Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Just because you can, it doesn't mean you should . . .
The above quote came to me out of the blue the other day while I was showering. Sexy visual, right? LOL! Anyway, I thought it would be nice to do a blog, exploring what it means. The quote, not the visual of me in a shower. That part just means I don’t stink.
There are those who write because they can.
We all know these writers. They’re the ones who are technically flawless. The ones who spent years and thousands of dollars on earning degrees that say they can write. And they can. Nothing wrong with that. But do they believe in what they’re writing, or are they writing for the paycheck? I’ve heard it time and time again . . . a well-known author has a series that hits the bestsellers lists every time a new book comes out. The problem is that as time goes on, it becomes obvious that they’re milking the series for every last dime they can get. Am I saying it’s wrong to make money doing what you love? Nope. Not in the least . . . if you love it and it’s quality work. But know when the story has run its course and end it already. Afraid you won’t be able to come up with something else the masses will love? Fine. If you’re scared, say you’re scared, but stop taking money you haven’t earned.
There are those who write because they have to.
Picture a balloon filling with water. The more it takes in, the bigger it expands until it’s reached its limit and is in danger of bursting. Give the water an outlet, say maybe a pinhole sized relief of sorts, and it can safely continue to take on more. Now imagine the balloon is that part of a writer’s mind which houses their imagination, and the water symbolizes ideas, stories, and emotions (empathetic and sympathetic) which fill up the space. There’s only so much their mind can take before they need an outlet as well, right? Writing is that outlet. It’s a form of therapy, whether you’re telling your own story or that of imaginary characters. It doesn’t matter if the story ever sees the light of day because the author is writing from their soul, purging their innermost thoughts and feelings onto a page and bringing a bit of something magical, a part of themselves, to life. They are genuine, and so the reader feels their story in a core place.
There are those who need to write, but can’t seem to find the words.
I believe I have a muse. I also believe that when I’m a missing out on something important in my life because I’m so consumed by writing, my muse becomes a cheeky little bastard who does the disappearing act. His absence forces me to push away from my desk and live life in the real world instead of in the make-believe one in my head. As aggravating as this may be, I realize its importance. Allow me to get a little personal here in order to give you an example. I recently went through a divorce. Okay, so it seems like it was just yesterday, but that’s sort of part of the point I’m about to make. When the divorce was final, I wrote like the wind! I’m one of those writers who “have” to write. See above: writing is my therapy, yada, yada, yada. And then blamo! . . . nothing. It was then that I took a look around and realized it had been a year and a half since I’d been kissed. I write romance, and hadn’t been kissed in a year and a half? That’s just wrong on so many levels. Apparently, my muse agreed. If you’re doing the math, this means I’m now on the dating scene, which is a whole other post should I ever decide to get that personal with you, but it is DEFINITELY providing some great material for one of my next writing projects. The big point I’m trying to make is that true inspiration comes from everything in our surroundings, but we have to surround ourselves with everything in order to experience it.
A soulful reader can always tell the difference.
Let’s take a moment to talk about the reader. They also come in all shapes and sizes: those who read because it’s an assignment, those who read because it’s a fad, and those who read because they love to get lost in a world that is not their own to experience the awesome power of imagination. The last would be the soulful reader. That reader looks beyond the written word to find all the magical nuances beneath. They see bits of the author through his or her writing, and they think about the story long after the last page has turned. A soulful reader doesn’t get hung up on minute grammatical errors, and they realize that not every book written will be their cup of tea, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a bad book. There is no such thing as a fad read. They read what they like, not what they’re told they should like. I wouldn’t necessarily call them rebels, but I would definitely say they’re the equivalent to music snobs. And they can smell a superficial author from a mile away.
This is in no way a comprehensive study of the topic. Just my ramblings and observations. But I’m curious . . . Which are you?
Until next time,