After seeing Jim Carrey’s video love note to Emma Stone, either he’s channeling Charlie Sheen or he’s really, and I mean, really bad at asking a girl out.
It’s an eerie combination of overly earnest, creepy, and only vaguely funny. Sure, what 22-year-old woman doesn’t want to hear a guy who’s nearly 50 talk about their future of chubby, freckle-faced babies and how the ravages of time affect his bodily functions?
The answer: all of them.
Many younger writers, so full of the need to express themselves (they’re so deep!), pull a Jim Carrey. They pour out every emotion, every bit of angst. They’re frustrated and railing against something. They’re begging and screaming for attention, not caring that it’s attention for all the wrong reasons. It’s like Jerry MacGuire: “Sooth me. Save me! Love me!”
Editors and readers will be more than happy to ignore this self-centered, whining story. And if that doesn’t drive the message home then the stack of rejection letters will. Because what Jim Carrey dashed off was a terrible, clumsy attempt at courting — the equivalent to a horrible first draft.
Hey, we’ve all been there. I’ve deleted or tossed hundreds of stories. Thousands of pages. It’s the fawnlike steps toward becoming a confidant writer, one who can write about what he or she cares about while making it interesting to an audience. Simply put: Forget your ego. Realize you that it’s about them — their wants and needs.
But write your heart out. That’s what first drafts are for. Just make sure that you revise and edit until the story has that same effect on your audience, not just you.
If that seems like an alien concept, then watch this video and pretend you’re Emma Stone. That’s probably how your readers feel — they’re just too nice to tell you.