Sunday, June 24, 2012


"I catalog lucky events like this on a back page of my journal. Since my default mood remains muddy gloom, I need a permanent inventory of inspiring moments; otherwise the seemingly miraculous can vaporize with a shift in mood."

-Mary Karr

I recently gleaned this quote from a blog post entitled "The Kindness of Strangers."

To be honest, the blog post is a bit too much for my tastes. Being appreciative of the good things that happen to you is a good idea, but it is difficult to write about the subject matter without slipping into cliche and managing to keep the writing interesting. But this quote stuck out to me.

For one thing, because I do frequently suffer bouts of depression, this quote reminds me of the importance of trying to maintain a healthy mindset. Such maintenance can, of course, be related to the writing life, as well. We all have those bouts of insecurity, those periods of writer's block, the rejection that is part of attempting to get published. And during such times, discouragement abounds.

Now, if writing is something that you feel genuinely compelled to do, then rather than give in to feelings of worthlessness, it will be more productive to remind yourself what you love about writing, and push through the issue.

Yet what I really like about this quote, and the reason that I wanted to share it today, is that it reminds me of the importance of perspective.

While working on a piece of writing, whether fiction or nonfiction, it is important to keep the perspective of your piece in mind. Nonfiction pieces are often meant to be unbiased. Fictional pieces can be told in first, second, or third person, but must remain consistent. Another factor to consider with respect to perspective is verb tense.

These issues are not necessarily ones that you need to consider while writing a first draft, but are important factors in the editing process.

Yet another perspective that needs to be considered while editing is the perspective of the reader. Making sure to keep your reading suspenseful, avoiding cliches, and making sure the story only contains elements that are necessary.

What are your thoughts concerning writing and perspective? Share them in the comments below!

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