Something you may have learned fairly quickly as a new writer is that, whether you are writing fiction or nonfiction, you’re recording a piece of your inner world…your inner self. Yes. YOU.
This happens whether you mean to, or not.
You may have also learned that an astute reader will recognize this, and know that they can peer inside you a bit, and understand some things that make you “tick”… especially if they read a lot of your writing.
For some beginning writers this can be a scary thing, even downright disturbing. It may cause them to try to change their style, or to mask it. Even worse, if the writer develops too much anxiety over it, it may block their flow for a time.
Of course this unsettled feeling comes about because we humans have a natural protective instinct to not allow total strangers to know too much about ourselves, and yet, here we are writing about things that may be bubbling up from very personal depths.
I can remember the first time I made this realization. I was taking a correspondence course in writing. It was in the days when people were still using envelopes and stamps to do so. As one of my assignments, I had to write up a piece in which one of the main characters introduced themselves to the reader. It wasn’t to be just a line or two, but rather a very short story in itself.
Later, when I got my critique back from the teacher, one of the things she mentioned was that she could decipher some deeper things about me through the words, and personality of my fictional character. At the time, I had never thought about such a thing.
“How could she actually read me through my fictional writing?”
My teacher never did let me in on what she had deciphered about me from my character, and honestly, I didn’t want to know! However, I can remember feeling quite creeped out by the incident.
Risking it for authenticity’s sake…
It’s said that the best writing comes from the soul of the writer when they are writing with as much authenticity, openness…