So, if it’s basically universally true that people shield that much of their personalities to fit in, or at least feel like they’re fitting in, what do writers do?
Do we shield three-fourths of our writing to make it like other books we’ve read, or what we think the genre requires?
Maybe. I mean, there’s a difference between knowing the market an knowing yourself, and connecting the two is probably one of the hardest parts of your writing career.
Or maybe the three-fourth drops away early. Perhaps around puberty, when our school-aged peers are at their cruelest and least civilized. Maybe growing up is shedding those quarters and the happiest adults are the ones who forgot all about those quarters and what they looked like before they were surgically, societally altered.
Another way to think about this quote is to imagine that three-fourths of your personality that you obscure can slip out the backdoor and find its way into your work. Maybe this is what writers mean when they say, “I write to explain the world to myself.”
What do you think? Is Arthur Schonpenhauer right? Argue in the comments.