When Did Writing Become So Impersonal?

Anyone who has ever attempted to write – whether it be poems, prose, fiction, non-fiction – knows the saying “write about what you know”. And of course, if you don’t “know” of very much, that’s going to be hugely difficult.  But if you write about what you know, it’s all based on your own experiences, your feelings, and your thoughts.  It has to be personal, right?

Of course, in a social media society, where we’re overwhelmed by technology on a daily basis, the old ways are going out of the window.  Who writes letters anymore? I think the last time I wrote a letter was in my first few weeks at university, to my two closest friends from home. And looking back at those (which I still keep in a folder on my bookcase), the big problem is that I can’t read the other half of the conversation.

Writing 0: Email 1.

My inspiration always used to come from my thoughts and feelings.  But then those thoughts and feelings were processed through the cold hard plastic of a laptop keyboard, thrown together onto a stark white background and transformed into letters on a screen.  A far cry from the passion whirling through my brain as I wrote.

Even now, I don’t seem to be able to write poetry like I used to. Not that it was ever any good, but I used to be able to sit, doodle, write things in a notebook – each wrong word was scribbled out a good five times (I never learned in school when I was told to use one neat line).  The personal touch to the personal words. But now, it’s notes made on my iPhone as I sit (rarely) on the Tube, when a thought flies at 90 miles an hour through my brain, desperately making a break for freedom before I can write it down.

Does anyone write any more?  Or do we all just tap at the keyboard in an attempt for inspiration?


5 thoughts on “When Did Writing Become So Impersonal?

  1. twentysomethingtenacity says:

    I began writing letters when I was 13. My best friend lived about 30 minutes away and our parents were not fans of driving us to see one another. So, we started writing letters to one another. I’m now 26 (omg half of my life up until now!), and still write letters weekly. I know I’m just one face in the masses, but I absolutely love it. It just brings me so much joy to see a letter or a postcard in my mailbox.

    For my poetry, I have a notebook in my nightstand and I just scribble away. By the time it makes it to publish, it’s a vastly different creature, but the writing it out gets the creative juices flowing and a nice starting point.

    Liked by 2 people

    • millerralice says:

      Oh my god I’m so glad someone still writes! I don’t know why I stopped really – probably because of commuting and it’s not that convenient to have a notebook…I always have a notebook on long train journeys just in case, but as I tend to have my laptop it’s becoming kinda redundant 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      • twentysomethingtenacity says:

        Oh yeah, when I commute I want to have a few things as possible to weigh me down. I guess my writing by hand usually occurs when I remember to take a minute to make myself tea and relax for 5 seconds 😂


  2. intrepid8 says:

    Hmm. I tend to write Word documents first and then transfer them to my blog. (Intrepid venture.WordPress.com btw!) I find editing stirs my creativity but I hate how long it takes.

    All in all, I think making sure the words are my own satisfy my personal touch.

    Great post! Well put!


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