The Writer as Robot: Fluency, Fanfiction, and Finding My Voice - The Toast
almost 2 years ago
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"Pervading the culture of my university writing department was the idea that good writing was sheer emotional torture, while worthless, commercial writing was more or less effortless. And I bought right into it. Like everyone in my creative writing classes, I used to beat my head against the barrier of writer’s block. I empathized when my friends complained about the sheer impossibility of finishing the novel they were “supposed to be working on”. Occasionally, though, I thought wistfully of high school, when I’d written most of two novels and never once struggled to get words down on paper."
"Here’s what I see now when I look back at that period of my life: trying to write the kind of fiction my professors would approve of was giving me writer’s block. At 12, I felt the same paralysis: I was dying to write stories, but I was afraid of saying something that would get me into trouble. Consciousness of Authority looking over my shoulder produced voicelessness. Only the writing I did in secret allowed me to unleash the enormous store of words in my head onto the page."
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