Monday, November 24, 2008

Writing as Art

What I’m Reading: The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier and The Lonely Crossing of Juan Cabrera by J. Joaquin Fraxedas

What I’m Working On: Working?

Being a writer is hard.

So many people think, “Oh, I’ll just sit down and write a book.”

Ok. Do it. All the way. Start to finish. It’s harder than you think.

Writing is art. When you ask people to give you a list of artistic endeavors, many won’t even mention writing. Oh, they might mention poetry, but fiction – nah. Non-fiction? No way.

But writing is art. The blank page is the canvas.

It’s a challenging form of art.

Painters have the visual clues. Did I get the right shade of blue for just that moment at twilight? Is the shadow on that lily realistic? What emotion is on his face?

Musicians have the auditory cues. Does this melody match that lyric? Should I write this song in a minor chord?

But writers…. We have to invoke the senses of not just sight and sound, but also touch and smell and taste with black type and white paper.

Can the reader see the storm rolling across the lake, kicking up small white waves in its path? Can she smell the homemade cinnamon rolls her grandmother’s arthritic hands are removing from the oven? Can she hear the laughter of the little girl that reminds her so much of her own lost daughter? Can he taste the metallic tang of his own blood where his teeth cut into his gums? Damn. That little guy packed a punch. Can she feel the barely-there pressure of his warm hand on the small of her back as he guides her into the room? Will she ever forget that simple caress was his first touch?

So, if you’re a writer, big kudos for doing what you do. And even when it's tough, keep doing it.



Chudney Defreitas-Thomas said...

Oh I needed that! Thank you. After facing someone I've known for years saying that all romance was crap and should be banned ( in their opinion)and not once considering the hard work and thought put into creating a book. I so needed that.