I believe it’s important to reflect back on what you write, to self-criticise. To examine and share the ideas you perhaps had behind a piece of work. It helps to understand if your intentions come across in the writing and if what you wanted to convey reached the reader.
I first began writing commentaries on my work at university, mostly because it was part of the creative writing course requirements. Write and reflect. Read and reflect. I found it an invaluable tool, and it forced me to think harder about what I was doing when I wrote.
This is why I keep writing critiques and commentaries of my writing to this day.
This practice also fueled my decision to write both fiction and critique it on my other blog, Fairy Tale Fantastica. I’m by no means a fairy tale expert, so it’s useful to look back at my fairy tale re-inventions and assess what I’m doing when I try to write these short stories, many of which are fairy tale critiques within themselves.
Commenting on my work also helps me see patterns and recurring themes and motifs (or dare I say, ‘habits’) in my writing. For instance, I tend to like subtle endings that drop off quickly. And (obviously) I enjoy blurring the lines between different fairy tale narratives.
To get more of an idea of what I mean, you can check out my commentary piece on The Boy and the Crone (a poem that changes up the Hansel & Gretal tale) or my brief comments on The Boy & the Reflection or The Sweet House.
*Image courtesy of b5fman at openclipart.org