Influences in Writing from The Bipolar Writer

This is not a typical post from The Bipolar Writer, but I wanted to talk about something that seems to come up a lot recently–my writing influences.

The Influences in my Writing

For those that don’t know, I started working on my master’s in October. I am staying within the same area that I was working on with my bachelor’s degree–Creative Writing and English.

The beginning parts focus a lot on finding out what kind of writer I am, learning to read like a writer, and the most important the influences of my own writing. When it comes to reading books I have no specific genre that I conform to, I am happy reading anything from Modernism to Romanticism; I am a fan of literature in general. When it comes to my influences in actual writing I am more defined.

Perhaps the most significant influence in my writing is the works of Edgar Allan Poe (in honor of Poe I used Edgar in my pseudonym James Edgar Skye.) My favorite era in literature is Romanticism, and more specifically I am enamored by Dark Romanticism.

There is not a poem, short story or works of fiction that I am not amazed by the way that Poe writes. I consider Poe one of the most significant wordsmiths of all time. What I am always in awe when I read a piece of his writing and my favorite, of course, is The Raven. That is why as influencers come in my writing I write my fiction in darker Dark Romanticism or at least a more modern version of this sub-genre.

The other influences of my writing come from some of my favorite authors. There is Rowling, King, George R.R. Martin, and James Patterson just to name a few. I identify the most with Ernest Hemingway as a writer, and given his personal history, it makes sense, but his influence can also be found in my fictional writing. The way that Hemingway wrote in succinct and hard prose always drew me to his work, and his novels seemed to be influenced by his personal history. The Sun Also Rises to me is perhaps one of the greatest 20th-century novels to ever be written. I could say that for any of Hemingway’s literary works.

I conder myself a decent writer and I am right there when it comes to being a legit writer. I am still finding myself as a fictional writer, I have the non-fiction voice down, so I will be working towards finding my place in the writing world. I know my future is in fantasy fiction/supernatural and this certainly where my next novel is going.

What prompted this blog post is that I thought that in 2019 I would spend some time talking about writing. It was the original goal of this blog, and while I talk about it every now and writing in my life is so vital to my mental health. I am happiest when I am writing.

What are some of your writing influences? I’d like to hear from my fellow writer bloggers.

Always Keep Fighting

James

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31 Replies to “Influences in Writing from The Bipolar Writer”

  1. Look forward to hearing more on this! I’m always intrigued by what inspires writers to write and I too am happiest when I’m writing 🧡 Thank you for sharing.

  2. You know what? I don’t think I have ever considered this. I do love to read, always have. I have not yet embarked on the classics beyond Catcher In The Rye. I want to! There are just so many that I don’t know where to start. I will say that I am deeply moved by Kahlil Gibran, and William Butler Yeates’ Brown Penny stands out as a favorite poem. I am equally as delighted by Judy Bloom, Margaret Wise Brown, and Erma Bombeck. I’m all over the place! I only know that my father, who died when I was 2, was an avid journal keeper, and writing has seemed as natural to me as breathing. It is a large part of who I am as an artist. I really enjoy and am inspired by your blog.

    1. I was all over the place as well. In my masters program it gave me what I needed to understand who my influences are, but the truth is like you I am also influenced by all that read. What I wrote here are my main influencers. You will find your way and writing is second nature for me as well.

  3. I love this post. I was wondering, do you find it difficult to enjoy the work of any kind of artist (such as an author) if you have an issue with something about them as a person? I have BPD so feel deeply and without barriers; I’m very black and white. I don’t know how to separate an author as an author and an author as a person. I ask because I’ve read things about Poe that make my insides churn but I can’t pretend I don’t understand the obvious talent and contributions to literature.

    1. Your question is a good one. I tend to with what the writer has written over their personal history. We all have things that we are not happy about in our past. Things that we did wrong. Hemingway killed himself and Poe, well had a lot of demons. I think that is why his writing speaks to me.

      1. Thank you for your response. I guess I find it a little harder to put things aside but I will try because I’d love to know more of Poe’s writing than I do currently. I adore Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath and Dorothy Parker (though she didn’t commit suicide) for the same reasons so I completely understand why Poe speaks to you so deeply.

      2. I think it’s a matter of preference. I adore writers more so if someone was just a regular person and did the things Poe did I might think differently. That is what makes us human.

    2. This is actually a thorny issue I’ve had to face too. My solution is to not learn anything about the author if I can – to let the writing speak for itself. It’s not a perfect solution because I’m denying myself additional knowledge that may give the writing more depth and texture. But sometimes knowing more changes the understanding of the work in a way that spoils the original enjoyment. I choose to be a coward and not look at the author.

      1. Thanks for sharing, I don’t think that’s cowardly at all and I may have to do this in future myself.

  4. Charles Stross has a distinctive voice that I like very much. Ursula Le Guin is not just a writer but a storyteller par excellence – much of her work sounds like an oral tradition set to pages. Cavafy’s poetry. Connie Willis because she does mad research for her books and because in addition to her more famous works she’s written Passage. Vikram Seth, all of the South American authors – Cortázar / Allende / García Márquez / Lorca / Borges et al. If you want some scary stories read Cortázar’s “Blow Up and Other Stories.”

  5. I always feel unsettled and a bit cranky if I haven’t written in a while. Glad I’m not the only one! We have some similar influences, so I appreciate this post!

  6. I love this, a pleasant read. I have spent a life suffering depression, and writing dark poems or short stories, only over the last few years has it been pointed out to me by a therapist, is that what drives my writing is my depression, I use it to power my writing, and am able to express myself far better in black and white than I can in speech, crippled with the image of a useless frightened child that has been forced upon me at a young age, and carried throughout my life as the image I think the world see’s of me. Wether what I write is of value or just drivel to keep my nocturnal hours entertained, is the journey I take now with trepidation as I reveal my innermost fears and weaknesses to the harsh world of the internet.

  7. This is an interesting exercise to me–who influenced my writing? Well I’m a big fan of Ayn Rand. Atlas Shrugged is my favorite novel and I also like her non-fiction writing on philosophy. My writing was inspired by therapy–or by my therapist herself, even. She was always talking to me about writing my feelings down in my journal and I started to realize how good it felt. I also took a writing course at one point that really sparked interest in professional writing. So I would ask, do you think a degree is essecial to survive as professional writer? If you have a moment to read a few of my blogs I would LOVE a little input. I’m so far from where I want to be that I don’t know which direction I should go in order to improve my work. I love your voice and I hope to hear a lot more! Thank you for sharing.

  8. Interesting. I like Lovecraft. I had a college course on Poe that I dropped. I was in a sour mood in general, life falling apart, you know, that boring person stuff… I wrote an essay attacking Poe. I said the perverse imaginings of him failed to conquer humans and show how we are perverse ourselves. It taught me that I should be respectful of classic authors. My teacher wrote me a nice note about this. I had to drop the class. I simply couldn’t handle it.

  9. I am happy to have come across your site. I have depressive bipolar. I like writing more of the dark stuff. I adore Poe too. He is one of my favourites.

  10. The writer in a sense tames the chaos of reality with the well-defined rules of fantasy. Like God bringing order to chaos. He spoke and the cosmos was created from nothing at all.

  11. I deal with bipolar 2, depression, anxiety, OCD, and PTSD. Writing is my lifeline. Poe is my favorite author, by far! I even have a throw pillow with him on it on my couch. I also have one of Mark Twain. I love reading fiction as much as I love writing it. I love to read biographies, too and have toyed with the idea of writing my own memoirs.

    1. Writing my memoir is the best decision that I made in my life. I think you should give writing your story down. They have this Poe festival every year in Baltimore that I want to go to in the future.

  12. Agreed! The Raven – the suspense, the darkness, and of course the beauty… Another significant influence for me was John Keats, specifically To Autumn, life overflows from his words. Like you I have, well I like to say had now, mental health problems and this poem represents to me the rebirth, a fresh hope that comes with the change of a season, the change of a mindset, the change of a mood.

  13. I’ve always wanted to write. I have journals and I write anything I like. I do not let any of my friends read them unless I allow them to. I have tons of draft, fragmanted thoughts kept unpublished. Whenever I let them, there are grammar mistakes. Hesitation stops me (not to mention the clichés, dullness and lack of coherence) But now, I decided to post them here. Maybe I’ll grow more. Maybe I’ll learn.

    I read Philosophical and Psychological books and mostly write how to live and overcome pain and suffering, generally self-help. Hoping that I can help and inspire others to thrive.

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