Friday, 15 May 2009

Questions, Questions

How would you describe yourself? A reader or a writer?

What does it mean to be a writer? Is it simply the act of putting words onto a blank page, or is there some indefinable essence which turns the amateur wordsmith into a fully fledged writer?

What do our assumptions about the nature of writers mean in relation to how we perceive readers?

Why is it that we find reading and writing antithetical to one another? Why do the styles of other writers blot out our own style of prose so completely, like an ink spill across the page?

Is it even possible to be both a reader and a writer?

Is reading great works the best way to learn how to write?

Is it more worthwhile to read and learn from the words of great writers, or spend countless hours trying to add ones own words to the cacophony of others already out there?

If everyone stops writing and concentrates solely on reading, who will write the great words of tomorrow?

Who will write the great words of tomorrow? Nowadays increasing numbers of people seek to improve their work through Creative Writing and Life Writing courses - is this a good thing?

Why is it that so many of those leaving Creative Writing courses write exactly the same novel?

Is there are case for arguing that Creative Writing classes help writers develop their skills for writing before they have anything to write about?

Is there some aspect of imaginative storytelling which Creative Writing courses not only fail to teach, but can actually harm?

What is more important: the self fulfilment of individual writing lives through maximising their potential on aforementioned courses, or the health of literature as a whole?

Is it not ridiculous to suppose that unread or uninspiring books tarnish the health of literature as a whole?

What does ‘literature as a whole’ even mean?

Why is it that one encounters contradiction and uncertainty whenever one tries to think coherently and determinedly about any subject? Is this the slippery nature of truth? Or a problem with trying to communicate in black and white words things which are ultimately only understandable in the dark recesses of our wordless minds?

Does truth even exist? Or is the meaning of life the search for a truth which we all know can never really exist?

Is that what writing is? The search for a personal truth about ourselves which we can share with the world?

What is the relationship between blogging and writing?

Isn’t blogging just a vain Rousseauist conviction that we are all unique and interesting based solely on the simple grounds that we are all individuals?

Is the explosion in the number of people writing a beautiful example of democracy in action?

What are the personal and psychological benefits of sitting down to write something?

Is writing born of arrogance and reading born of deference? Is writing active and reading passive? Does writing contribute to the world while reading only takes from it?

And finally: why is it that, despite dreaming of being a writer most of my life, I would far prefer to sit in bed with a good book than sit at my laptop writing? Does this question explain everything which has come before?

Questions, questions. How dull it would be to be certain about everything.

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