Friday, 25 April 2014

How values impact our writing

Today on the A to Z blogging challenge we have reached the letter V. This letter has vexed me. Should I write about visibility, versatility, variation or voice or none of the above. I'm stumped and have been sat staring at my screen unsure of which way to turn. But the word that keeps coming back to me is value.



For me value is an unusual word because it can be used in different ways. For example, do you value your creative work, i.e. how important is it to you, do you make time and space for it or is it something that's at the bottom of your list and that you fit in if you can.  I used to be like this - I saw writing more as a hobby tagging it in here and there along the way.  Now I take it more seriously. If a day passes when I've not written, it feels quite odd, a bit weird and I feel like I've missed an opportunity. There are still those days of course and I don't beat myself up if I haven't written, but I prefer it if I have. It helps me feel more balanced, more in equilibrium and I can consider myself a writer - that was a big step for me. Before, I used to say that I did a bit of writing here and there and because I didn't take it seriously nor did anyone else.



I think it became apparent recently that it was more important to me than I realised when I was asked what I would save if my house was burning down. Once my husband and cat were safely outside, I realised that it would most likely be my laptop because the majority of my writing is held on it. Wow that was quite a revelation to me.  It's not that my writing is up for the next Pulitzer Prize or anything but it is important to me. It's a way that I'm able to express my thoughts and let my voice be heard. It's a way of connecting with others and being creative and most of all I enjoy it.



Our values are also likely to come across in our writing. If one of our values is fairness or honesty for example, we may well weave this into our stories and words. Our heroine is treated unfairly - we make decisions for her to overcome this unfairness and redress the balance. In crime novels, we usually want to see the bad guys get their comeuppance. And in blog posts and personal writing, our values undoubtedly come through in our choice of topics giving the reader a glimpse into our world and what's important to us.  By writing about our values, we are able to connect with others who share those values. They are able to engage because they identify with the main character or in personal writing because they identify with you the author. By undertaking the A to Z Blogging Challenge I've certainly had a glimpse into the worlds of others, some of whom are thousands of miles away from me. It's been a fun, educational, interesting experience and I've read some posts on a wide range of subjects. It's enabled me to engage and connect with some new people and also be open to different perspectives.





6 comments:

  1. Hi Angela, our values are reflected in our writing. I have noticed that my characters mimic a few of my traits, mind you not all. I write MG fiction, and my characters are naughty children, but their core values come from my beliefs or what I hold dear to me.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Rachna. MG writing - I'd not heard of that one - had to look it up. We may be able to research different characters and experiences but I still think that our values influence our writing.

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  2. We were discussing this issue on a blog the other day--someone was saying she received comments about the religion of her characters. It made me think--if you put something like that in a book, people do tend to believe you feel the same way. A person wouldn't write Mormon characters in a way that really supports the religion if it went completely against her beliefs--or so the reader assumes. But it is possible, in the course of writing, that a writer would believe one religion was right for a character even when that author didn't believe that way... It's a tough line to walk.

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    1. Thanks for commenting Stephanie. I bet that was an interesting debate. Wishing you all the very best with your writing journey.

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  3. You have got me thinking. I will think some more. I know that I took up my blog (and joined A to Z) so that I can try something new, so that I can share my perspective and hopefully educate some people along the way. I don't know that I value my writing at this point. I value words and expression, but my owner personal writing, I don't see as important at this stage in the game. I hope it will be sometime. But must as for much of my life I didn't value myself at all, I hope that this will be a progression of value for me.

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    1. Hi Melanie - so glad that you decided to write your blog and take up this challenge. I decided to do it to encourage me to write every day and hopefully write some posts that might support and help others in some way with their writing. I hope that your writing is a way to connect with yourself and the value that you undoubtedly bring to the world.

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