Understanding and Developing The Writerly-Self


“The gaps between the writing self and the written self are smoothed over with language” (Harley 2009).

The understanding and developing of the writerly-self encompasses the motivation of my own theory in five self assessing areas;

Writerly – Self-evaluation –  the reflection process and learning that happens whilst writing.

Self-confidence –  belief which allows the writer to master challenges and obstacles in order to accomplish and execute what they ventured out to do.

Self-awareness – recognition of strengths and weaknesses within the writing.

Self-fulfilment – reaching and attaining the goal of a finished novel/work which brings happiness and satisfaction to the writer.

Self-enlightenment – the knowledge of the divine connection of the writing to the self.

Believably, these are all sides of self that a writer will consider and which will evoke a deeper thought in methodologies and approach in the expedition of writing. This depth fuses the understanding of the developing writerly-self.

Soul searching is a way of tapping into our inner strengths.  By understanding ourselves completely we begin to unravel how we can bring our inner conscious to our writing thus be able to project our strength onto the blank page which can be a daunting stumbling block or a thorn in ones side. Image

Reflection is part of the writerly-self and also part of the analysis of arriving to new knowledge through it.  The constant need to reflect ‘in’ action and ‘on’ action is a necessity. It exposes the writer to new knowledge whilst at the same time makes allowances for development within a written framework. Simply, keeping a diary entry of progress allows for that deeper richer reflection to occur.

Reflection permits us place a “certain distance between ourselves and the context,” allowing a substantial space for exploring the ‘self’; this trajectory leads back to the understanding and developing of the writerly-self.  The text and the writerly-self are connected, they are part of the same body.  To exist without essence denotes that the text would be soulless, characterless and that is not the sort of text we desire for our readers.

A proportionate component of the writerly-self is magnified in an author’s writing. Yes it is debatable but I’m viewing it from my own lived experiences.  Even though we can write objectively, a voice of self is still present in the writing. Very much like an individual thumb print.

© 2010, Efthalia Pegios

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