A READER WANTS TO KNOW….

THE ART OF THE REAL

“Would you explain your writing to me?”
“Certainly — I write what I see.”

“So, what you see is what you say?”
“In my mind, I see it that way.”

“But things aren’t always what they seem.”
“In that case, I write what I dream.”

“Pray, how to tell the two apart?”
“Some might say, therein’s the art.”

“Then, that’s the art — to part the two?”
“No, that’s the part that’s up to you.”

“Up to me? But you’re the writer!”
“Truth be told, aren’t you the decider?”

 

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GIVE ME FIVE

It may not seem so, judging by the 300 or so posts I’ve crammed into this blog the past two years (not to mention my comments and responses here and on other blogs), but I’m a painstakingly slow writer. Perhaps I take too much time to think about what I want to write, and then I compound that interest by re-thinking as I’m writing, then tightening up what I’ve written, then editing, then re-editing what I’ve edited, et cetera (on second thought, make that etc.).

Mind you, it’s not that I feel cursed by an addiction to unattainable perfection, or even to attainable quality. But I’d like to think that ARS GRATIA ARTIS (“Art for art’s sake”) is more than an MGM motto — it’s part of what every creative writer should strive for. Nonetheless, there comes a point where something has to give. There are too many other things I want or need to do, and there are only 24 hours, more or less, in a day. If I can’t yield on quality, the compromise will have to come on quantity.

So, for the month of August, I’m going to slow down, try something a little different. Instead of posting every two or three days (even, at times, daily), I’m going to cut back by publishing every five days (August 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th and 30th). My hope for this experiment is that by posting less frequently but on a regular schedule, readers won’t miss the dubious pleasure of my company after a day or two, because they’ll know “I’ll be back” on dates certain.

So, give me five. It’s not like I’m asking for a handout.

 

WRITE OF PASSAGE

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.
–Ernest Hemingway 

Before becoming an internet blogger several years ago, I had been a much-published “typewriter” poet and writer for over twenty years in various literary journals and magazines….yet I don’t recall ever being asked why I write. Perhaps the motivation is obvious. I write because I’m a writer — writing is in my blood. The reason I write is akin to the answer Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) gave Rick (Humphrey Bogart) in CASABLANCA: We might as well question why we breathe.

This is not to say that everyone who writes is a writer who must write. Just as there are all kinds of people, there are all kinds of writers with all kinds of agendas, many of whom (from a passion standpoint) appear more agenda-driven than writing-driven….and that’s all well and good, though I’m not sure you can have it both ways and call yourself a creative writer. It seems to me that anyone who doesn’t love writing for its own sake is not on the same page as a creative writer….and it seems that I am not alone in that opinion:

A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.
–Maya Angelou

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. –Mark Twain

We live and breathe words. It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them. Reading your words, what you wrote, how you were lonely sometimes and afraid, but always brave; the way you saw the world….  –Cassandra Clare

Fantasy is hardly an excape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.
–Lloyd Alexander

There is no such thing as a moral or immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.  —Oscar Wilde

Or maybe that isn’t all. There are many more quotes from writers worth repeating, and I expect I’ll be repeating some of them sometime soon.