Thursday, November 18, 2010

Reading your own writing

Usually when I have finished writing something, I find myself unable to read it, not because it's painful or awkward or difficult but just because it's too familiar and my mind glides over it. It's the same reason why I can't easily proofread my own work past a certain point.

But when there's become enough distance between me and the writing for that familiarity to fade back to a level more like "a story you've read before" I then find I can read it again. Many of my works are not especially entertaining to me at this point, because it's still familiar the way a story you've read many times can be familiar enough that there's very little enjoyment left in it.

But once in a while, usually on my more light-hearted stories or plays, particularly shorter ones, one of my own stories is enjoyable enough to me to keep reading. I feel very narcissistic and foolish to enjoy my own writing; feels like I'm bragging. But sometimes I want to read something over and over.

My most recent Lusternian writing, a comical short story in a style that falls into a category of styles that would also include the writings of Douglas Adams (not that I'm comparing my writing to his in terms of quality! just that I'm using similar writing literary techniques and tones), has become like that more quickly than other stories, and more compellingly. (A few others are a short prose poem and a very lengthy romantic-comedy play.) I laugh out loud at it each time, even though it makes me feel self-conscious to be laughing at my own jokes or amused at my own bits of wordplay. Is this common for writers?

No comments: