Everyone writes for different reasons and each person’s creativity comes from a different place. Personally, much of my writing is focused on the trauma I have survived. It is not always a fun task to consider these past traumas and how they effect my life, but I have found a lot of healing through writing about them and sharing what I’ve written with a larger audience. I can’t be sure that I will ever fully be healed or that there will ever be a time when I have fully mined all there is from these experiences, but I do now that recently I have not felt their weight as much. I am, in fact, pretty happy right now, which is a strange occurrence.
Like many people I have my ups and my downs, and I would not say that I am mostly down, only that I am mostly average and sometimes depressed. After a fairly severe bout of depression this summer, it is strange to feel so light and excited for possibilities in my life. I am still triggered at times, I am still moved and affected by it, but it is beginning to feel more distant. But just as I begin to feel more whole, complete, satisfied, I do wonder sometimes if I will find more difficulty in writing from this place. So much of my writing is wrapped up in my own experience, but how interesting is it to write about enjoying life?
It is a new challenge, a new adventure, but I feel that I am up to it. I am not done yet with writing about my trauma. I still have a ways to go towards healing, and I’m sure it may creep up in ways that are yet undiscovered and unexpected. But even as I know these things, I also know that there will be other things to write about – maybe some that are not so critically personal. I wonder what it will be like to write from a place of joy—how will people receive it? Will they notice? I am excited to find out.
What is everyone else’s experience with this? Do you find it easier to write from a place of joy or depression? Do you find your writing changes depending on your mood? Do you worry that you have not suffered enough to write about anything?
We’ve all had those moments where we have great writerly ideas at horrible times. Out on a date, riding in the car, at your cousin’s ballet recital, a distant relative’s funeral--you name it. Here are a few methods I’ve experimented with to make sure that none of my ideas die and fade away before I have a chance to write them down.
Pros: It feels very writerly, walking around, taking notes, having a pen in your pocket and a little Moleskine book filled with observations from your day. Even if your ideas are shit, you look the part at the very least.
Cons: Well, you’re carrying around a pen and a notebook everywhere. Pens explode. They leak ink. And notebooks are bulky, even when they’re small. Carrying around 50 index-card sized pages around is a feat that can’t be done without pockets are a little bag. For female writers, shove it in your purse. For males, maybe invest in a satchel?
2. Text yourself the ideas as they come.
Pros: Efficient, autocorrect takes away the typos that come with trying to jot down ideas quickly. All your ideas end up stored in a single place, the text thread that you share with yourself. You can also text yourself pictures, sound bytes, videos, etc. that you found inspirational.
Cons: It feels a little strange and lonely, texting oneself. But we’re writers so I guess strange and lonely are right in our wheelhouse. Also, if your battery runs out then you’re shit out of luck. Also people might ask who you’re constantly texting, and it is a little uncomfortable to have to explain that you are--in fact--texting yourself. Because you’re a writer/have no friends, basically.
3. Write on yourself--hands, arms, legs, socks, etc.
Pros: You definitely won’t lose your ideas, they are literally on your person. You don’t have to carry around a notebook or worry about texting yourself, just have a pen with lots of ink to cover yourself with. Temporary tattoos are cool.
Cons: Temporary tattoos might not be cool when you can’t scrub them off and the ideas turn out bad. Your arms/legs/hands also offer only so much idea-space, and ink has a tendency to rub off when it’s left on your skin long enough.
Most authors appear to be indifferent to fanfiction, but some have expressed support (J.K. Rowling), amusement (John Green–John’s actually admitted to writing some himself!), or opposition (Anne Rice). My personal stance on fanfiction is that it is amazing and ridiculous and fun and beneficial to both readers and writers. if you’ve spent your life scoffing at the idea of fanfiction or making fun of fans who enjoy it, I would encourage you to reconsider your position.
When it comes to works by authors like Anne Rice, we must respect the author’s desires and not post fanfiction based on their works online. I think Rice’s position on this is sad and I wish she felt differently, but in the end, it is her art, and if she doesn’t like the idea of other people playing with her art, we need to be respectful. But don’t stress too much, because most authors have no problem with fanfiction. And as long as the author is cool with it, there are so many possibilities!
Fanfiction exists on an extremely broad spectrum. There is truly awful fanfiction, like the Legendary My Immortal, and there are complex and beautiful fics by authors who, in some cases, are now published novelists (Cassandra Clare, for example). Whether you prefer gorgeous and thought-provoking prose or hilariously terrible disgraces, there is fanfiction in the world for you to enjoy. For readers, good fanfiction is a wonderful way to supplement their experience of a story. It may analyze characters and situations that the cannon work didn’t have room to expand on. It may explore the possibilities of alternate universes, or what may happen if one small detail is slightly altered. Fanfiction allows us to experience a story from every conceivable angle, or to indulge in our most bizarre “what if” fantasies.
I would also highly recommend fanfiction to beginning writers looking to develop their skills. It provides an opportunity to practice your craft using pre-existing characters and universes on a platform that allows for feedback and community involvement. One of the really cool things about writing fanfiction is that you get to write for an audience. That’s an amazing resource for a developing writer. If you’re interested in practicing your writing skills in a supportive fandom community, fanfiction is the way to go.
If you enjoy a good fanfic now and then, recommend your favorites in the comments! Let’s disprove the notion that fanfiction is purely ridiculous. (This is not to disparage the ridiculous, by the way–I maintain that the world is a better place for having My Immortal in it.)
Growing up in Chicago, Marshall Fields, with its forest green shopping bags, giant corner clocks, and festive window displays during Christmas, was as iconic to the city as deep-dish pizza. In 2005, Macy’s purchased the department store, to the chagrin of many Chicagoans. The State Street store became a Macy’s and many people threatened boycotting the store out of stubbornness. But with time, Marshal Field’s became a cherished piece of history and Macy’s gained back the good graces of the people of Chicago.
The question of e-books versus print has been a hot topic for the past few years and many believed that print books would go the way of Marshall Fields and ebooks would reign supreme. And with Borders Group going out of business in 2011, that seemed more possible than ever. Like shopping at Macy’s, many of my avid reader friends claimed that buying e-books was like moving to the dark side and that they would never succumb to it. I must admit I was tempted. You cannot dispute the convenient nature of a Kindle or a Nook. You can purchase whatever book you want and get it instantly, that is a seriously awesome thing for a book nerd. However, even as a kindle owner, I can’t deny the love I have for browsing through bookstores and I still do buy print books all the time. Although, I also still buy CDs and records so you can take that with a grain of salt. But I can’t help it, and I think that is a common theme among book lovers. In September, The New York Times reported that, “E-book sales fell by 10 percent in the first five months of this year, according to the
Association of American Publishers, which collects data from nearly 1,200 publishers. Digital books accounted last year for around 20 percent of the market, roughly the same as they did a few years ago.” They also reported that, “the portion of people who read books primarily on e-readers fell to 32 percent in the first quarter of 2015, from 50 percent in 2012, a Nielsen survey showed.” It seems as though many people feel the same way I do and maybe e-books won’t destroy print after all. At least not right now.
Technology is always changing and I’m sure this will be a constant debate for years to come.
Thank you, Stranger.
You have taken me on a wonderful journey, masterfully wrought by a true wordsmith. You have held my hand in the pathways of your plot, you set up traps for me and I fall for them with satisfaction. You built breathtaking cities and awestriking vistas, with just 26 letters rearranged in different sequences across a page.
You don’t know, but you have written this for me, and me alone. We were together when you didn’t even know it, maybe even years after you wrote what I read. Maybe decades. One day, centuries.
You slaved for hours over the grainy paper, the flickering screen, your ticking typewriter. Never really knowing if what you wrote would reach me, would sink a hook into my soul and pull until I’m moved. It did. It will.
It swept me up along, upon a thing of magic. Into a realm unknown. It penetrated through to project your images right across the landscape of my mind.
You, who writes for your drawer and never publishes. You, who wrote a book forgotten by the shiny shelves of retail. You, who twitters to his fans via an eager intern, under a thumbnail of your latest cover. I am your reader. I am the point of the exercise. I am who you toil for.
I became one with you for just a single instance, inhabited your mind and walked mile in your shows. I, who allowed your words to weave their pictures, to speak their truths. I am who you write for.
I will always cherish you. I will bring life to your creation. I will synth flesh and blood and bones for all your characters and paint the sky red with your explosions. I will cry for the lost ones, rejoice for the winners and fear for the forsaken. I will hate for you, will love for you, I will laugh at your jokes and wish death upon our enemies. I’ll even suffer through pages of interior and fabric descriptions, and read the words “He says” a million times, for you.
Thank you, stranger whom I know so well. Thank you, partner in crime, lover, dark lord, prisoner and jailer. Thank you for being brave enough to write. To bleed all this out in physical form for me to hold and consume. For naming the creatures hiding in the dark for the sake of those of us who do not see as sharply.
Do not despair. Do not give up. Keep writing.
Okay, I suppose it's possible it's not that no one likes it and it's just that they don't want to publish it, but either way, it doesn't feel good. Having been an actor since the age of eight, I've experienced so much rejection, you'd think I'd be used to it by now. Still, trying to get my first novel published has been an exercise in self-esteem. So I've compiled a list of the logical steps to take when you're in the throes of rejection.
1. Knit a sweater out of your tears.
2. Write a memoir about it.
2a. Attempt to get your memoir published.
2b. Return to this list.
2c. Open an Etsy shop to sell all your sweaters. You have too many sweaters.
3. Continue this process until you have such a thriving Etsy business that you forget about your dream to be a writer.
4. Find some fulfilment in your life as an independent artist with a booming Etsy business.
4b. Realize you are producing fewer tears.
4c. Watch your business crumble under the tragedy of your happiness.
5. Maybe try writing again. Perhaps this break will have given you a fresh perspective with which to rework your manuscript.
6. Try submitting again.
7. Hope your attempts don’t lead you back to this list.
8. If they do, return to step 1.
Stay strong, my fellow writers. It’s a brutal world out there. And consider submitting your manuscript to Unsolicited Press! Submissions are currently OPEN. Put down your knitting needles and send in your work! I believe in you.
It was the worst of times…it was the worst of times.
I’ve written a few times about the difficulty of prioritizing writing when you have another job or just life-in-general getting in the way. But that difficulty triples (at least) in size when your finances are dwindling to nothing and you have to worry about making rent in the next few months. The wall you build up slowly between you and your writing gets taller and taller as your bank account gets smaller and smaller.
But writing is an investment. A scary one, for sure, but a worthwhile one—even if you aren’t getting paid for it. Besides which, struggling is often the source of many good stories and ideas. At least, that’s what I’ve heard.
And in the mean time, here are some solid ideas on saving and/or making money for all you destitute writers:
Hashtags and filters. Likes, comments, and #ThrowbackThursday—#tbt if you’re hip and with it. This is the argot of Instagram, and chances are, if you’re a millennial (and even if you’re not—plenty of parents and even grandparents have accounts on IG), you’re familiar with the terms and jargons and trends that exist on this social media platform.
But outside of the occasional selfie or sunset picture, what is Instagram really good for? Well, you might be hesitant to believe me, but it’s a great place to be a writer.
I recently created an Instagram account, under a pseudonym, where I post short bits of things I write. Bits of prose, short poems, and yes, even a guilty haiku or two. And to be entirely honest, I’ve fallen in love with the people I’ve met through the platform.
I figured I’d never get that much attention on Instagram as a writer, there are tons and tons of people who post their poetry and prose on their profiles every single day, often every few hours or so. So what would make people give a shit about mine?
The answer is that these writers of Instagram are just genuinely happy to read and comment on other people’s work. And depending on what time you post your work, what hashtags you employ, and some other intangible factors, you might end up getting quite a bit of reception (I posted a short haiku, reluctantly, right before bed and woke up to over a thousand likes—as an ego-driven writer, this was very nice to see).
I’ve only had my account for about a month now, but I’ve met some very inspirational and helpful writers. We exchange contact information, wisdom about writing, what we’re reading, life stories—you name it—despite the fact that we’re complete strangers from different states or even different hemispheres.
I’ve also found that it keeps me writing. I write little things on napkins to post on my page. I scribble poetry on the back of receipts, even on the back of my hand if I have to. It’s new and exciting and I find myself enjoying writing these little blurbs that exist entirely independently of my main projects.
Finally, from a dry and utilitarian viewpoint, it’s a good way to build a following. In a world where writers have to be shameless and self-promoting, it is important not to rule anything out. A lot of the most prominent Instagram writers have thousands, tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of followers. It’s a no-brainer. If you ever have a book to promote, an Instagram page with a huge following is a perfect place to do it.
But at the simplest and most honest level, we write to be read. Posting to Instagram and slapping a #poetry in the caption is a good way to get people looking at your work. It’s a nice way to know that eyes other than yours will ever look upon your written words.
I have a bookshelf full of books—most of them I’ve only ever read once. This is always a cause of anxiety for me. I want to have the time to enjoy the simple pleasure of re-reading a book. It happens all too rarely. Most of the books I own I only vaguely remember. I recommend them to friends based on feelings I remember having while reading them or the amount of lines I can see that I underlined (yes, I’m one of those people, who writes in her books). I often wonder if it matters that I read a book if I hardly remember a thing about it. And why do I own all of these books if I’m never going to have the time to read them again?
I give myself various answers to these questions. I love to loan my books to friends (only with full recognition that I might never get the book back and that’s okay). I like to remind myself of what I read. Often times there is even a pleasant story attached to the time I read a certain book. Sometimes this, more than anything else, is what stands out to me. As an example, I have a very clear and distinct memory of reading The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. I read it while studying abroad in Russia (although I read it in English) in the summer. I devoured it in long chunks on the long commutes from my dorm into the center of Moscow and while lying out in the sun at various parks in the city.
I remember loving that book. I read it in only a few days. But if you were to ask me a day ago if I remember anything about it, my response would’ve been staggeringly simple—no more than what you would find on the back of the book cover. Somehow, however, I have managed to carve out the time to re-read this wonderful novel. I’ve only just started, but I love the possibility of rediscovering why I loved this book and maybe having the ability to describe it to others and understand it in a deeper way.
There’s nothing like a first read, but there’s nothing like a second either. They are rare for me, but I never regret them.
There’s no formula for creating a best seller. A built-in audience, starred reviews, good timing, and word of mouth promotion improve a book’s chances, but there’s still no guarantee a book will resonate with readers. As a publisher, you need to trust yourself and hope for the best. Sometimes instinct is worth more than elaborate marketing plans. After all, instinct is what initially landed Harry Potter on bookshelves and then guided it into the hands of David Heyman. At this stage in my career, I can only imagine how it must feel to play a role in the publication of a book that will essentially live forever as new generations rediscover its magic. But as a bookseller, I’m fortunate enough to see pre-teens and teenagers discover some of the same books I loved at their ages. If you’re hoping to influence the pre-teen in your life on his or her journey of rediscovery, I’ve compiled a list of a few timeless and ageless titles that deserve to live in the spotlight forever.
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Although best known as the Miyazaki film of the same title, Howl’s Moving Castle is actually the first novel in a series of three and was published in the United States by Greenwillow Books. I’m a huge fan of Miyazaki’s work and I have only positive things to say about his adaptation of Jones’ novel, but the novel packs so much more information into its pages, particularly concerning Howl’s and Calcifer’s histories. All teen fantasy enthusiasts should have this book on their shelves.
Mandy by Julie Andrews Edwards
As someone who values her personal space and alone time, I’ve always loved stories that involve main characters discovering secret hiding places and making them their own. (I don’t even want to admit how many times I’ve read The Secret Garden.) Julie Andrews Edwards’ story about a young orphan girl who escapes to a secret cottage in the woods behind her orphanage is beloved by many and a classic by every definition, but may not stand out to new readers next to The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, or Divergent. If the pre-teen in your life loves secrets and adventures, they’ll love you for adding this to their bookshelf.
Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
I won Bud, Not Buddy in some type of library contest when I was nine years old. At the time I didn’t realize it was recently published or a John Newbery Medal winner; I just knew I had won a book. This story about a ten-year old orphan who runs away from his latest foster home during the Great Depression in favor of a life on the road with his friend Bugs has remained on my list of favorite novels for almost sixteen years and will probably remain there forever. Bud, Not Buddy is full of adventure and emotion told through the voice of a narrator that perfectly straddles the line between the child he is and the adult he’s forced to be.
The Divide by Elizabeth Kay
There’s a place on earth where water flows to both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. This place is called the Divide, and it’s there that Felix Sanders is transported to an alternate universe and must find a way home with the help of his new friend Betony. My friend Ellen let me borrow her copy of The Divide during study hall our freshman year of high school and I loved it too much to return it. At first glance, the plot may sound recycled, but the delivery is superb. An added bonus? It’s a trilogy.
There is nothing better than coming home from work knowing that a good book is waiting for you. There is also nothing worse than knowing that you have to put that book down for the night so you have at least a minimal amount of energy for the next day. A good book is like having an addiction. When you first open the book again, you breathe a sigh of relief and feel thoroughly happy. When you do not have the book in hand, your mind always strays to it, and you wonder how fast you can get the laundry done, or how fast you can eat dinner so that you can get back to it. The book is something that you know will always be there when you get home, and it won’t let you down (hopefully!).
Ask every avid reader, and I think they would all agree that their dream job would be to read books all day, every day, and get paid for it. If that job is out there, where do I apply?!
What this means for authors:
Most people read books to unwind from the day or to escape into another person’s life for a bit. Readers want to be swept up into the story, and taken away on a journey, whether this journey causes their hearts to beat fast from fear or excitement, or if their hearts swell from witnessing a blossoming romance that they knew was just bound to happen eventually. Successful stories cause the reader to think and feel differently than they do in their daily lives. This is why we as readers enjoy stories so much. They are different.
Readers do not want to have to think long and hard in order to draw some conclusion that the author vaguely insinuates. We want to be lead gently towards an idea or plot point. If you want the reader to figure something out before revealing it in black and white, then give clues, make a path that allows us to follow you to the inevitable reveal without just throwing it in our face. Readers like to guess what’s coming, but we need solid pieces of the puzzle before we can have any sort of notion. All in all, I think it is okay to lead your readers along a little. We aren’t stupid, but you (the author) know every little detail of the plot and how it’s going to end, whereas we do not. The only thing we can go on is what you choose to tell us. Be thorough. This tells us that you care enough about plot/character development that you are not willing to leave anything out, even if you think it is unnecessary. Nothing bothers me more than vague statements that don’t allow me to gain any real information or sense of direction about a character or plot.
Take your time. We can wait for the climax of the story if it means that we get tons of great details and plot points to enjoy before the big action takes place. I personally love it when small details at the beginning of the story turn into big plot points at the end of the story. I tip my hat to authors who can think and plan that far in advance, and it gives the reader another little jolt of excitement. Details that add up will make the height of the story that much more engaging and meaningful if we have had lots of time to get to know the characters and understand why they did what they did. Short books and short stories can absolutely be just as excellent, but I like knowing that I have a thick stack of pages ahead of me, so that I can really invest.
First, start by creating an engaging character. Just the character. Give him or her a backstory and create a present world for them. If your character is someone that you’d want to learn more about yourself, then you’re on the right track. Sorry to say, giving a character a name and a hair color is just not going to cut it. Readers will not be interested. Once you have a character, create a setting for them. Then, create a reason for how they got there. Eventually, the details will start to fill in. And it’s okay to jump around when creating the basic plotline. The key is to be engaging. Make us want to read your story.
It’s the holiday season, which means a lot of time is going to spent with family and friends. This is a very good thing! However, when people ask what you’ve been up to and you tell them that you’ve been writing fiction, poetry—anything at all—they’re more than likely going to ask if they can read it.
At the end of the day, the only two answers are yes and no. Both come with some implications and consequences.
If you say no, the following could happen. Your friends may think you’re just lying about writing. As inconsequential as that really is, it can get a little old when people constantly harass you over being so secretive with your work. They could also feel that you don’t think they’re smart enough to understand what you’ve written. Writers are stereotyped as pretentious anyway, so you don’t want your friends of all people to think that you’re just another pompous writer. Finally, they could worry that they’re featured in the writing, and perhaps in an unflattering way. None of these are desirable outcomes, and there are many more hypothetical scenarios, but there are also some seriously bad things that can happen if you let your friends read what you’ve written.
First of all, if you say yes, that means you have to get them a copy of it. You can do google docs or other file sharing systems, but if you write longhand and only have one hard copy, it’s risky giving out your only copy of your future magnum opus. Beyond that, when they do actually read it, they could potentially give you false criticism. Better yet, lack thereof. They’re your friends after all, the last thing they want to do is tell you that they hated reading what you wrote. This leaves you with the false impression that a potentially heavily flawed work is actually very good. On the other end of the spectrum, your friend could basically just say “that sucked” and completely deflate your hopes of succeeding as a writer. It’s a real conundrum.
At the end of the day, words of wisdom I received from a mentor come to mind: “Rule number one of writing a novel is don’t tell anybody that you’re writing a novel.”
It’s no secret that bookworms have reading lists. We keep them in our phones, on our Goodreads accounts, on scraps of paper, on crumpled receipts, on old class notes we thought we’d thrown away; we keep them everywhere. It’s also no secret that despite our best efforts, we will never be able to read all of the books. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably still refusing to fully accept that. I always try to read too many books at once, and I usually can’t finish all of them before the library starts soliciting their return. What I want from my 2016 reading lists are boundaries and organization. If you’re on a similar quest to preserve your sanity, I hope the following tips are helpful.
I read slowly, not because I’m incapable of reading quickly, but because I enjoy taking my time with a book. Consequently, I have to accept that my reading goals aren’t going to compare to those of people who read more quickly than I do. Remember that your reading lists and goals are just that: yours. Build them based on your interests and what works for your life. You don’t have to compete with anyone.
Starting books is easy. Finishing them is significantly harder if you’ve decided to read twelve at once. I know it’s tempting to jump into a shiny new book, but the books will still exist in a few weeks when you’ve finished the books you’re already reading. There’s nothing wrong with reading multiple books at a time, but try limiting yourself to three instead of twelve.
Make sure the books you’re reading fill different needs. If all three of the books you’re currently reading are young adult fantasy novels and you have a night where you want something different, you’re going to end up starting a fourth book.
Life gets busy and stressful, and you’re going to have weeks where all you want to do is binge watch The West Wing. That’s okay. Forgive yourself for neglecting your reading lists. Life is occasionally about more than books.
What’s that saying—everything done has been under the sun? Under the sun everything has been done? There’s nothing new that hasn’t been done under the sun? You know what I mean. There is no plot, not one “thing being done” that is ever going to be entirely new. Every genre has been created; every plot has been done more or less infinity times.
And this is exactly why characters are the most important part of any story. So don’t ignore them. Every. Character. Matters. Not just your protagonist. Your protagonist can only be as colored and fresh as she/he deserves to be in the face of other unique characters. Placing a single 3-dimensional, fleshed out character in a world of tropes and flat characters isn’t good writing. That one character will simply knock everyone else out of her/his path and you are left with no more a lasting impression than your basic pulp fiction and genre writing.
Obviously, these types of stories can be fun to read. They are easy and engaging at times. But they aren’t lasting. To achieve literary fiction, something that should have a long-term effect on its readers, one must move beyond the broad brushstrokes of most of the characters in one’s story. Yes, a few flat characters here and there can help to break tension in story and are useful at times for various reasons—but you must always have a balance. Too many flat characters and your narrative falls apart, the reader is left feeling like she’s been here before, which is never good.
How to do this…how to give your characters depth and enough of a different, unique voice so as to propel a narrative is, of course, a whole other ballgame. But if you give a little bit of yourself to each of them you are probably headed in the right direction. Don’t forget, your presence under the sun is new. If that is expressed in your writing, through your characters, it doesn’t matter the plot—there will be something worth reading when you are done.
Sometimes I think that writers are the mule of the creative world. So much of other people’s successes are ridden on the backs of writers who act as inspiration, source material, and the basis for others to begin a project. It is grueling and, a lot of times, not very glamorous.
I think the most direct example is in film and TV—it starts with a script, a writer’s vision. And yet, there are few screenwriters who are household names. It is the actors and sometimes the directors that get the most widespread recognition or fame.
It’s an odd position to be in. On the one hand, many writers (myself included) wouldn’t feel completely at ease with being in the spotlight—it is one of the appeals of the creative force of writing, it can be almost anonymous. On the other hand, it can be difficult to see so much praise and recognition piled on all the other aspects of the completed project before someone even acknowledges the initial reason for there being a project in the first place—the writer.
This is where it all often begins. The writer. How often have you learned that a movie was based on a book or short story way after the fact? How many times do you think you’ve probably passed a writer on the street and not recognized her/him? It’s odd to think about how often the “source material” for an art exhibit, movie, or performance has been the creative force of a writer that goes almost unacknowledged by the audience.
This isn’t to lessen the creative strength of other art forms, performers, filmmakers, etc. There is a unique skill in adapting another artist’s words and vision and, in the end, it is part of a beautiful world of creativity that fuels us all. All of it is important. And it certainly isn’t their fault that their art is more easily recognizable and accepted by a general audience. It just always makes me think about the nature of being a writer.
While currently there seems to be a cultural shift towards a more widespread appreciation of writers in TV shows (or more accurately, “showrunners “who write, direct, produce and many times act in their shows), there is something to be said for the quiet strength and creative drive of the writer—a creative force which is oftentimes the genesis of it all and yet most likely the most quiet and unrecognizable part of the process.
I don’t know if it should change or if it really bothers me that much, it just sparks a curiosity in me. Does the average person just not like analyzing the process of writing and the source material? Is there something uncomfortable with recognizing the beginning of things or the raw material? Or do people just really not like reading that much?