When I wrote my first novel, The Speechwriter, I tried to put myself in a tough position. As a man, I wrote in the the first person perspective of a woman. It wan't easy and I don't know if I did the greatest job, but it was fun. Especially the sex scene.
As a writer and as a person, I think it's important to do challenging things like this. It's the only way to grow. For me, in the three months it took me to write the novel and the three months of editing it, I constantly had to try and see things as I thought a woman would.
One thing I probably didn't capture very well is the social pressures placed on women. By social pressure I mean the pressure to look a certain way, the pressure of some men's sexual harassment tendencies and the general pressure that comes from a gender biased against woman. I ignored these because hopefully in the year 2020 they won't exist.
Overall, I think I did alright. I mean, I grew up surrounded by a heck of a lot of sisters, so I hope that helped a bit. The main reason that I'm happy I wrote this novel as a woman is just the insight that it gave me. I'm glad that I spend a good chunk of time trying to think how a woman would. I think it opened my eyes and gave me a new way to look at things. I still use that today.
Looking back I think it's had a positive impact on my life and I'd have to say, more than ever, I agree with Shania Twain "man, I feel like a woman."