Thoughts on Writing #42: The Very First You by Seanan McGui


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Post October 20, 2012, 02:00:09 AM

Thoughts on Writing #42: The Very First You by Seanan McGui

Three cheers!

Be sure to read this; it's very uplifting.
I was raised by humans. What's your excuse?
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Post October 21, 2012, 02:46:23 PM

Who's "Me"?

In my own experience, I've found that when I begin any new kind of artistic endeavor, I seem to have a fear of being derivative, or of my work being too much "like" someone else's. So I then tended to overcompensate in order to be unique and different. The results of that are never satisfactory; I see them as lacking sincerity; in trying to be different from everyone else, I just wound up being weird, usually -- and not being true to myself and my own expressive needs -- not being "me."

The only cure I've found for this is to keep producing stuff, and keep trying to remain true to my own need for self-expression. After a while, I quit worrying about having my influences show, and sometimes I openly celebrate them. Parts of my work may be "like" those of other creators, but the overall product is still uniquely my own.

And, by the way, I've been quite surprised at times with comments I've received on my writing as reminding readers of other works that I had no consciousness of, and some that I'd never read at all. We just have a lot of stuff in common, and reading is actually quite a subjective act. Worrying about how your writing will be perceived by a reader is counter-productive; you can't control how a reader will react to your work. Write it to satisfy yourself, and somewhere, you'll have an audience who find themselves identifying with it, simply because we all have a lot of stuff in common.
I was raised by humans. What's your excuse?
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Post October 22, 2012, 12:48:26 PM

. . . huh -- ?

Yep, that's opaque, all right . . . about on a level with tungsten, I'd say.

I won't ask what makes people go off into such esoteric tangents of religious technical theory -- it sounds like something about on a par with contract law -- I'm too busy trying to make the connection between that and the original topic. In other words, how did we start there and suddenly wind up here -- ?

Oh -- and,
18 year old me said "You can't just make that stuff up."
Sure you can. We do it all the time. We make up every damn thing. Someone even makes up contract law, but it isn't me.
I was raised by humans. What's your excuse?

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