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Bubastes
01-04-2007, 08:14 PM
Wait, don't answer that. :D

Seriously, though, sometimes I feel like a boring craftsperson in a room full of artists. I don't have a muse. I don't have special pre-writing rituals. I'm more practical than romantic when I manage my writing career (such as it is). I hated "The Artist's Way." I can't even say "my story is great" or "I have an incredible idea" with a straight face (I'm always in awe of people who have the self-confidence to say stuff like that aloud).

Instead, I just write, putting down one word after another. Finish story, edit, submit, repeat. I do believe that I'm a decent storyteller, and I'm always trying to improve. I adore writing, so I don't even have any inner love/hate drama when it comes to writing (save for the occasional, but now much quieter, inner critic). But my approach and attitude seem so workmanlike compared to other writers I read about. Does that mean I'll never be an "artist"? Or am I one and just not know it?

alleycat
01-04-2007, 08:20 PM
What you're doing sounds fine to me (and I didn't care much for The Artist's Way either). Really, when Melville was writing Moby Dick or Hemingway was writing short stories, they probably didn't feel much like an "artist" either. If you can write something worth reading, and something people enjoy, you can call yourself whatever you like.

Just some thoughts . . .

ac

C.bronco
01-04-2007, 08:21 PM
"You do what you are" - Along Came a Spider

stormie
01-04-2007, 08:22 PM
Anyone who puts pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) in order to produce something you and/or others might want to read, and you try your best to learn how to write well, you're a writer.

Every writer's approach is different. Some find writing in the evening their best time of day. Others have to read the newspaper first in the morning to get started writing. Still others need to have music playing while they write. And even the type of music varies from person to person.

Writing is subjective. There is nothing wrong with you or your approach.

Keep on writing!

Bubastes
01-04-2007, 08:23 PM
What you're doing sounds fine to me (and I didn't care much for The Artist's Way either). Really, when Melville was writing Moby Dick or Hemingway was writing short stories, they probably didn't feel much like an "artist" either. If you can write something worth reading, and something people enjoy, you can call yourself whatever you like.

Just some thoughts . . .

ac

Good point. Although after a couple of drinks, I doubt Hemingway felt much of anything! :e2drunk:

veinglory
01-04-2007, 08:25 PM
Meh. I write prose and poetry, and paint--but there is nothing at all of the 'artiste' about me. I am also motivated by money and do not expect to ever write lit-her-ach-er. Want to join my 'hack and proud of it' club?

C.bronco
01-04-2007, 08:28 PM
What is "The Artist's Way?" Living in a garret?

MidnightMuse
01-04-2007, 08:34 PM
I'm just a working stiff who likes to write. Occasionally I think of myself as a bit of an artist in my other hobby, but really all I do is cut rocks into shapes and make them pretty. Nature is the artist.

MajorDrums
01-04-2007, 08:41 PM
Nope, that doesn't sound weird. Just grounded, IMO.

Marlys
01-04-2007, 08:44 PM
I believe writing is both an art and a craft. The craft can be learned and polished, and a good product result which will make many readers happy. The art, however, is the touch of genius or inspiration that elevates good writing into great--the talent, rather than the skill. Many writers have a little of it and produce great, unforgettable moments. And a few have enough to produce the great, unforgettable books.

victoriastrauss
01-04-2007, 08:47 PM
I don't have a muse. I don't have special pre-writing rituals. I'm more practical than romantic when I manage my writing career (such as it is). I hated "The Artist's Way." I can't even say "my story is great" or "I have an incredible idea" with a straight face (I'm always in awe of people who have the self-confidence to say stuff like that aloud).Same here. To everything. Different strokes for different folks, but strictly for myself, I hate romantic-y mysticism about the writing process. Bottom line, a writing career is about hard work. And no matter how you dress it up in pink frilly clothes, hard work is not romantic.

Does that mean I'll never be an "artist"? Or am I one and just not know it?Being an artist isn't about being artistic. It's about the final product. There are a zillion ways to get there; what's important is that you get there in the way that works best for you. Don't compare yourself to others--just do what you do, and see what happens.

- Victoria

Bubastes
01-04-2007, 08:47 PM
Meh. I write prose and poetry, and paint--but there is nothing at all of the 'artiste' about me. I am also motivated by money and do not expect to every write lit-her-ach-er. Want to join my 'hack and proud of it' club?

I submit to both the Trues and Glimmer Train (not the same stories, obviously). Do they cancel each other out when it comes to hack-dom? :)

Carrie in PA
01-04-2007, 08:52 PM
Does that mean I'll never be an "artist"? Or am I one and just not know it?

All you need is a beret. *poof* Instant Aaaaahhhhhtist! :D

alleycat
01-04-2007, 08:53 PM
Good point. Although after a couple of drinks, I doubt Hemingway felt much of anything! :e2drunk:
His "ending" could have been a bit better as well.

Jamesaritchie
01-04-2007, 09:00 PM
:D

"The Artist's Way." I can't even say "my story is great" or "I have an incredible idea" Does that mean I'll never be an "artist"? Or am I one and just not know it?

1. I hated "The Artist's Way." 2. When a writer says his own story is great, it's probably lousy. 3. There are no great ideas, only great execution. 4. Forget being an "artist." Just be a writer.

Bubastes
01-04-2007, 09:03 PM
4. Forget being an "artist." Just be a writer.

That takes a lot of pressure off. Thanks. I'd rather be a writer -- less drama!

Bubastes
01-04-2007, 09:08 PM
What is "The Artist's Way?" Living in a garret?

It's a self-help creativity guide by Julia Cameron. It's also one of the few books that I've thrown across the room.

Kate Thornton
01-04-2007, 09:24 PM
1. I hated "The Artist's Way." 2. When a writer says his own story is great, it's probably lousy. 3. There are no great ideas, only great execution. 4. Forget being an "artist." Just be a writer.

Jamesaritchie can always ground me when I fly too high - I know I'm working at my craft when I smile & nod at one of his posts - like this one. Gotta agree with him! (Although great ideas may also exist, no idea is worth anything without great execution)

Shadow_Ferret
01-04-2007, 09:48 PM
I do believe that I'm a decent storyteller, and I'm always trying to improve.

Focus on this. It's all that matters. The rest is just dressing.

C.bronco
01-04-2007, 09:58 PM
It's a self-help creativity guide by Julia Cameron. It's also one of the few books that I've thrown across the room.
Now my interest is piqued! What does it suggest? Spontaneous interpretive dance? Desktop feng shui?
The only self-help book I ever bought was "Cooking Seafood for Dummies." Though I never fed seafood to dummies, I learned how long I needed to boil a lobster (no offense intended to Daves).

Simon Woodhouse
01-04-2007, 10:12 PM
One of my New Year's resolutions was to try and become more of a temperamental artiste. I've abandoned that one already it's too much like hard work.

Shadow_Ferret
01-04-2007, 10:16 PM
One of my New Year's resolutions was to try and become more of a temperamental artiste. I've abandoned that one already it's too much like hard work.

On the other hand, I do look good in black turtlenecks.

alleycat
01-04-2007, 10:35 PM
Now my interest is piqued! What does it suggest? Spontaneous interpretive dance? Desktop feng shui?

It's a little hard to describe. It's kind of a New Age "finding your inner artist" sort of thing, with specific writing exercises to overcome your "self-limiting self" (so to speak). It's probably of more use to someone who wants to use writing or keeping a journal as a form of therapy.

Shadow_Ferret
01-04-2007, 10:55 PM
It's kind of a New Age "finding your inner artist" sort of thing,....

Ew!

Double Ew!

PeeDee
01-04-2007, 11:34 PM
Having dramatic angst about your Art is a good way to get me to whack you upside the head and give you a nice cup of ShutTheBadWordUp.

Seriously. I am eternally happy when someone just....gets on with it. Just write. Love what you write, care about it, but you're not married to it and you don't have to whisper sweet nothings into its ear. Just do what you're doing. Write, edit, submit, repeat.

That's what I do. I Do Not Get angst. What on earth is the point?

If you want artistic angst, go get season tickets to your local community theater. You'll be up to your knees in it, more than you can shovel. :)

Azure Skye
01-05-2007, 02:00 AM
Just write. Love what you write, care about it, but you're not married to it and you don't have to whisper sweet nothings into its ear.

You don't? :gone:

I've been approaching this thing wrong the entire time.



;)

EngineerTiger
01-05-2007, 03:09 AM
Writing is one of those fields where one leans either to art or craftsmanship. Some writers are artists (courting their muse, moving to that tune only they can hear, suffering the highs and lows of their art). Other writers are craftsmen who approach their effort the way a master smith or builder approaches it (lay the foundation and then build upon it, careful step by careful step).

Great books have come from artists. Great books have come from master wordsmiths. Unmitigated clap-trap has come from artists who are more interested in effect than the work, and poorly written garbage has come from the craftsman who never bothers to learn the craft.

A few writers are craftsmen who are artists or artists who know how to craft, not just write, their books. Very rare and this often translates to what the rest of us consider genius.

Which are you? It doesn't matter as long as YOU are comfortable in your method. The bottom line is get the words down, get the tale woven, and be satisfied that you have done your best.

engmajor2005
01-05-2007, 06:41 AM
Once someone asked me why I'm not dating anybody. It was more in the "you're 24 and ought to settle down" tone than the "you're a somewhat attractive young man with a well-paying job, so where's the active social life?" tone, but that neither here nor there.

My response was "When I'm dating, I have less time to write." I then took a sip of tea and said "My muse is my girlfriend right now."

That one romantic statement I think, put me squarely in the "artist" camp, and I do consider myself as such. I consider all writers artist; there are some artists who have more discipline than others, some artists who are more caught up in the idea of being an artist than their work, and some craftsman who think that if you don't spend every waking moment writing then by God you don't want to be a writer. Well, I do dearly apologize Mr. King, but I enjoy social interaction to some degree, and I cannot go longer than three weeks away from my Gamecube without at least one weekend of non-stop gaming. Then of course, it's back to work.

I am disciplined. I write when I could be playing video games or laying down reading. I'm constantly brain storming. I carry around a notebook for ideas. Sometimes I scribble down whole poems at the dinner table, or a character sketch. The only nonfiction books I read are books on writing, or books on mythology that could help me craft ideas for my stories. And when I read books, I do so to study the author's style more than anything.

But I have those loopy ideals as well. I think of my characters as real people. I speak of them as real people. I bore people with talk of my writing sessions. And yes, sometimes I go to Starbucks and make sure that everyone can tell that I've got OpenOffice open and working on something while listening to my iPod and drinking my latte, hoping someone (hopefully a young brunette someone of the female gender) will say "Oh, he must be a writer."

You can be both, or you can be either. As long as you're putting words on paper and rearranging them to make sense, I say have at it.

C.bronco
01-05-2007, 06:46 AM
It's a little hard to describe. It's kind of a New Age "finding your inner artist" sort of thing, with specific writing exercises to overcome your "self-limiting self" (so to speak). It's probably of more use to someone who wants to use writing or keeping a journal as a form of therapy.
gack. I can overcome my self-limiting self with a good chili dog and a few beers.

DeadlyAccurate
01-05-2007, 07:38 AM
Maybe this would be the place to ask: what, exactly, is a muse? I have this vague sense that it's something or someone that helps you write, but how?

And I'm with the OP. I'm as far from an artiste as you can get.

PeeDee
01-05-2007, 08:57 AM
I should make it clear that although I tend to fall more in the craftsman camp, because I don't agonize over the process of writing, I just write, this doesn't mean I approach the craft coldly or mechanically or business-like.

I still come at it with love and passion and excitement and the thrill of an undiscovered idea that I will now explore. I still come at it to wow the reader and wow myself, and I still come at writing to do something I haven't quite done before, and to see if I can get a little better while I'm at it.

So's we're clear.

KTC
01-05-2007, 04:14 PM
Instead, I just write, putting down one word after another. Finish story, edit, submit, repeat.



Sounds like a wonderful regiment that I could only aspire to. Keep doing what you're doing.

Willowmound
01-05-2007, 04:26 PM
Maybe this would be the place to ask: what, exactly, is a muse? I have this vague sense that it's something or someone that helps you write, but how?

It's inspiration incarnate -- or, if you will, a cuter way of talking about inspiration (or the lack thereof).

Here (http://www.pantheon.org/articles/m/muses.html)'s an article on the original Greek Muses.

PeeDee
01-06-2007, 01:24 AM
It's either a skinny blonde woman named Calliope, or else it's a personification of the bit where you put two and two together unconsciouslyand it goes bang.

janetbellinger
01-06-2007, 01:49 AM
I hated The Artist's Way. In fact, I made a point of not finishing it.

Jamesaritchie
01-06-2007, 02:09 AM
Writing is one of those fields where one leans either to art or craftsmanship. Some writers are artists (courting their muse, moving to that tune only they can hear, suffering the highs and lows of their art). Other writers are craftsmen who approach their effort the way a master smith or builder approaches it (lay the foundation and then build upon it, careful step by careful step).

Great books have come from artists. Great books have come from master wordsmiths. Unmitigated clap-trap has come from artists who are more interested in effect than the work, and poorly written garbage has come from the craftsman who never bothers to learn the craft.

A few writers are craftsmen who are artists or artists who know how to craft, not just write, their books. Very rare and this often translates to what the rest of us consider genius.

Which are you? It doesn't matter as long as YOU are comfortable in your method. The bottom line is get the words down, get the tale woven, and be satisfied that you have done your best.

I don't think those "artists" are anything more than people who like to pretend. It's ever so cool to go in a "suffer for your art" mode of living, to talk about muses, etc. It's silliness.

And that tune only they can hear is most likely the wind whistling around in the empty space between their ears.

jodiodi
01-06-2007, 02:10 AM
Well, as an absolute newbie here, I think I'll throw in my opinion as well.

Everyone writes in his or her own way. I don't consider myself either an artist or a craftsman. I don't have an identifiable 'muse' and I'm not that disciplined. I don't make notes or outlines. I just write what my characters tell me. It's as though the characters come to me and say, "Here's what happened; write this down." Then I'm simply documenting what the characters tell me: how they felt, what they wore, what it smelled like, what foods they ate, what they tasted, what they remembered,what they saw, etc.,. They narrate their own stories.

Then again, that's just me. I only write when I have something to write. I've never been able to just sit down and start writing on command. I may go days or weeks or months without writing, then do nothing else for days or weeks or months. It all depends on what my characters say and how insistent they are.

Bubastes
01-06-2007, 02:21 AM
Then again, that's just me. I only write when I have something to write. I've never been able to just sit down and start writing on command. I may go days or weeks or months without writing, then do nothing else for days or weeks or months. It all depends on what my characters say and how insistent they are.

I used to be that way, but I didn't get nearly as much writing done as I wanted. Then I came across this wonderful quote by Faulkner: "I write only when I'm inspired. Fortunately I'm inspired at 9 o'clock every morning."

sassandgroove
01-06-2007, 02:31 AM
It's a little hard to describe. It's kind of a New Age "finding your inner artist" sort of thing, with specific writing exercises to overcome your "self-limiting self" (so to speak). It's probably of more use to someone who wants to use writing or keeping a journal as a form of therapy.
That isn't how I would describe it. I really found the Artist's Way useful. The journaling is to get out all the noise of the day on paper so you can quietly focus on (writing, art, insert activity here). The activities helped me to see what I really wanted and to prioritize everything, not just writing. I understand that it may not help everyone, but I am curious what prompted you, Meowgirl, to throw it across the room. I know that is not the main discussion, so I'll stop now.

er...as to Meowgirls orig. post...if you like what you are doing, you are doing it right. SOmetimes I think "Ahtiists" aren't really artists. They are play acting while real artists are off working hard. ANd Victoria, I agree with your post, except I would say anything truly romantic is worth the hardwork. BUt that is just the rose colored glasses optimist in me.