Saturday, June 14, 2008

Originality vs Authenticity

Still reading Ziegler's book, The Writing Workshop Notebook. In one section, Ziegler presents thoughts about originality. For some writers - and other artists, I believe - striving for originality can be a block in itself. "But everything has already been written/painted/sung," we may lament and feel hopeless to find something new. Ziegler includes a quote from W.H Auden, who made the distinction between originality and authenticity: "Some writers confuse authenticity, which they ought always to aim at, with originality, which they should never bother about." Or, as Ziegler himself wrote: "If you can't make it new, make it yours."

Thanks to Bug's Blog for the link to an original *and* authentic website for No One Belongs Here More Than You. I agree that the navigation takes a second to find, but when you do, it really is quite simple. And I will pass on his warning that, when you think you've reached the end, you really haven't. Trust me as I trusted him, keep going. You'll know when you're truly done *smile.