Summer is here, the time of year when I do my best writing (probably because I have time). For better or for worse, I’m a goal-oriented person. Sometimes these goals are rather nebulous– I have a general idea of where I want to go but the concrete destination isn’t exactly clear. I’m typically OK with that. It’s important for me to articulate these directions (as hazy as they may be), both to begin to chart my course and for future reference (when I look back and try to understand myself as a writer and ultimately as a person). So, here are the JWB goals for summer 2010.
1. I am at a point in my creative nonfiction writing career where I need to hone my style. I still do quite a bit of academic publishing, and I find this tone and lexicon creeps into my memoir and personal essay work more than I would like it to. One of my goals is to find my voice and aesthetic range as a creative nonfiction (non-academic) writer.
2. I am also a professional travel writer. Most of the travel writing I do is for tourism or cultural blogs and magazines. I frequently want to include “foreign” or “cultural” elements in my memoirs and personal essays, but I fear these inclusions seem forced or trite. Another one of my goals is to refine the way I address travel and culture in my memoirs and essays.
3. My last goal is a bit more elusive, but no less important. I hope to nuance my rhythm as a writer. Throughout my years of studying literature and writing, I have always been drawn to the work of authors who (seemingly effortlessly) infuse their prose with a rhythm that drives it forward while simultaneously causing the reader to want to linger on certain passages, to absorb all the beauty, shock or grotesqueness contained in them. It is this dynamism that I seek to master in my own writing.