i got the answer to my own questions in my previous post below, about my writing and what it feeds on, while i was driving home for lunch an hour or so ago.
it came to me that maybe now, the time has come to take my writing to a higher level, the level of pure craft and Art.
after a weeklong creative writing workshop i attended in 3 years ago, i was asked to deliver the "valedictory" address in behalf of my co-fellows in the workshop, and i remember speaking about my own insights into the writing process, about how it has three levels:
1. the level of catharsis - usually most of us are driven to writing just to "get it all out" or we'd burst from all the pent-up feelings and confusing thoughts deep inside
2. the level of self-expression and self-understanding - when we've gotten the hang of it, we tend to continue writing just to express our selves, to hear ourselves think and see ourselves feel, so to speak, and in the process come to a better and deeper understanding of who we are and how the world is around us
3. the level of craft and Art - from self-absorbed writing for emotional release and self-expression, the highest level is probably that of pure craft, where we seriously study now our gift and its Art, and apply ourselves to the discipline of using it to touch others and communicate more effectively, beyond ego at last, just submitting ourselves to the training of our Muse.
and that's where i see my self going into in my writing now.
so be it! : )