Dear Litarary Ladies,
How does one develop a unique writing style? I’m not an especially gifted wordsmith, so I thought if I came up with a style that sets me apart, I wouldn’t agonize so much over finding the time to hone my skills, or lack thereof.
I simply don’t believe in style. The style is you. Oh, you can cultivate a style, I suppose, if you like. But I should say it remains a cultivated style. It remains artificial and imposed, and I don’t think it deceives anyone. A cultivated style would be like a mask. Everyone knows it’s a mask, and sooner or later you must show yourself—or at least, you show yourself as someone who could not afford to show himself, and so created something to hide behind. . . You do not create a style. You work, and develop yourself; your style is emanation from your own being.
—Katherine Anne Porter
from Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews, 1963
Posted by Nava Atlas Wednesday, October 14, 2009