At our first meeting this term, my workshop instructor, Heidi, told us to come back next week with a list of our “artistic DNA,” ten works of literature that we felt most informed, influenced, or inspired our own work. She had been talking about Jonathan Lethem’s “The Ecstasy of Influence” and the dreaded question of originality. I’m not particularly bothered by whether or not originality is possible; I know what I’m doing has been done, continues to be done, millions of times by people more and less eloquent than I am. I’m not here to compete with them…that’s too hard! Are you kidding? I’m just here to contribute. Nothing wrong with throwing another one on the pile.
The main issue of the assignment was the list: I was going to have to assess my own style and see how it stacks to others’. Which is also hard.