Having recently finished reading “Naked Lunch,” by William S. Burroughs, I have walked away from this novel with a new mindset. For the first time a book has made me look at writing in a different light. For me, “Naked Lunch” isn’t just a controversial story narrated through the eyes of a junkie, but a novel that has taught me what it means to be a writer.
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From the moment I opened its pages and folded back the spine, I was engulfed with the beauty that is Burroughs. The way that Burroughs writes made me laugh out loud. Yes, there are parts of the novel that shocked me and I had to go back and reread what I just read just to make sure I actually read it correctly, but there is something beautiful in the way the content is scattered and at times difficult to follow.
“Naked Lunch” has given me a new way to look at my own writing; it has made me question my writing style and ask myself if I am holding anything back from my reader. If I am, then why? Is it to please a broader audience? Is it that I am trying to please the editor with hopes of a better chance for publication?
But this novel made me realize I would be happier if I wrote what I pleased. I would be a happier writer if I told the story I wanted to, and not the one I think people, or the editor would want to read.
If “Naked Lunch” has taught me anything, it is to write from my heart. Burroughs has shown me that a writer should write without the pressure of censoring oneself.
If you have something to say, just say it, or write it. People are going to judge you no matter what, but don’t let their words stop you from pursuing your passion. Do not let people stop you from telling the story that you would like to tell and how you want to tell it. Like the old saying goes, follow your passion and everything else will follow.
Chris Rivera is a new and welcome contributor to EducatedWriter.com. Find his blog at At A Razor’s Edge: Drunken ArgumentsChris Rivera