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Self`s voices

Schreibtischtäter > Literary writing > Creative sources

Suspensions of belief are not always possible. Sometimes a writer`s brain dries, in exactly the same way in which an actor`s voice dries on stage, and the confidence to say, or write, vanishes. It feels a lot worse than it is because I feel like a loss to say, or write, vanishes. It shouts, `You will never again write well`. It feels almost as if we have forgotten our speech, and that we have caught ourselves out in an embarrassing self-deception. Or: our body gets in the way of the precision can be perfectionism, an attitude that can result in freezing before the headlights of your own expectations.


Do you require cirisis to make discoveries? Since writers lurch about in language, yes, you probably do. Knowing this is going to happen does not mean you can evade it, but it does mean you can use various guises of the self`s voice to get by and take risk. Finding your voice might be only one stage on the way to finding your voices, of finding your style. Your style, above all else, is your aim, and it should show no sign of effort. But your writing voice must be distinctive, it must be differentiated from its precursors or your reader will stop listing.

Playing others

You will begin to recognize that there is some heartlessness at the core of writing, despite its assertion and celebration of human values. The mother of the Fence novelist Gustave Flaubert wrote that her famous son`s mania for creating sentences` had` dried up his heard`. Writing can be as faceless and as masked a business as drama. The novelist Jorge Luis Borges diagnoses the talent in Shakespeare: “There was no one in him: behind his face … and his words, which were copious, fantastic and stormy, there was only a bit of coldness, a dream dreamt by no one. At first he thought that all people were like him`.

Being others

One can use versions of oneself, to create writers, each of which is a persona. You are not creating fictional page-bound characters; you are creating artificial people, real to everybody else except yourself. For example, the Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa invented four writing selves, each of whom published under their own name and had their own style of writing (1974). They were, however, all Fernando Pessoa. We contain multitudes. You write in character, another self so far away from your nature psychologically that they follow a separate but fictional existence. You invent heteronyms, and hetero-existences.


`One can write nothing unless one constantly struggles to efface to efface one`s personality`- George Orwell. That said, a writer is going to end up saying a lot about their personality over the two hundred or so pages of a novel, or the eighty or so pages of a poetry collection. Some writes try removing themselves, or any of their selves, from their writing by self-effacement of voice. One of the purposes is to throw the personality of the writer into the background entirely.

Using depression

Many writes suffer depression – the manic phase often delivers their writing, while the depressive phase that follows bouts of creativity is misinterpreted as a failure of creativity. Some writer’s mistake depression for the real thing, at their lie padded rooms and early graves. Sigmund Freud was wrong: writing is not a neurotic activity, but a natural activity that takes pleasure in the contemplation of relations, and associations and disassociations of form in language.

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