Steve Harvey’s The Art of Self evaluates writing not as a form of creation, but rather as shaping. In the essay, he plays with the idea that a writer should fashion a text. “I am not sure what fashion a text means,” says elizahmorales in a discussion on the work. So, what exactly does it mean?

Steve Harvey explains this; “Only the text, shed of ourselves and hammered into shape…” demonstrates the idea of shaping–or “fashioning”–a text. One must first remove, then mold like a blacksmith at a forge. The shaping, therefore, is done via the execution of choices.

On the topic of choices, dimiamagraz posits, “Can we choose our stories or do our stories choose us?” His question alludes to a view that these choices are somewhat unconscious; picking the right words and elements, in this perspective, come from a process in the background of the mind. Therefore, perhaps no one is really free to chose, but choice is mandated by one’s own mind.

Harvey states that the most important choices “are the choices an author makes about language.” This is due to the fact that every writer has their own unique voice and experiences, and therefore must adequately convey them to the masses. “Atmosphere, tone, and feel are all changed accordingly to what words you use,” comments eddiea8472, fashioning his own explanation of the concept.

dimiamagraz. Comment on “The Art of Self” Annotation Studio, 3 May 2017,

eddiea8472. Comment on “The Art of Self” Annotation Studio, 3 May 2017,

elizahmorales. Comment on “The Art of Self” Annotation Studio, 3 May 2017,

Harvey, Steven. “The Art of Self.” Annotation Studio, 1 May 2017,


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