Saturday, August 30, 2008

Writing as Self-Discovery

"Most writers write to say something about other people -- and it doesn't last. Good writers write to find out about themselves, and it lasts forever."
~ Gloria Steinem, Revolution from Within


Writing at its best is an act of self-discovery and revelation. Where are you hiding behind your words? Where are you letting yourself shine through them?

There's a difference between self-indulgently puking your life onto the page and using your life and emotions to connect with your readers. Don't censor yourself, but learn to discern when your experiences have universal value and when they serve only you. Both deserve to be written. Only the former deserves to be shared.

9 comments:

Jean Browman--Cheerful Monk said...

Well put. Thanks.

Mark David Gerson said...

Thanks for stopping by, Jean. I'm looking forward to exploring your blog.

beth♥ said...

"Where are you hiding behind your words? Where are you letting yourself shine through them?"

Thank you for those words. They were needed this day.

Shý said...

wow perfect timing... just picking up my pen and paper to write, I will put this in my mental pocket---THANKS!

Julie Isaac said...

Am I "puking my life onto the page?" Well, that certainly got my attention. It's strong, visceral, unexpected, and wonderfully yucky.

Thanks for the questions and the wake-up call.

Julie
www.WritingSpirit.com

Mark David Gerson said...

Dear Beth, Shý and Julie,

Thanks so much for your comments. They validate for me my premise that the words and story have a life of their own.

When the phrase "puking my life onto the page" wrote itself onto the page, I was profoundly uncomfortable. I felt it was right but, as you said, Julie, it was "yucky.'

Meantime, this post has received more positive feedback than any other recent post! The story and its words definitely know best.

Thanks again.

Sun Singer said...

As I learned who I was, my writing began to improve.

It's been a game of hide and seek.

Malcolm

Richard Galbraith said...

my sentiments exactly. I've said from the start of my novel writing experience over at my blog, that writing my first novel is a journey of self exploration. I wanted answers, fortunately i've got the facility and ability to chain a story together, why not combine the two?

unfortunately, i think i'm going to come out at the other end with more questions than i started with!

still, very enjoyable and extremely cathartic experience

Mark David Gerson said...

Malcolm: And I bet that as you're writing improved you discovered more about how you are!

Richard: “Then know this: There is no end to the quest for those who choose to live the journey.” (The MoonQuest)