I read an inspiring piece of advice for all writers and artists from Jack Brown in the January 2012 edition of the Songwriter’s Association of Washington’s newsletter.
“The best songwriting advice I ever got in my life was from a Nashville pro—even though my sound is
not a Nashville sound. He said, ‘You have to remember that it’s not your job to tell people your story.
After a few minutes at best, they’re bored with your story. What they want to hear in
your songs is THEIR story.’” –Jack Brown
So true. Failed first novels are often too focused on the autobiographical (”literal memory is your enemy” is a mantra I learned from Robert Olen Butler). I say this from personal experience. Learning to save my diary as the receptacle for my personal effusions has been a professional lifesaver for me.
Get over your own story, and embrace Story.