All writing conveys the human experience. Fiction displays our fantasies, non-fiction our realities, and research our discoveries. Every written word, from Plato to Mary Shelly, from Shakespeare to Virginia Woolf, from Taylor Swift to Tupac, are equally important. This is my philosophy. Our writings show our experiences, and most importantly, share them with a reader that did not experience them first-hand. By reading it, however, the reader is able to understand the experience. This is the magic of writing.
Another magical quality is that anyone who writes is, by definition, a writer. A writer is anyone that writes, no matter the genre, language, or education level. We can debate on how many finished works qualifies someone to be a writer, but then would Nietzsche’s unpublished journal writings not add to his score? We can debate on how many times someone must write for one to be a writer, but then will we have to count them all? I believe that if someone writes something once, that writing makes them a writer. As long as that work exists, whether it is finished or incomplete, or even the thought of it exists, whether it be in the mind of its author or others, the person who wrote it is a writer.
One guiding principle I have claimed as my own is that of not honoring the greats because they are assumed to be great, but instead only if I, the reader, believes they are great. This kind of arrogance is constantly mentioned in school, that Hamlet was amazing, and it is a sin to say otherwise. However, this is not for the teacher of a course to decide, but instead it’s the choice of the reader. Writing was not intended to be boring, yet since language has changed over time, old writings, even the most controversial ones, sound boring to new generations. I believe this is perfectly fine. What I believe should remain is the essence, and it will if it is relevant to human nature. Old aristocratic romances become the modern Gossip Girl. Old stories of Dracula become the modern True Blood or Twilight. Thomas Moore’s Utopia becomes George Orwell’s 1984, and now Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy. The principle of the matter is that it is the essence at stake here, the message to get across, and the words should be of the reader’s language. Therefore, we will re-write, maybe not with a specific intention to re-write, but as a second-nature action based on our curiosities and passion as modern writers. It is most likely to just happen.
As a writer, I see myself as an artist. I play with words and make sentences. But, I also aim to shock people. I enjoy being bold, forthcoming, and direct in my writing. I also do not feel the need to stay traditional, yet will be, strategically, when I feel that it will help me convey a specific message. I enjoy language, and use it to my advantage to portray the different perspectives of different people. I often enjoy writing in the language of a quaint British woman who’s just sat down for a cup of tea. I use words such as “thus,” “forthcoming,” and phrases such as “to do so.” Yet, I can also use the language of a modern geek-culture inspired college kid who could describe their mother as a “vegan tofu-loving schizo”. Language is diverse, and I feel like an artist when I am able to paint the words onto a page, creating not only sentences, but a mood, and strategically placing words to fit my goal.
Recently, however, I have pulled back the reigns a bit, in order to become a more introspective writer. In my personal writing endeavors, I have felt much like an artist, yet I’ve lacked structure in my writing. I came to realize this once I took college courses in writing. Now, I feel that I have more of a focus to my writing. While before I aimed at writing from the heart, my work would then become a jumbled mess, more like ramblings than a finished work. Yes, the words might have been entertaining. But they were confusing, with no clear goal overall. Thus, I’ve taken pre-writing as a useful tool. It probably seems an obvious step to experienced writers, that pre-writing is vital. Nonetheless, I’ve just come across it, and have finally decided to utilize it. In my fiction, I’ve learned to outline whole books and specific chapters before even beginning. Then, within the cracks of the outline, I am allowed to play with words yet again. What is wonderful though is that it is a strategic sort of play, and one that can only allow me to grow as a writer.
A large part of my writing philosophy is to stay true in your writing, as it seems the most ethical choice. I would think most scholars to agree when discussing research. Research, after all, is the search for fact and truth. However, it is obvious that some writers let their biases come forth. Of course, it would be a struggle for anyone to be one-hundred percent bias-free. Yet, it is an opposing matter when short stories for children have no moral value whatsoever, and sometimes do even more harm than good. It is my personal belief that if a story, whether it be set in our world or a fantasy one, is based on real human nature, it will be more true. If our writings are based on what really happens, they can only benefit the reader when he or she is faced with the real world. Otherwise, a reader’s perspective can be blurred, or a young impressionable child will learn something that is not even true. While I know that some may disagree in this course of action, it is a part of my own personal judgment.
I love writing, I really do. It allows for experience to be put on paper, to be given the chance to be immortal. Yet, it is ever-changing, ever-growing, and we are learning new ways to write each day. It is a marvelous thing, and I believe our writing will progress within our society just as our language and technology will. Shakespeare will always be a fan favorite. Yet, we can equally appreciate the works of new, fabulous authors who come about to tell us more.