So, I've fancied myself a writer since around before I could remember, and a poet since around High School, so I've always been interested in what it means to be a person and an artist, particularly a writer. And, what it means to be a Christian person and also a writer.
Most recently, this is the issue I've been struggling with: the vast majority of my writing, particularly when I was at an age that ended in "teen" was very confessional. (Although, indeed, often the work before a writer is 25 or so is considered Juvenelia, the warm-ups for that writer's mature work.) It makes sense for me to write about myself, after all, one struggles with identity in adolescence, and everyone writes about what they're obsessed with. And you're supposed to write what you know, and if I know one thing it's myself.
Good art, though, has something universal in it - even if it's confessional, it gets at the universal. And I think the best of my past work has done that; has used my experience to say something anyone might relate to.
At some point, though, one has to get past naval-gazing, and write about something outside of themselves, even if they return to confessional self-revelation sometimes. But my struggle with writing outside of myself, even about the experience of people I know, is with authority. Who am I, anyway, to write about what Cindy feels when she digs up dahlias in Advent? Or, more recently, about Scott's experience watching the news at the gym? How does one balence the demands of authenticity with the call to move outside of one's own small world?
This whole entry is rather self-indulgent, actually, but it is a blog after all. And that's the question in my head today.