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Who We Are Affects Our Writing

By @Molly McBratney

Who We Are

Writing. 

It differs based on who’s writing it. 

Like fingerprints.

Or personalities.

No one’s the same.

Just like their writing.

In fact, personalities affect writing. 

Authors write for a purpose. Through their writing, they twist their personality and past experiences into characters and stories. While our past experiences affect us as a person, they also affect our writing. 

Throughout life, we are sculpted and molded by ideals that we turn into morals and by society that we turn into our peers. We choose who and what to stand for, what we believe in. We either resist social norms or we bend to them. But what sculpts us are our past experiences. Tragedy, childhood, heartbreak. These past experiences change how we look at the world. They open or close doors to us as they affect us as a person. 

But writing. 

When you google the definition of writing, the internet defines writing as “the activity or skill of marking coherent words on paper and composing text”. 

Now, this definition isn’t wrong except that it is vague. It skims the physical activity of writing, however, never talking about writing itself. 

Writing.

It differs based on who’s writing it. 

And who they are. It is shaped by the author; a magnificent sculpture carved by our past experiences as the chisel. Sylvia Plath’s father died when she was very young. This tragedy shaped her poems and changed the way she saw the world and how she wrote. This can be seen in several poems including her most famous one, “Daddy”. Her poems tend to be in the writing style of confessional poetry. Confessional poetry is used to address personal experiences like depression, relationships or trauma, and have an autobiographical writing style. 

Our past experiences affect our writing.

And writing differs based on who’s writing it. 

Ted Hughes was also impacted by tragedy as both of his wives committed suicde, one killing his only child as well. He blamed himself for their deaths and it had a huge impact on his writing. He focused on writing without sentimentality, emphasizing the cunning and savagery of animal life in harsh, sometimes disjunctive lines. 

Our past experiences affect our writing.

And writing differs based on who’s writing it. 

We as writers are influenced by our past experiences. Authors like Jane Austen, Stephen King, and Grant Morrison embed themselves into their work, bending themselves into fictional characters to send a message through their work. These messages tend to be formed based off of the authors morals and beliefs which were built off of the authors past experiences themselves. 

For example, I watch society from almost a distance, observing norms, morals, and flaws one community as a whole tends to have. I have noticed many things, ranging from religious intolerance and discrimination to the strong sense of unity human beings have with each other. I mainly write fictional dystopian novels, expressing the power we can have as individuals that are unified as one. I write to call attention to the flaws in society and enlarge them through my writing so that the younger generations who read my work can help to make a change in society.

Writing differs based on who’s writing it. 

Jane Austen’s writing stands out for its comedy, self-awareness and realistic, detailed portrayals of characters and their relationships. She models real-life relationships that people could have while pointing out the flaws in them. Born in 1775, she felt suffocated by societal norms since she was a woman in a time period where women’s lives were heavily controlled and they were expected to hold their tongue and marry a rich husband. Jane Austen showed her dislike for the current, flawed societal norms through her writing which mainly consisted of satire. 

What all of these authors have in common however is that they are all affected by their own life, morals, and past experiences. They write for a purpose and their purpose is molded and sculpted by these morals and past experiences.  

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