Writing: the Great Escape?

If you’ve ever read a book and enjoyed it, you’ll be familiar with the feeling of slipping into the pages of a novel. Reading a good book feels like an escape. It is a release from the daily burden of an ordinary, contained life and an ordinary, contained self. Writing, too, is a solitary act, and arguably necessitates escape. Comparing reading and writing, Susan Sontag wrote: “Like reading, rapturous reading, writing fiction – inhabiting other selves – feels like losing yourself too.” There are as many kinds of writers as there are books, but all writers share the desire – or at…

Do we write to escape ourselves or to find ourselves?

In writing about the way they see the world, are writers writing about themselves? And is this something to be avoided or embraced? Arguably, even though we call it fiction, writing good stories and novels is about capturing truths, truths that readers can relate to and empathise with. In writing fiction, writers learn to portray the world around us. Are they also learning to find out who they are? Everything we observe is coloured by our consciousness. When we write, we draw material from deep inside our minds, from places that make us who we are. Where memory, experience, bias, instinct, and…