I - or you - find the style that comes naturally, having fun might be the answer. Work in the way that doesn't feel like work. And don't forget to regularly remind yourself to do it.