Objectivity in writing requires distance

In the introduction to A Book of Luminous Things: an international anthology of poetry, Nobel Laureate Czeslaw Milosz says that the secret of making art (including literature) is distance in time.

In other words, writers need patience to wait for the appropriate time to publish their work.

We writers are usually compelled to write about events that arouse a passionate emotion in us. Passion for your subject is a sign that you’ve discovered the right subject. Write your passion.

But remember, a written expression of one’s personal passionate emotions is a confession. There might be a time and a purpose for publishing one’s confession, but we’d encourage you to strive for a higher goal.

Our aim is to publish the works of passionate writers who transcend their own emotions to craft an experience for the reader. 

To consider the reader’s experience, writers need adequate time to distance themselves from their passionate fear, thrill, resentment, anger and/or devotion. Being immersed in the immediate experience is wonderful for the creation of first drafts. But being too close to one’s material can get in the way of effective revision. Let life give you new experiences which will shape and refine your memories. Allow yourself time to clarify and even to forget. Then, what you remember become like a distilled essence, purer.

If you’re writing about something powerfully important, allow enough time to pass so that you may view the scene from a distance.

Viewing the faraway past from the present is like viewing a city from a high place. In remembering with more objectivity, we are removed from the necessity to react. The past event is recalled through the filter of distance in time.

In memory we no long participate in the action of what happened then. Dark alleys hold no threat of danger. We are not startled by a sudden siren, are not enticed by glittering window displays, do not respond to or run away from what is happening. An event in the distant past holds no trepidation or anticipation after we have reconciled ourselves to the outcome. We are no longer passionately acting and reacting or trying to change things. Distance has produced the objectivity necessary for contemplation.

We, as publishers, are convinced that writers, as artists, need objectivity in order to make something (a work of writing) out of their experiences and ideas.

Our desire is to work with writers who are passionate about their ideas and experiences, but whose reasons for publishing are humbly more focused on the reader’s needs than on their own.

The best works begin when the writing is good for the writer. The best works are ready for publication when the reading is good for the reader.

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3 comments

    1. Authentic writing takes time to unfold. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with formulaic writing, and there are readers who enjoy reading formulaic novels, the process of finding one’s own creative impulse and bringing it to individual fruition requires time and distance.

      Our goal is to bring out the individual author’s heartfelt and unique contribution. We find that inherently more interesting, and more lastingly valuable, than just another variation on the same old fantasy or romance or conversion-story formula.

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