The Writing You Already Knew

Writing’s a tough job, and a job that must be worked on even when no one seems to notice. What I find interesting is anyone hearing that statement doesn’t question it, but I still see many out there who act as if writing’s a cakewalk. It’s the old phrase “in one ear, and out the other.” There are, notably, some bibliophiles who have acquired a love of writing. I have a lot of respect for them, as they read faster and have a knowledge base multiple times that of my own. They aren’t the majority of people though. You know it, and I know it.

My point is two-fold: it’s a long way to the top, if you wanna rock and roll, and people generally need to be told what to like. The latter upsets me to no end, but I observe it on such a daily basis, it becomes the dead elephant in the living room. I’m not sure if it’s mostly due to availability, as there are volumes and volumes of literature available at anyone’s fingertips, or that people are so focused in their own sphere of living they simply can’t process the concept fully.

I recall a conversation with a friend of mine a few weeks ago. We were discussing writing and the accessibility to wide audiences. What does it take to connect with many, many people? He is of the opinion the right structure opens a clear channel of communication and allows more people to fully understand it. I agree to an extent. If I started to write in a brand new alphabet and phrases, then very few would read it. They don’t understand it, and therefore abandon it. Yes, it’s slovenly, but nothing is there to motivate them otherwise.

I’m of the opinion, though, that it can be complete elitist garbage and still be popular. I have not changed my opinion about James Joyce, ever since I continued my reading of Ulysses. This is supposedly one of the greatest books of all time, but it’s too ciphered. It’s a horrible read and a disservice to the audience. Yet it’s wonderful? Bullshit. Too many people/critics have told their friends it was a great book, read way too much into it, and voila! Successful piece of literature.

This is why I refuse to read anything by J. K. Rowling. Her snowball has rolled, and I’m not big on the young adult section anyway. There are a ton of better experiences left, but are flooded out by the bandwagon. I often feel like a miner panning for gems.

Instead of this being a bunch of sour notes in a musical score, I’d merely like to say this: if you are reading this and feel like you’re passed over, then don’t stop. Don’t stop, even when you feel like you’re writing the worst literature on the face of the planet. Don’t stop when you’re met with silence for the next twenty years, because I will tell you people are thick headed. It may take twenty years for people to catch up with you. Not everything can be a home run, and that goes for every writer. Perhaps the worst thing you can do is stop, as time will pass whether you create or not.

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6 thoughts on “The Writing You Already Knew

  1. EG-Writing says:

    It’s peculiar how popular things can be like that sometimes, huh? Pop art was hated by critics at the time, and then after the movement was over, they thought it was genius. It happens with a disconcerting amount of creators, but as you say, you just have to keep at it. Do it for its own sake.

  2. A. says:

    This was helpful, because lately, I have felt a lost sense of community with my writing. There was a time when I wrote on the internet and got feedback. There were discussions, back and forths. Of course, I would never stop, but some days it is hard to want to continue sharing my work. It seems as if putting it out and there, only to get zero feedback is worse than keeping it locked up on my computer. That is what I struggle with the most.

    Although, I can’t agree with everything you’ve written, I do agree with your major point, which is not to quit. I believe, there has to be a certain balance in all art. A selfishness – the urge to create because you simply want to, which is the ‘lone’ aspect. And also a communal aspect – where other artist’s are inspired by what they have read and a piece is shared. Nothing should exist in a vortex of its own. However finding one’s tribe, no matter how large or small, is the real challenge. In the noise of the world, how does one achieve that? I don’t know. I’m still sorting that out myself. But, I’d have to say determination. You have to have a strong will that is not going to be crushed by anyone.

    Great, thought-provoking work here. I really enjoyed it.

    -Amarie

    • You’re very welcome, and I’m pleased it helped you even in the smallest of ways! I need to be more vocal with the work of others. Yours is on that list.

      I could see where my editorializing may give off the impression that it’s “my way or the highway,” however I genuinely give people a lot of latitude regarding their own strategy. So, please only take the post as one man’s plan of attack and not the one true way all writers should proceed. My thoughts are from personal experience. While not directly connected to writing, they can be extrapolated to my creative behavior in general and what suits my personality.

      For example, a different area would be the remodeling of my house. More often than not, I had people scratching their heads and gnashing their teeth at my ideas (i.e. you bought a money pit, I don’t see it, etc.). That didn’t stop me from remodeling the way I wanted it. Now that it’s finished, those people can understand what I meant and have given me quite a bit of positive feedback. It simply took them a while to catch up. Now, this experience has repeated itself throughout my life on different subjects and surfaced after a lot of thought.

      Another problem I have is that I’m a terrible teacher or guide. My discussions can be seemingly insensitive. I know where I’m going, or more often, what I want but it’s difficult to communicate that to someone else. I get very impatient with others, as I have little patience for myself. It seems like the antithesis to “those that can’t do, teach,” however I wouldn’t want it to be that strong. To assume I can successfully “do” is too strong a statement, but I’m definitely the type to be “doing” rather than “teaching.” With these personality traits in mind, I’m better off hacking out my own path and having people come around eventually. That is why I felt the need to add the last paragraph. I could see it reading very bitter, and wanted readers to at least take home something positive at the end.

  3. gracious says:

    I just had to click into these comments to see if you’d been attacked by rabid J.K. Rowling fans!

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