Write something that scares you.
Now, I’m not just talking about, “Write your own Stephen King story” or “Write a story about being covered in scorpions.” Not that you can’t do those things. Have at.
However, I encourage everyone to write at least one piece of fiction in their lives that really scares the piss out of you. You don’t have to show it to anyone. You don’t even have to keep it. Tear it up into tiny pieces and throw those pieces away in a Dr. Pepper can. Burn it.
Write about the things that come up in conversation that make you go, “Oh, hey, look, a cheeseball. I’m going to go over here and hang out with the cheeseball for a while.”
Write about the things that haunt you between when you lay down to go to sleep at night and when you get to that point where you forget your thoughts five seconds later.
I can’t tell you what that something is. But you know what it is. Own it.