Writing for Self
I’ve thought on the subject of this post for so long, I thought I’d written it, but I couldn’t find it. I was reminded about it when I read Conversations With Novels. It was Mauen’s comment on Writer’s Shame that reminded me of this post.
In high school, I took art and acting classes. I planned to be an acting teacher, but when I read my yearbook, everyone complimented me on my artwork, so I went to college for Fine Arts. Just before I graduated, I changed majors. I didn’t think I could make at living painting. I graduated in Graphic Design.
I worked in computer graphics for awhile and loved it. I’ve since moved on. To my surprise, I don’t miss it. I think I don’t miss the pressure.
Now I write.
In college Fine Art classes, I remember conversations where students were disappointed because they were unable to please their teacher. No matter what they did, they mostly got C’s.
I didn’t care what the teacher wanted. I painted and drew what I wanted, while staying within the assignment. I got A’s.
In Graphics, I had to follow directions and follow the assignments more closely. I got B’s.
It’s not so much that I’m rebellious. I just do better when I create to please me; then I shine.
I’ve been in art galleries where a commercial artist’s work was very good. But in the back, out of sight from their customers, was the work the artist loved to do. It was magnificent. The artist didn’t believe their private work was what their customers wanted, so they hid it.
Personally, I believe they were cheating themselves. They may have been doing well with the commercial work, but they would have done so much better with what they loved. If one continually denies their true self, that which they produce will dry up and die.
In writing, there’s big bucks in lusty romance novels and vampires sagas. I’m not interested in either of those genres. If I tried to write romance or vampire novels, just for the money, I’d be a big failure. I’d be miserable.
Just like painting, I have to write where my heart is.
There are some who can paint or write outside their heart and create solely for commercial value, and be successful. Not me. If I work from outside my heart, my creativity dries up.
I think most people are like me. There is something deep within us – something none of us can explain, that clamors to be expressed. It spills ideas into our heads, reveals stories, and characters we have to write about.
No matter how hard we try to ignore it, it won’t be silenced. We must obey and write.
Sometimes it seems as if my brain will never stop. As soon as I get one thing written something else pops in. But there are times when suddenly all will go silent and I fear it’s over.
Then someone will say something, or I’ll read something, or I’ll see something in a movie or TV show, that will inspire me, my brain kicks in, and ideas flow.
It amazes me most when I sit down to write with no inspiration floating around. I may only have a sentence or a sparkle of an idea, but as I begin, words tumble out.
As I read your blogs, I realize most of you are the same. It’s like we are a part of a club we didn’t know was out there until we read each other’s blogs.
It’s nice to know I’m normal. ;0)