Wednesday, December 15, 2010


here's a comment by a visual artist on deviantART that I responded to in a comment.

"I feel like I need a more effective way to communicate my ideas, and get across the feeling I'd like people to derive when they look at my work. By itself, my work doesn't quite tell the stories I would like it to tell, and there's nothing about my work I can really identify as a 'strength' at this point. It's pretty 'meh', unrefined, and in a stylistic limbo where my aesthetic choices communicate a kind of uncertainty that certainly isn't helping the content any.

Needless to say, I'm restless with my current process, it doesn't give me what I want, and I desperately need to experiment with it. This is more a struggle with style/voice, rather than a struggle with subject matter. I haven't "found myself" yet in terms of "style", and it's time I really shift gears and think about it--because what I'm doing now isn't it."

It's really interesting because, as a writer, I'm always trying to bring art into my work. It's definitely stylistic choices over subject matter. And sometimes I come up with things but often I find myself floundering about, stuck in what I find myself creating, wishing I could do half of the things I imagine. And I'm almost 100% sure that voice is the answer to this problem, because voice becomes the vehicle for conveying everything. It presents reliability and comfort. The only problem is, do I like my voice? I think that's half of the battle; I have to decide to like my voice.

And for sure it can be developed more (if I decide it's lacking something). But if it isn't the most gorgeous poetic voice to ever grace the written page, well, I can't be too hard on myself. There's also so much to learn. I remember when I was 14 and I would write something and go "wow, that's amazing!" Now when I look back on those things I wrote I'm half amused, half seriously embarrassed.

But when I found my voice while writing my NaNoWriMo novel, I settled into it and it was so easy. I didn't have to constantly stop and ask myself about every single choice I made. And now that I think about it, the writers I've known who I've been jealous of because they were consistent and wonderful and etc is because they all knew their voices. I knew this really young, amazing writer, and now I realize it was because she knew her voice.

So. This has been a stranger detailing their creative process in your journal comments. Thanks for making me think.


benjamin said...

could you link to the quoted visual artist please?

Zomzara said...

To add to the comment I just made on a your past post "what is writing art": I think automatic writing is a great way to find your voice. Voice is hidden by ego, so let go of the ego, stop thinking and just write without a plan.

Of course, a novel will need a certain amount of planning and a lot of concious input from the writer. But I think it's benefical to be capable of letting go, letting the language come directly from that hidden place beyond the ego where creativity flows without rules or boundary. The good thing about NaNo is that you have to write a lot of words very quickly, which demands an approach closer to automatic writing than ordinary writing practice. In order to make the deadline, the NaNo writer must cease to hold control over the work and let it flow freely and quickly. Hence, the writer's voice is more likely to come out in such circumstances.

Meredith said...

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