The Writer as Artiste

Having been an English literary graduate, I've been trying to avoid the idea of doing art ever since. I think the idea of art kills creativity. I think media are at their most interesting before anybody's thought of calling them art, when people still think they're just a load of junk.
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Douglas Adams (1952 - 2001)
The ambition to create art can be fatal to a writer (and I suspect the same is true of painters, dancers, and high-rise window washers.) It's something like the watched pot that never boils, or those irritating hidden pictures that only become visible when you allow your gaze to slacken.

Instead of worrying about what your critics are going to say or - heaven forbid - how you're Wikipedia entry will appear when you're erroneously presumed dead, try instead getting out of the story's way and simply transcribing the experience. Only later can you or anyone else hope to judge what's landed on the page.

With any luck, it might just be commercial, and as for the question of whether it is art, that's not only out of your control, it's probably none of your business.

Comments

Jen said…
What a great bit of advice! Write what you love, create what you love, and don't worry if anyone else loves it.
Thanks, Jenn. Sometimes, it's easier said than done, but it's still a good thing to remember.

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