The heart of a reader

On of the best and worst things about creative writing is its subjectivity. Beauty is truly in the eyes, and heart, of the reader.

No amount of formal education automatically endows a person with the gift of storytelling or, a flair for wordsmithing. A key learning point during my quest for a literary agent, was the realisation that my educational background and work experience, which though relevant in the commercial environment, meant very little in the literary world, despite the fact I wrote two hundred page reports in my day job. Creative writing it turns out, is very different to producing corporate reports or marketing materials.

Unlike a curriculum vitae, in a manuscript submission for a novel, it is the quality of the writing alone that counts most. The writer’s past literary experience is helpful, however the story has to stand in its own right and speak for itself. After all, that’s what matters to readers.

A matter of expression

Expressing one’s opinions in an open arena such as the web or the press, requires courage in overcoming self-consciousness and other insecurities. For that reason, I admire columnists, reporters and bloggers alike, who bare their souls for all to read, fearless of the consequences of their published words.

From time immemorial, those who have stuck out their heads, voiced their emotive theories, themselves have gained immortality. Socrates to Silvia Plath, Charles Darwin to Yogananda, whether we agree or not with their philosophies, have encouraged us to reflect on our own belief systems. Is it not then incumbent on all of us, to occasionally rise above the parapet, and stir up the pot of status quo? Perhaps, we too, could help challenge entrenched belief systems which may no longer hold true.