Every great and original writer, in proportion as he is great or original, must himself create the taste by which he is to be relished.
– Samuel Taylor Coleridge
A risky proposition. To dare to create something new, not just follow the trend of what’s popular, is to court potential disaster. Or at least obscurity.
But writers are constantly admonished to find their own ‘voice.’ When we create something new, hopefully fresh and not simply derivative or reminiscent of another writer’s style, we never know if it will appeal to anyone, if anyone will ‘get’ what we’re trying to say or do. And more to the point, is it any good? If we succeed in creating something new, and somehow manage to get it into the hands of the public, what kind of response can we expect? Can we create that taste that will leave readers longing for more? If we don’t, if it falls flat, do we carry on anyway, or adjust ourselves?
It’s scary to put yourself out there, not knowing if anyone will understand what you’re trying to say, in the particular way you are trying to say it. I have a tendency to be succinct to the point of brusqueness, not on purpose, but usually because I haven’t taken the time to read back over what I’ve written to see if I really clarified what I meant. I’ve been horrified on more than one occasion after firing off a post, comment or e-mail to re-read what I wrote and see that I actually have only half a thought there. The tone of the item seldom comes across the way I intended it. I have to learn to get outside my own head and see what I write as someone else would see it. And if I’m doing this in my everyday, informal writing it’s surely a sign unto me that I’m doing it in my fiction as well. The fingers don’t always keep up with the brain.