No One Writes Alone; But We Paint Alone
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The convention illuminates the minute my fingers land on the home keys. Words ceremoniously comply to each other leaving little or no doubt what the outcomes will be.
With a paint ladened brush, the mystery of the paintings foundation waits impatiently, at no point will the intended work of art start the conversation.
I contend… painting is a lonely endeavor… whereas writing, more often than not, wants to chat. It’s true; both are solitary endeavors; both can cause you to “sweat blood.” You slog on; one talks to you through letters that become words. The other stagnates; waiting for a decision, barely giving any clues as to what color to use or which directional course to take with the brush in your hand.
The act of being creative can be present in a group, but the self appeasement and glory really goes to anyone individual. Collective thinking removes individual actions or identity. Neither painting nor writing can survive in such a restrictive environment.
I believe if you truly want to embrace your creative self identity; write or paint alone. But be prepared with the knowledge that writing will encourage you with revealing thoughts. Painting only evolves when you surrender your thoughts. I know this sounds pretty esoteric. Give me the opportunity to explain in greater detail.
Let’s start with writing:
Nearly every book on the craft of writing fiction, invariably suggests, the best ideas come from the writer’s life’s experiences. You will often hear authors say the book practically wrote itself. They don’t mean that in the technical sense; but they know every experience they ever had in life, contributes to the story. Characters are often relatable to people that were known. Even the names of the characters have a similar genesis. The writer’s brain generously provides the story. Stories taken from real life, even science fiction has an evolution based on how we think. Once the writing starts, story outcomes take shape. Yes, it can be difficult to craft the perfect sentence or convey in a few lines emotion. But if you’ve lived on the planet for any length of time you have no doubt experienced many different emotions from love to heartache. Your emotions speak to you through self talk, and we all do it.
Writing creates a dialogue between the writer and his conscious and subconscious thoughts. I believe that kind of thinking is transmitted to the page and comes out in a series of words that tell a story those stories are predisposed. The author/writer has very little choice than to engage with his own thoughts, that I believe becomes a companion to the writer. When you write, you’re not alone, your thoughts and self talk partner with you, and you chat. You really are not alone!
Here is the challenge: rather you agree with me or not on writing being anything but a lonely endeavor; and yes you most likely face a blank piece of paper by yourself and that can be challenging: consider this; what goes on when an artist faces a blank canvas.
Painting is what? Most people understand the basic principles behind creating a work of art. Different colors of paint applied to a canvas most often with a paintbrush. But what goes on in the artists head? If he or she is painting an object, then that object provides all the feedback. It just is what it is. The object does not get into the artists head at least not in a chatty way. Practical decisions are made; color, composition, shapes and visual interpretations. All very practical; and yes, challenging even to the most skilled artist.
What about abstract painting? This is where self talk becomes elusive. Practical decisions or black-and-white decisions are no longer made. The brain stops chatting.
Emotions rule. Thoughts evade. And uncharacterized or uncharacteristic feelings provade. You are in the proverbial “Zone.” The friendly self talk is nowhere to be found. Your logical and practical dialogue no longer exists. The artist is all alone: no guiding self talk; no friendly histories of one’s life to consult with. Past and present experiences shared and unshared with others; gone! You are on your own. The creative feedback comes mostly from sight, what you see on the canvas before you is the only dialogue, and it ain’t chat from your conscious mind, it doesn’t want to be your chatty effervescent self. Pure emotions rule. And when you are totally possessed by emotions logic is gone. To be emotional is to be alone. Positive self talk and reinforced thoughts of joy are not at the forefront. It’s a very lonely place to be. There is a profound hidden gift in this state of mind where none rational thinking rules. The gift; pure unaffected and non judgemental creativity replete with originality. Which is the most perfect state of being alone. No influencing self talk.
What do you think? If you are a writer then you are mostly aware of how you think. The same can be said for artists. Who is more alone? I grant you this; both creative endeavors are enacted best when the condition of solitude exists.
Do you think you are more alone when you write? Or do you think artists are more alone? Or do you simply not care and just enjoy the creative process however the muse shows up. Which, in my opinion is the happiest state of all.