Writing, Resolutions, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez

In an interview with The Paris Review, Gabriel García Márquez advised young writers, based on his own experience, to write what they know.

“If I had to give a young writer some advice I would say to write about something that has happened to him; it’s always easy to tell whether a writer is writing about something that has happened to him or something he has read or been told. It always amuses me that the biggest praise for my work comes for the imagination, while the truth is that there’s not a single line in all my work that does not have a basis in reality. The problem is that Caribbean reality resembles the wildest imagination.”

Reading some of my old blogspot posts, even posts on this blog, makes me cringe. Its not necessarily writing from something that’s happened to me, but rather, its about things I have read and am reflecting on. So I wonder if that why I’ve posted some shoddy writing.

Part of my problem, I recently identified this, is that I treat blog writing like an open journal. Its just a place where I come to dump ideas, trying to work around thoughts. Thats part of why its shoddy writing. But its not just a place where my stream of conscience is held, and this is evident in that I go back and edit pieces before I hit the “Publish” button. I put the effort up until the point where writing becomes a challenge, then I just hit the “Publish” button, just so I can feel accomplished. Thats lazy, and its why my writing here has been shoddy.

Writing is very much a desire to publicly lay out cohesive thoughts as exemplified by the semi-editing process. I try to sit on the fence with my blogposts, and I feel thats a disservice to me, and especially anyone stumbling onto this blog. In fact, David McCollugh says that, “To write well is to think clearly. That’s why it’s so hard.”

In my writing, there is a lack of clarity in thinking. I try to sit on the fence, not really have to take sides. I was called out for taking sides, and making my blogposts about hiking “to political” because I got all environmental in it.

I promise to not just bring more originality in my writing but to present clearly written thoughts. Thats my new years resolution. This should mean something, since I stopped making New Years resolutions back in 2009. They just weren’t practical and given how pragmatic I am there were other ways to live ones life then to construct resolutions and live in them, especially since resolutions are either to ambitious or wholly unstructured. But, this one time, I will break with this tradition and give it a try again.


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