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Over the past few months I have the opportunity to observe writing as a form of self-expression, and to understand the stylistic preference of each writer as a reflection of their psyche.
I may be wrong, but this is my interpretation thus far, about style in general, not just in writing, but in fashion, in cooking, and in all other forms of creative activities. Our unique stylistic preference is a reflection of our coping mechanism—our way of coping with our life experiences. Each of us move through life with different talents and resources, encountering different challenges and obstacles. Over time we develop habits or patterns of dealing with people, situations, relationships, etc., including our ability to express ourselves.
Sometimes when I read a story, I question the writer's intention, why he writes about this, what is he trying to achieve, why he shapes the plot this way, etc. I find myself observing more than critiquing. I question more than I assess or evaluate, as I treat each piece of writing as a form of art, even when some were obviously created with the intention to amuse and to entertain, and entertainment is distinctly different from art (the former stimulates the senses; the latter inspires, intrigues, illuminates, questions, explores, philosophizes, etc).
Some writers answer my questions, others don't. The writer's qualitative response is very insightful, compared to the rating feedback, as I can see something about my thought process through their response. They make me wonder why I interpret something a certain way, which then triggers me to trace my neurological pattern. Perhaps I have a certain bias in processing information? Perhaps I have a habit of picking up information a certain way which I was not aware of? It triggers self-introspection, a necessary process for personal evolution.
I am not saying that everyone has to be a critter in order to grow as a person. I am only illustrating this as a possible avenue. I think many things, situations, relationships, and events can lend insight into ourselves. The key is to look inward, not outward.
I want to thank the writers who have helped me grow as a person, especially those who have responded to my questions or comments, not just with a cursory thank-you but with actual answers, as the qualitative feedback takes me to a different mental territory that a rating system cannot.