Friday, July 10, 2009

personal and peculiar

Idiosyncratic. Writing. It is personal and peculiar. I’m talking about how one learns to write and the process one finally settles into when writing. I’m talking about what one’s subjects end up being, the themes that appear again and again in the work, the writer’s style and the voices in his or her fiction. I’m talking about the whole thing.

And so any advice about writing can only be of use if what’s given fits into your peculiar way of writing. I’ve gotten a lot of advice about writing over the years and only through trial and error have I learned what helps and what doesn’t. I’m still learning, of course. It’s slow, painful, and, I think, unavoidable.

This personal nature of learning how to write and what methods help you get to your best writer self isn’t surprising given how personal writing is. We’re spilling our guts out on the page, exposing the idiosyncrasies of our personalities, broadcasting our worldviews. Why would we do such things? We have to. That’s pretty much it; we have to.

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