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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Important Principle of Writing #6: The Beauty of Self Expression

John Gardner (1933 - 1982) in his book The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft For Young Writers wrote, “It (self-expression) comes about inevitably.”
What a benefit it is for the writer of fiction to understand this concept before putting pen to paper. If what Gardner wrote is true, and I believe it is, then no matter what you write, there will always be a self-expressive quality about the work. Do not attempt to negate this fact. Instead, recognize the self-expression in your writing and use it to your advantage. Be conscious of what you feel. Think about what you write and ask why. The answers you come up with will reveal your inner-most emotions, those that are buried in your subconscious. Don't write for the reader. Instead, get to know yourself. It was Joseph Campbell (1904-1987,) the great mythologist, who wrote, “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” I believe the thrill of a lifetime is finding out who you are.