On Writing: Maintaining Boundaries

“One of the key things in the craft is not only feeding your mind with material, but being able to draw inspiration from it, while at the same time keeping it from completely influencing your work.”

A couple days ago I wrote about Writer’s Block and how I don’t really believe in it, or, to be more specific, consider it more of a time of minimal production as opposed to a time of zero production. In this post, I also mentioned several tactics I employ while experiencing said block, and one of them was filling my head with things that inspire me. Books, TV shows (Hannibal, Sherlock, Elementary, just to name a few), Music, Blogs, Comics, etcetera. Through these, I am constantly feeding my subconscious with potential material, surfing the waves of words and images for those that shimmer. 

However, there is a boundary that I am sometimes guilty of crossing, and the same goes for many more. One of the key things in the craft is not only feeding your mind with material, but being able to draw inspiration from it, while at the same time keeping it from completely influencing your work. There’s a limit line between ingenuity, freshness and imitation, and it is up to me and you as writers to be aware of when we are teeter-tottering on that line. This also involves the practice of reading your work out loud until you get the hang of your mistakes, and are thus able to step away from your work and view it as a reader, and not as the writer. (Hell, if necessary, make another you and give him/her a new name. Call her Urania if necessary.) Otherwise, our work will only be considered reflections of those that come before, and though this may not be entirely avoidable, we nonetheless want it to stand out on its own. 

It’s hard work, this writing gig, but you must admit it’s also a lot of fun. 

Well, have a good night folks. 

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4 thoughts on “On Writing: Maintaining Boundaries”

  1. Really interesting post. Its always good to make your writing stand out even though it might be heavily influenced by other works. I try to add a bit of all the books I’ve learned, either in terms of smart phrases or dialogue. But still staying true to my writing voice.

    Love your blog BTW.

    1. Thank you very much for the compliment and for taking the time to read my post! And I do the same, I often jot down quotes and phrases I come across in my readings, just in case I might need them later on down the road, and if not them then the messages they convey. 🙂

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