Sunday, March 14, 2010

Art or Talent?

Made it through the sickness, Bidding of the Bulls was a success (or so I hear). Thanks to everyone who called to check on us. Maybe next year I'll actually get to go.

Also, note to self: When home alone caring for sick children, don't play around with follow-up email ideas unless you're comfortable hitting "send" instead of "save." Hello! (Me: just act cool.)

What have I been doing... Well, Thursday night I got an idea in my head for the first few sentences of what could be a new, different book. So on Friday, I finished all my paid writing assignments and sat down to get typing and after about three pages I stopped.

It's good stuff, but I'm not sure where it's headed.

It got me to thinking, I was reading a writer's blog last week, and the writer was talking about how she outlines her entire novels before she writes them. That's her style. My brother also mentioned outlining when I told him about Debut Novel.

My dirty secret: The idea of outlining an entire book before I start writing it gives me the itch.

I used to think that meant I was a bad or undisciplined writer until I read Stephen King's On Writing. He doesn't outline either. He just gets an odd idea in his head and charges after it to see where it leads.

As a hopeful novelist, that was very reassuring to me. And you kids out there who've decided to give up writing because the ideas of outlining and extensive reasearch make your eyes glaze, take note! Your style might work for you. You just never know.

Also on Friday I was jogging and Nico popped up on the shuffle. She was singing about "leaving in the fairest of the seasons," and I was thinking how her voice reminded me of a goose.

I don't dislike Nico, I actually find her interesting. She gives me ideas for a future character if I find the right story. (Who knows, she might turn up in the one I started.)

I did a little research on her and her recordings with the Velvet Underground and her time at The Factory a while back, and she's so odd. But not in a bad way.

The song I was listening to was from her debut album, Chelsea Girl, which she reportedly hated because of all the production work done after she laid the tracks. She just wanted bare bones, her voice, an acoustic guitar, and I think a harpsichord.

If you're familiar with Nico, you can imagine how dreadful that would've been, and I can just imagine the record execs' eyes glazing at her unmarketable ideas.

(See how I sneaked some research in on myself? You might be doing it too and not even realize it. ;o)

Then I started thinking about artists. Working in the creative field, there's always pressure to be an artist. A lot of people refer to themselves or are referred to as artists, but I'm not sure that's always accurate. I think there's a difference in being an artist and simply being talented.

In my experience, artists are typically not concernd with the market. They also don't always care what the client wants. Sometimes that works for them and usually it doesn't.

Can fiction writing fall into the realm of art? I haven't thought through the criteria, but it's a creative field. So I'd say yes.

Then I thought of the prolific writers like Stephen King or John Grisham or Barbara Kingsolver. Margaret Atwood and J.K. Rowling. Are they talented or artists? Is it possible to produce only the occasional work of art? (Does that make you an artist or just talented and lucky?)

Or perhaps in the case of the Charlotte Brontes, you create one work of art that endures. Speaking of the classics, was Charles Dickens just talented or was he an artist? What about Shakespeare or Jane Austin?

So that's where my brain's been. Anybody read any good art lately?

Here's the link to that Nico song.


Ex-pat Odessa said...

i can't find literature in English, sorry. Just re read ALL of Austen again for lack of English fiction. And yes, you are classified as an artist!!!! Side Note: Outlines drive me insane, hated having to turn those in in English back in the day!!! Gave me an itch too!

BTW - new book wouldn't happen to deal with the evils of being forced to move to foreign country would it?!? ;p BAHAHA!!!!

LTM said...

you're sweet--hold off on classifying me as an artist just yet. You build to that.

So what's the problem w/the lit. situation? Need me to mail you some books? (Only they might end up in Brazil....)