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Monday, December 16, 2013

The Writing Passion Is There for a Purpose--Use it!

Are writers (and other artists for the matter) made or born? In my opinion, real writers are born. Writer Lauren Sapala believes similarly to this and talks about it in her article, “What You Were Born To Do”. She talks about how crucial it is for the writer to use his/her gift since not to do so can lead to serious consequences, most of them mental health in nature. Not that this necessarily means that insanity would be the result, but the consequences could be unhealthy depression rising from resentment. Why would born artists (which includes writers, painters, musicians, and even game creators) not create? Because society, especially here in the U.S., makes it appear that creativity is not a practical occupation. Bull shit. Such an illusion is especially so with fiction writing. It's just a story of untrue events, unless it makes Best Seller money, time shouldn't be given to writing that novel, say the mainstream pragmatists. They also say "Get a real job!" So what the hell is a real job? Working at a desk in a high rise fooling people into thinking they can only bank at this particular bank because it's the best of all banks in the world?

There's an urge, an inner motive, for the artist to do his/her work. This urge is more often than not innate rather than learned. To not follow through with it is just about as bad as self-amputating your hands because you won’t do anything with them.

Many of us artists and writers have to create because it's what we were meant to do. And, yes, it is practical. It's practical because, for one thing, it's soothing for the mind and soul and so it’s satisfying for one's self. For another thing, everybody likes to get away from everyday reality, from everyday routine. Everybody, artists and non-artists, like to see what other people have to go through that most of us wouldn't want to go through. Nobody wants to be marooned on an uninhabited island hundreds of miles from any mainland. But many of us want to see how other people deal with this kind of situation. We don't and should not want to see real people land in such situations, and so the safe way to get our entertainment is to look at these experiences through fiction in whatever medium: literature, TV, film, live theatre, etc.

Another practicality that fiction writing has is that it helps readers better deal with their own problems by making them see their lives in a different light. There are all kinds of ways fiction can do this. In horror it may make a person think, “My life isn't as bad as I've thought it to be.” In fantasy it might make a reader realise, “If the hero can work through a problem such as slaying a nearly invincible dragon then I can deal with my own boss at work.” In romance, the main character dealing with her problems may give comfort and hope to the reader in dealing with a break-up.

Not everybody wants to write these stories. Many people hate writing because it is hard work. It is extremely difficult work that the majority of us writers do not get paid enough for. Yet we do it because we like it, because we have an unending urge to create. Somebody has to do it because somebody's going to want to read stories. So why should it not be us who have a born passion for it regardless of how much money it pays? The passion is there for a purpose or else it wouldn’t be there. So I say this to my fellow writers and artists: use your passion because it was meant to be used; to hell with what the pragmatic majority says. We’re providing their entertainment and escape from their everyday, boring lives.

So can you honestly say a person can make him/herself into a passionate writer?



2 comments:

  1. I completely agree. There is an innate drive that writers/artists/musicians have that cannot be taught; it's either there or it isn't. It's just too bad that many people do not appreciate how much work that drive pushes us to do.

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    1. Perhaps it's because so many people who don't have that drive themselves have a harder time understanding our roles as artists. And it's probably a problem here in the U.S. more than it is in many other parts of the world, such as Europe, because the U.S. is so commercially and profit oriented which obscures the importance of art for art's sake. Not that we artists shouldn't get paid for our work; we should. But the emphasis on profit is overdone here.

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