Monday, April 01, 2013

Search for Authenticity

I've started reading a new book about how to write called, "If You Want to Write: A Book About Art, Independence, and Spirit" by Brenda Ueland.  I've read books on publishing, but for some reason I never thought I needed a book on how to write. As I get older (and humbler) I recognize how much room I have to improve.  Instead of a technical writing manual with rules about how to write compelling story lines, it promotes (as of the first 3 chapters) self-expression and an authentic voice as the key to good writing.

Just a few days ago I was asking myself what my voice as a writer should be. Hopefully this book will help to clarify that for me. More importantly I was reminded of the very first paper I wrote in my first college writing class; the thesis was that as an author I couldn't hide myself from a reader and so may as well embrace vulnerability and reveal myself through my writing. Funny how I had forgotten that.

A few years ago a really talented voice teacher (currently playing Marius with the touring company of Les Miserables), referred the book, "Freeing the Natural Voice"by Kristin Linklater, as a the text on which he based his singing technique. That technique improved my singing, my acting, and even the way I speak normally.

Psychologically, I think living authentically is one of the best things we can do for ourselves.  It makes sense to me that the best writing, and the best singing come from a natural and authentic emphasis as well.

So... in search of my authentic voice, and motivated by the inspiring writings of the late Ms. Ueland, I am going to write more, more often, and more conspicuously.  To hell with my obsession with perfection that normally dissuades me from writing. I expect that readers will forgive what they dislike in exchange for an authentic look into a writer's soul.

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