It’s tricky with writing, because you have only the words. In person, introductions are more beautifully complex. Body language and nuances of voice reveal so much about a person and what he or she intends to say. But here and on the page, these nonverbal cues are absent.

We are essentially creating a characterization for our selves by the content we place here, by the titles we choose, the topics we write about (be they political, literary, artistic, domestic, etc.). We suddenly have an audience, even if it’s only a few people. With an audience, we are sending out a message.

When I was teaching writing, I had my students do self-portraits in words. This was a great exercise for college freshmen to do, and it was my favorite assignment to grade. The kids took all kinds of creative risks, which was one of the points.

I never did the exercise myself. Perhaps this is it.

Published by Valya

Valya Dudycz Lupescu has been making magic with food and words for more than 20 years, incorporating folklore from her Ukrainian heritage with practices that honor the Earth. She’s a writer, content developer, instructor, and mother of three teenagers. Valya is the author of MOTHER CHRISTMAS, THE SILENCE OF TREES, and the founding editor of CONCLAVE: A Journal of Character. Along with Stephen H. Segal, she is the co-author of FORKING GOOD: An Unofficial Cookbook for Fans of The Good Place and GEEK PARENTING: What Joffrey, Jor-El, Maleficent, and the McFlys Teach Us about Raising a Family (Quirk Books), and co-founder of the Wyrd Words storytelling laboratory. Valya earned her MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and her poetry and prose have been published in anthologies and magazines that include, The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, Kenyon Review, Culture, Gargoyle Magazine, Gone Lawn, Strange Horizons, Mythic Delirium. You can find her on Twitter @valya and on @valya

8 thoughts on “Definition”

  1. swampwitch says:

    I write here more often for myself than not…it’s a stream of consciousness almost – a musing within myself that needs to be given a voice. Sometimes the written word can relay a concept more eloquently and with more meaning than the spoken word because it allows for imaginative interpretation on the part of the reader, and there is not the distraction of having to participate in conversation while bleeding ones thoughts.

    You have a gift.

    I am thrilled to see you experiment with it here.


  2. hollyheartfree says:

    Hi sweetie-I’ve noticed that when I’m reading things on LJ I can ‘hear’ the voices of the person writing. I get the inflections, the intent. I think I get the messages as they are meant. Perhaps not. I don’t write for others here, though. I write for myself. Things that I need to put into words so maybe they will stick in my memory. Things that I want to be remembered. Perhaps this is very selfish of me but since it IS my LJ, I figure it can be just what I want it to be. Good to hear you are writing again.

    Big Hugs

  3. charyvna says:

    I have often thought the same things when reading LJ or blogs, that I can hear the voices of some writers so clearly. Both of your writing is like that for me.

    What both of you wrote got me thinking. This is probably the one place where I don’t need to think about audience, where I don’t need to be self-conscious. Certainly a few loved ones may read what I write, but here I can be open without censorship. It’s a liberating thought.
    Thank you.

  4. hollyheartfree says:

    Oh sweetie-this cracked me up! I can’t imagine why you would feel self-conscious. Actually I was feeling out of my comfort zone when I found that you would be reading me! Because you have that degree…that talent…that english major smartness. Ok. Ok. It may sound silly to you but I have not the things you have. I have stories, but not the wonderful word skills that you have. So let’s just say that we were both self conscious and now we are both past this point and will continue to be ourselves and to grow as much as we can.

    The people who read us aren’t an ‘audience’. They are trusted friends and siblings who don’t judge, but who love with open hearts. Thank goddess for them!

    Many many blessings to you and yours

  5. swampwitch says:

    Miz Holly Crone, if you think you don’t have wonderful word skills, you need to go back and re read your own stuff. I think the part of LJ that I love the most is that it gives a glimpse into the everyday life of my siblings and the things that move and shape them. And it gives each of us a chacne to practice how to say something in a way that profoundly effects another through the written word.
    Valya, I love your style of writing and I can’t wait to see you work it out here with us.
    Love, love, love…

  6. charyvna says:

    Oh Holly! Your writing is so lovely and evocative! I think your writing is more beautiful than many writers I went to school with. So much of writing is subjective…but indeed we are past this and shall continue to grow and write!

  7. charyvna says:

    Yes, it is the idea of LJ as window that appeals to me as well. Thank you Angie…Love you!

  8. hollyheartfree says:

    You have a great gift in finding the right words. So thank you. And I also adore the glimpses into other lives, the feelings and troubles and challenges that make us who we are. LJ is a wonderful way to connect.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *