Monday, April 11, 2011

A Statement, a Question, & an Etc.



A Statement
 
“Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.” Oscar Wilde

I love this quote; I use it as an assignment prompt for my teen writing classes. It's always interesting to see how students interpret and use it.

It's one of those thoughts that can be taken at face value, or can be taken apart, and dug into. Which leads me to...

A Question

How does your writing reflect "yourself"?



 
Etc.

Coffeehouse for Writers' new sessions begin April 18. Click here to check out the offerings. Lots of great stuff there, fiction, nonfiction, the works! I'll be teaching Basic Boot Camp for Writers, a workshop loaded with writing refreshers, exercises, and stretchers. Just in case you wanted to know...:)

So Tell Me

What makes your writing authentically you?

Blessings,
Karen


Photo credits: Mirror: cobrasoft  http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1163909
                      Coffee: get wired http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1340435

40 comments :

  1. It doesn't matter what story I'm writing, they have similar themes. Friendship, family, a little bit of strangeness, a bit of humor. And those things are all me.

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  2. Great question. I think because of what I write about and what I care about is all in there.

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  4. Typed too fast and didn't proof. I try to write from my heart and add a dash of humor.
    Karen, I appreciate your blog so much.

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  5. Laura,
    And it's all a wonderful mix of you indeed. Love your style!

    Terri,
    I like that! Even though we've never met in person, I feel like I know you b/c of it. :)

    Linda,
    What a great combo! It works very well for you too. Thanks so much; I am glad we met!

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  6. The way I poke brains and introduce new ways of writing about thoughtful questions. Do it on my blog and in my novels.
    ~ Wendy

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  7. Wow. I guess that's a question to ask myself. Off the top of my head...my conversational style. Then, the topics I write about and my passion for them. But I think I'm going to dig deeper with this.
    Thanks for the prod.

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  8. What I write about is also what I am trying to learn, to figure out myself. The challenges and resolutions my characters have are based on my own or others I have witnessed.

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  9. Wendy,
    Yes, your blog is a great one for that, with much food for thought! I love a challenge that helps me move forward in my writing. Thanks for helping! :)

    Carol,
    I know, it's one to ponder isn't it? Just about the time you think maybe you've got it down...:) Always learning, aren't we?

    Lynn,
    Me too. Some days I really wonder who I am. :) All these discoveries have a way of threading their way through our writing, don't they?

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  10. I don't think there's enough time or room to answer the question. I love that writing lets me sound off, complain, celebrate and grief. Great question, Karen.

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  11. Great post Karen, surely for a Monday morning :) The offers at the Coffeehouse are exceptional, I wanna do 'm all :)
    As for my writing... I write as I talk, casual, conversational, down to earth, with a great love for God's Word!

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  12. I write about finding a lesson to leaarn through every event in life. Many experiences of mine are drawn from living in Thirld Culture Countries much of my life so they also have an international flavor.
    Thank you for that comment as I often read other blogs and feel I need to be more like them. But it isn't me. Now I will try to be more like me!

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  13. Joylene,
    Yes, you have a point. Us writers, well, we could go on for a while, but this is a good thing. Thanks. :)

    Marja,
    Thank you! Yes, Coffeehouse offerings are varied and just plain good. I do think your writing style is unique and totally you. That's a blessing!

    Shanda,
    That would give you a great perspective, what a blessing and opportunity for you! I know, it can be tempting to mimic others, especially when starting out. Balancing taking good ideas and blending them with who we are is the key, I'm thinking.

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  14. I try to write from my heart and be true to the theme of the story. And I trust God will take care of the rest.

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  15. I'm in every aspect of my writing. It makes it even more scary for it to be out in the world. It's all me (not autobiographically) but artistically.

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  16. Hi Karen....

    How does my writing reflect myself and what makes it authentically me? Well, let's see. To answer those questions, my writing is an intrinsic part of me----my thoughts, expressions, feelings, opinions, sorrows, joys, reflections, and desires.

    Because I write from my heart, it comes from me---from deep within, so it is authentic. I'm not inside anyone elses' skin except my own.

    Thank you for your posts, your questions, your caring. Susan

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  17. I LOVE that quote! I'm going to write it down. Good words to live by, Karen.

    I write my heart, and people who know me have said they can just hear me speaking when they read my words. I have my own vocabulary and way of seeing things, and I write it like I see it (and feel it). :)

    Excellent question!

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  18. Rachna,
    Writing from the heart, your heart - I think you've hit the nail on the head! :)

    Lydia,
    Yes, now here's another key I have to agree with. If we aren't in our writing, then what is the point? Love how you stress the artistic angle!

    Susan,
    Yes, and your writing IS you. I know if we met in person I would feel as though I've known you a long time, just from reading your blog!

    Rhonda,
    I know, it's a keeper, isn't it? I suppose you could say it's intertwined with your writing voice too. So many ways to look at it!

    Blessings all,
    Karen

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  19. Hi Karen,

    I just try to do me & hope some of what moves me, will ultimately affect another:) anyhow, sometimes I just write to poke fun @ myself!

    Peace,
    Clara

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  20. A lot of lightheartedness in my writing. I can't help it. :-)

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  21. Oh, my, that's a toughy!

    I suspect it's the experiences I've had that I bring to my fictional worlds. That and my limited vocabulary! :)

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  22. Clara,
    I think it does, you know? For us writers just have a way of getting it out there to others. And yes, I need to poke fun at myself too, and not always take things so seriously!


    Jennifer,
    And you know, I think that's a great thing. Not everyone has the gift for that, so I say if you do, go for it! :)

    Eileen,
    I think it's one we can revisit and review and ponder and all that good stuff. :) I think you're right, our experiences offer a lot in this way.

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  23. Karen:
    I try to write from my heart or what God lays on it.

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  24. I follow my muse at the time. Sometimes I write essays, sometimes short stories (multiple genres); I figure if an idea hits, the right voice will emerge.

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  25. Hi Karen -

    My writing reflects my values and perspective on events. Much prayer goes into what I write, and I do my best to faithfully express the insights He gives me.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  26. I'm not sure how to answe, but I just sit down and type. I know the plot, but after that characters are introduced, developed, then usually killed off. Shifts in the plot cause conflict. Its fairly straight forward. I just write.

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  27. Hi Karen, I'm back. When you have a moment, please pop over to my blog. There is an award there for you. :)

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  28. Oh gosh! That's a tough question.

    Hm... I'll need to ponder that.

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  29. Cecelia,
    Yes, and this is the best way to go! Thanks for your thoughts.

    Lisa,
    You know, I like that way of looking at it. If we relax and write, it just comes out. We don't have to stress over "finding our voice."

    Susan,
    Good way to go; I have to agree! Appreciate your input. :)

    Stephen,
    Sounds like you are pretty relaxed about it and let the words flow. This is you, and a great way to write!

    Lisa,
    Thank you! I'll hop on over! :)

    Talli,
    I know, I agree! I'm still thinking on it!

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  30. Awesome post! I love the quote and the question. I just talked about this (not with the awesome quote) with my writers workshop adventure class yesterday (ages 9-12). Instead of asking them though, we went outside, observed the world around us, came back in and did a short writing exercise. Afterwards, we compared notes, and I made a point about how each of our writing samples showed our unique writing style and perspectives.
    I think my writing is unique because the Lord shaped me to be me, and I see the world just a little differently than everyone else. Each of us has that gift of unique perspective, and unique voice.
    Thankfully we all have enough in common to share our experiences with one another.

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  31. Does Coffeehouse have summer writing classes? I think I'm due for some kind of class . . . but my time is limited at the moment

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  32. Hi Karen .. I just write .. with my ellipses thrown in! It seems to work .. cheers Hilary

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  33. Tyrean,
    Thank you! Sometimes I just like to rest on this quote a little when I'm tempted to be someone I'm not. You're right, we are all different, a good thing, I think! Btw, Coffeehouse classes are offered year round, so yes, they are offered in the summer. :)

    Hilary,
    Cheers to you too, my friend from Down Under! I like the ellipses; it gives it personality!

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  34. I have standards and morals and those are reflected in my writing, but it's hope that shines through strongest.

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  35. Love your post title, you cleverly cool amigo you.

    I'd say my writing reflects a lot about me. My faith, my love for horses, and my voice. What a great question. You are smart. And cool, especially with shades on.

    Thanks for the links. I'm going now. :-) (((hugs)))

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  36. I love that quote, too. It's so refreshing.

    My writing brims with stories of silly things I've done and said, and how God taught me about His nature through them. Miracles in the midst of my messes, sort of.

    Congrats on your teaching ministry! You amaze me. I'm thinking I should take organization lessons from YOU!

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  37. Diane,
    What a great message and style to have! It's true, your writing is encouraging and helpful!

    Robyn,
    Hey Amigo, thanks! Yes, I'd have to say that your voice is a strong reflection of you. A good thing, I'd say! :)


    Jeanette,
    I love that you take the everyday things and things that might otherwise discourage, and highlight the positive aspect. That IS a ministry, and such a blessing!

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  38. Gosh, that's kind of a difficult question. I guess it's my simple direct approach with a desire to impart a positive message. Sometimes I do tend to toss some quirky thinking into the mix.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  39. Such a great question! If we're not ourself in writing, we're just like everyone else. Or, put another way, we don't really have a voice.

    This has been a hard but important lesson for me. My writing voice has developed as I've learned to be myself. It's a work in progress. Thanks for this!

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  40. Lee,
    I know; I'm still working on my answers to the question! This "quirky thinking" as you call it is enjoyable to read!

    Susan,
    Thanks for stopping by and following! Enjoyed my stop at your blog the other day. You are very welcome; I'm a work in progress too. :)

    Blessings,
    Karen

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your input. Have a blessed day!