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Kill Your Darlings


Kill Your Darlings

As one of my best friends told me as a fellow writer “Kill Your Darlings.” The exact origin of the phrase is said to have come from William Faulkner, but it has become an axiom that I have increasingly found myself following.


What does this mean in the literary sense? To me, it means that one should take their favorite writers and artists off the pedestal and stop seeing them as infallible individuals. Or in other words, learning to stop dick riding.

I don’t want to name names, but I have found that I have had to do this in the past year with one of my favorite bloggers. His blog posts and insights about psychology, dynamics in life and popular culture in general were things that I gained a lot from. He drew out his arguments very fluidly, and wasn’t afraid to break up his synopsis into several parts to fully drive home all that he had to say. He wasn’t afraid to talk about tough and blunt truths on just about any topic.

But as of late, I found that he has started to come off as pretentious, and out of touch. Like as if he’s above the fray of everyone else and their beliefs. The same blogger that instilled in me the ability to see things in nuance in many areas of life and pop culture, judges people relentlessly on Twitter and his recent writings.

I get it. He does not it owe it to me to write in a certain tone. In fact, he doesn’t owe me shit. Just like I don’t owe anyone shit. Each artist has the right to follow through on their artistic vision in whatever way he or she sees fit. He has the right to offend and cast snobby judgments on those who aren’t as enlightened as him. Just like I have the right to tune him out.

I guess it may not be so much that he has become more condescending and above it all, but rather, his writings which have guided me in the past have outlived their usefulness to me.

Perhaps killing your darlings isn’t so much casting them aside, but learning to discern facts and knowledge for yourself without giving too much due praise to one entity.

At least that’s what I think right now in my many twists and turns towards become a better writer and artist.

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