It's struck my curiosity for the last couple of Christmases that if Tim Burton ever did a remake of the 1960s B-rated movie, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, what would it look like? Probably something like the sketch below (please click it to see full detail) which is particularly taken from the toy battle scene between the evil Martians and the Earth and Martian children . . .
Please click to see larger image. Photo Credit: Steven Rose, Jr.
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
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?