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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 21st, 2008 10:13 pm (UTC)
I had missed that one, but thanks so much for passing it along! He never fails to encapsulate his subject flawlessly, and this Christmas snapshot is no different. Dan Barry's imagery never fails to act as a sort of stifling inspiration. I can't help but write when I finish one of his columns or books, but know I could never aspire to the majestic way he has with the written word. Awestruck.
Dec. 21st, 2008 10:41 pm (UTC)
"Stifling inspiration" is an interesting phrase. I can understand the inspiration part; it's the "stifling" I have trouble with, particularly when you say, "I could never aspire to" etc.

To which I say, Why not? You're a fine writer, Lizz, and you're smart, you have an interesting take on things, and you have a writer's eye for seeing the world. What but yourself can stop you from polishing your wordsmithing and your storytelling until it gleams?

It's a reasonable aspiration to elevate your writing to the point where you leave people feeling the same way you and I feel when we read Barry. That sort of goal is within your reach.

Sometimes when I sit down to write, I have it in the back of my head that I want to "sound" like Barry. I don't know the technical aspects of the "hows" of that, but even if I did, to incorporate those "hows" would be mimicry, which would be a shallow accomplishment. I never reach Barry-esque levels, of course, but trying for that sound makes me a better writer, I think. So be careful about setting limits on your aspirations.

All this is, of course, more than you bargained for when you posted your comment. But as it said under the photographs in my high school yearbook (!), "Aim high. You might hit the target."
Dec. 22nd, 2008 04:30 am (UTC)
Then I bargained for too little! Compliments humbly accepted. I think that's my greatest aspiration as a writer: not only to make readers feel, but to see. Many writers can evoke emotion, but it takes real talent, carefully-honed finesse, to draw a reader into a scene, especially one they haven't experienced firsthand. Barry does that. I wouldn't try to emulate his voice so much as I would develop my own to the point where it accomplishes the same thing. That's one of my loftiest aspirations at this point (acknowledging they change almost daily). Thanks for the insight!
Dec. 21st, 2008 10:49 pm (UTC)
A delight to read, thanks for the link.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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