Writing from the Opposite Sex's Point of View.
My novel "Love, Sex, and Understanding the Universe" is written from the first person point of view of a man (Jim). What made me think I could pull this off despite the fact that I'm a woman? First of all, to my credit, I would like to note that I didn't think it was a good idea, and fought (valiantly, I might add) against the notion. But, alas, to make the novel work that is what had to be done. When you read it you'll see, getting inside Jim's motivations, emotions, and internal conflict is what makes the story.
But my reluctance was not because I didn't think I could pull it off. My reluctance was because I was concerned that others would find fault in the notion.
So, back to the question, what made me think I could know what a man would think, feel and want? There are a few things that contributed to my confidence in this task.
For one thing I am, personality-wise quite androgynous. I don't feel especially female, but nor do I feel especially male. Personality attributes that are mainly considered highly feminine or highly masculine are mostly puzzling to me. Thus, by making Jim not hyper masculine in personality, it was fairly easy for me to get a grasp on how he'd think.
Another thing about me - and I think this is the norm for all good writers - is that I have a strong sense of empathy. Being able to put yourself in another person's shoes (or bed, or bar scene, or classroom, or dinner conversation) enables one to imagine, or understand, what that person - based on what you know about them and I know a lot about Jim - would be sensing or experiencing, no matter who they are.
Indeed, there is so much that is universal to all humans when it comes to issues of love, desire, being true to oneself, loneliness, friendship, fear, hope and longing that no matter what sex you are, you can tap into those themes (all of which are in my novel) and the accompanying feelings, actions, and reactions.