>>> See... the rules are the ideas whereas using those rules allows the
>>> artist to express their ideas. I don't think the medium matters so
>>> much as the message the artist attempts to send. I am not a musician
>>> nor do I dabble in the visual arts. I write. But I get the sense all
>>> artists approach their craft in much the same fashion. Those who
>>> succeed perhaps have some natural proclivity but likely as not they've
>>> also worked their asses off learning their craft.
>> Agreed, and the artist succeeds to the extent that s/he can get that idea
>> across in a way that contians the "Ahhhh" of artistry. If you've been
>> writing very long, you've no doubt heard that there are 36 basic plots.
>> you go more into it, you find there are 4 basic scenerios, depending on
>> level of education you manage. (Man vs. Man, Man vs. nature, etc.) I did
>> all that, including working my ass off, and did manage to get some stuff
>> published, but then made the decision that it wasn't what I wanted to be
>> doing. I still miss writing, because it was so much a part of my life for
>> long time, but I don't miss dealing with the pinheads you had to deal
>> to get it published.
> If writing isn't for you, then you are fortunate to discover that.
> What is it that appeals to you now?
I still write, I just don't try to get it published. What do you write?
>> Would you say it's (art) the act, or the execution? Is there a
>> difference? Can
>> you sit down to create art, or is is something that happens while you're
>> sitting down? i.e. how much intent is involved?
> I should think it obvious that a vast amount of intent is needed. Art
> doesn't just pop into being out of thin air. Remember the motorcycle
> shop in ZMM where the narrator took his motorcycle to be 'fixed' and
> how the 'mechanic' there began beating on it with a hammer and chisel?
> Was that guy an artist? Of course not! He was a hack.
> Anyone can be a hack. It takes diligence and perseverance to be an
> artist. You mention how hard you worked at writing only to give it up
> in the end. If your writing was a motorcycle I suppose it would be a
> basket case stuck in the back of someone's garage. I don't mean to be
> disparaging but when someone tells me, oh yes, I used to write but
> blah blah blah, I can't help but see that as a big pile of crap. So
> you learned a few things and found out you couldn't 'hack' it... that
> writing was actually hard work. And you gave up. Am I supposed to take
> something of value from that?
You didn't read very carefully there. I said I had given up on dealing the
with people you have to deal with to publish, I never gave up on writing. I
think it would be easier to walk away from my left arm. I had a problem
that was similar to the problem many doctors are facing. I spent many years
learning to write, and not nearly enough time learning to do the business
end of it. I did manage to achieve some measure of success with it, but it
was fleeting at best. I was writing short stories for magazines, as well as
some non-fiction. (I much prefer fiction.) One of the magazines I
published in regularly was edited by a photographer. He wasn't even a
writer, and had no understanding of writing. His boss apparently told him
to buy some fiction to put between the pictures, so he did. I also did a
lot of features for him, but they weren't my favorite thing to do. I was
actually listed as contributing editor for over a year with that
publication. (Tattoo Magazine, by Paisano Publications. It is published in
five languages.) I could have continued with different publications, and
have published in others, but I don't really like the magazine format. You
can reach a large audience, but it's there for a month, then it's gone. I
have written three books, but they were too different than the mainstream
and didn't find a publisher. One of them found an agent, and it bounced off
25 different publishers, but nobody bought it. I have been thinking of
going the Amazon route with it, but right now I'm pretty consumed with the
classes I'm taking for this Master's Degree. I may come back to it after
>> I'm not sure how to respond to this one. The best story I've ever written
>> just happened. I sat down to write, like I was doing every day then, and
>> just started with a line from a country song. I went from there, and
>> hours later I had the story. I'm not even sure how much active mental
>> whatever went into the story. Do you know what I mean? It wasn't a flash
>> of anything, it just manifested. I could never just sit down and write a
>> great story. Frequently, I would start writing, then after while the
>> would show up. I would go back and delete the first three pages or
>> and continue on. I wish I could explain that, but I can't. That
>> would make me question the idea of the unexamined life stuff. I was
>> unaware at the time, and in fact I was living in a dissociated state. I
>> a pretty good witness, but not much of a participant. Food for thought.
> No, I doubt any story 'just happens.' You reached a point in life
> where what you fed into your mind paid off. You may not have been
> conscious of this activity but you were immersed in a complex web of
> social and intellectual patterns we call culture and that story that
> 'just happened' was the result of all those years spent in that
> culture... all the words you might have read, all the movies you might
> have watched, all the conversations you might have had... any
> interaction that took place between you and the otherness that you
> assumed surrounds you. And out popped a story.
That's what I'm talking about. I didn't sit down to write that particular
story. It wasn't the type of story that I normally wrote. It just
happened. It was told from the 'innocent eye' narrator, which I don't use.
I wonder to this day how it happened. That's what I meant about intent. I
wanted to write a good story, but just not THAT story.
>>> I get the feeling many people cover this up by working a regular job,
>>> by watching television, by playing video games, by endlessly surfing
>>> the 'net... by doing anything that covers up that tiny voice crying
>>> out in the wilderness... that creative urge we all feel if only we
>>> allow ourselves a moment of silence.
>> To a point. I've met people who achieved their greatest bliss making a
>> run. We need to be careful about projecting our values onto other people.
>> lot of them go for numb, (I think I've met most of them) but there are a
>> who are actively involved in creating, but not in creating anything you
>> or I
>> would call art. My oldest sister achieved her "Ahhhh" by decorating
>> She is really good at it, and thoroughly enjoys doing it. I think she
>> would do it for free if someone supplied the supplies. Different strokes
>> and all that. Now, for Joe Sixpack, it's a different story. It's almost
>> if he has given up on life, or never begun to live it. Maybe he or she
>> (Jane Sixpack) did when they were young and were snuffed? Someone told
>> that what they wanted to do was impossible, or whatever, and they
>> the person? I don't know.
> Your sister is an artist and I suspect you might take a clue from her.
> But that is up to you, of course.
I will continue to do what I do, but I doubt I'll make a huge effort to get
it published. i.e. no change needed.
>>> Ah... but what of that...
>> The difference between a life realized and one just lived? This begs the
>> question of just how important Quality is to us. How much real difference
>> does it make in our lives? We are born, we grow, we fulfill the
>> imperitive, then we die. Our children are born, grow, etc. etc. ad
>> Hmmm, is Quality the "brass ring" we're supposed to go for? More food for
>> thought, eh?
> Quality is everything. If you do not understand that, then I cannot
> explain it to you. Quality isn't a thing... it isn't the 'brass ring'
> everyone seems intent on grasping. Quality is right here! But I do
> wonder why it is so hard to see...
I guess the obvious question here is why everyone doesn't do it. It's not
hard for me to see at all, and I try to live it as much as possible. I do
ocassionally get lazy, and chose to play computer games rather than chasing
another story, but most people don't even do that. I wonder if they don't
get jaded. Or cynical. Or maybe they never come to believe that it's
possible? Our society is great about dashing dreams and crushing hopes. I
often wonder just how many exceptionally talented people are out there
punching a time clock because they have to do that to keep the tacos on the
table. I don't like to think about that too much, though.