Saturday, March 3, 2012

From Organic to the Process

This blog was inspired by one too many people saying that they had to pay their dues to be considered a writer. In practical terms, this maxim may be a career-affirming ideal.  In terms of inspiration, however, it's a deal breaker for many of us who have played by rules we did not make and cannot write into submission.

First, never accept another person's edicts on what form great writing takes. Almost a decade back, I told another writer that one of my books in process was "literature." That woman frowned and said, "You don't get to decide that. If it's literature, then the experts determine its validity."

She was wrong. The greatest writers in history have been those who wrote and still write without looking at the market, the critics and all the experts on audience needs. How many times have you found great writing in surprising places? For instance, my bookshelves are filled with fiction and nonfiction lyricism from authors as diverse as J.K. Rowling (the whole Harry Potter series), Hillary Jordan (Mudbound), Brian Greene (The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory), Linda Hogan (Solar Storms), many science fiction writers and Michio Kaku (Parallel Worlds).

Looking at these books reminds me that writing is an organic form of creative freedom we often take for granted or see as unreachable. Granted, some of the authors above are professors who must publish in their fields, but they didn't have to write books that are a pleasure to read.

If you are looking for inspiration, read some of your own writing to this point. Also, consider why you go back to the same authors over and over again on your own.

Up to this point, we have considered the roadblocks to finding your path as a writer. Now it's time to think about the writing process. Toward that goal, this blog will tackle 30 days of posts on how we approach writing and the many forms it can take.

No comments:

Post a Comment