Writing and Reading, A Relationship

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Since I haven’t been doing much lately aside from blogging in random intervals, pouring over course work, and squeezing in pathetic amounts of fiction words when I can, I don’t have a lot to talk about. So I’m going back to the report I brought up last week.

My main focus with the report is arguing that writers can’t really control how readers are going to read their work. They can present their arguments and points of view, but at the end of the day the reader is going to read it through their lens and interpret it accordingly.

Going back to the Elif Shafak’s TED Talk, she states outright that she doesn’t write herself into her novels. Not explicitly, anyway. Obviously, as the creator, her roots are quite visible in what she chooses to write about.

Personally, I write a lot of myself into my stories. Not overtly, but there are things many of my characters have in common with me. I suppose that’s how I bring in what I know.

We talk a lot about the catharsis of writing here on Anxiety Ink. I know that catharsis doesn’t mean treating your writing as a confessional and making your characters or their situations mirrors of your own. You can write about quite abstract entities that you’re interested in and the whole process can be cathartic in helping you learn about things beyond yourself. That’s the beauty of writing, it is always more than what it is.

I think that’s also a part of reading. While writing is catharsis I think reading is metamorphosis. I know that I’ve read books where I am not the same person having read it as I was before doing so. Both aspects of the written word are extremely important and I am having a wonderful time analyzing and learning different perspectives about their relationship.

What are your thoughts? Do you avoid the personal in your work? Do explicitly or implicitly write yourself in to your work or completely avoid it at all costs? Have you ever been changed by a book? Have you not been?

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