Wednesday, March 23, 2016

What is an Artist?

This was just brought up on Facebook, as one of the authors there commented that another author just flounced and quit writing because it was too hard or something (I didn't see the original post). I guess a few authors have gone through that. And yeah, writing--or rather the in general "creating"--IS hard. It's not easy. It's brutal work at times, and you don't get recognized for it. And sometimes, people will criticize you for it.

So, why create? Why be an artist?

It's my belief artists aren't necessarily good, famous, rich, or even talented. Artists are artists because they create art. That's it. A three year old scribbling in crayons is an artist. A ninety year old writing their memoirs is an artist. Hell, the guy in Close Encounters of the Third Kind who sculpted Devil's Tower out of mashed potatoes is an artist. Artists create art. That's it. It's that simple. It doesn't have to be good art, or famous art. It doesn't mean they are starving or rich. All they do is create. Everyone in some way is an artist... but I think what people mean by artists is not "can they make a living doing it" (although that would be lovely), but rather, "Do they NEED to make the art?" Maybe that's just my definition. The people I would consider "professional" artists are those who NEED to create. Everyone creates, so everyone is a creator... but those who do it out of the need to create something new, to tell a story, to share a picture, to snap that perfect photograph, to design the perfect building, to make something new... I think that's the "professional" artist. In that case, it's because it's their profession, their drive, their need to create.

I write because I need to write. In my own definition then, I am a professional writer. It's my profession... not a hobby. It may be part time right now--I think I clock in between 20 and 30 hours writing a week, sometimes more, but almost never less--but it's still my profession and it's not 'cause I get paid for it.

*waves a hand* Idle thoughts. Am writing right now! But it's in the secret experiment. When I ... get to a certain point the SEKRIT EXPERIMENTS, I'll share it here (and ONLY here, since no one reads this anyway, heh), as well as my results. In the meantime, rest assured I am still working on The Princess of Wands. I'm up to 47.5K, which is just a stone's throw away from novel-hood. At this point, I'm guessing the length is going to be.... another six to eight chapters, which should be around another 30-50K words. It's still hard to guess "for sure", but that's a reasonable estimate.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Never THE End

For those of you who don't follow me on Facebook, I just got over the flu. I was sick for a whole week and needless to say, I didn't do anything at all in that week except lay on the couch or the bed and cough a lot while I tried to puzzle out what show I was watching. Even now, after I've "recovered", I'm tired and it's really hard to get back to my day time job.

I look at my writing and I just wince. I haven't done anything for over a week. I feel bad about that, but at the same time, I'm so tired it's hard to get motivated to write. I want to. I like writing. I like telling stories. At the same time, there's so much yet to do, so much yet to write, and I'm so tired that it's daunting... and because it's daunting, it's depressing.

I try to keep these posts pretty upbeat, though IRL I am a depressive. It's sometimes a hard fought victory to even get out of bed when I'm depressed. I know, logically, that I'm just tired and overworked from rushing my recovery and being sick, but emotionally it's just as draining. I'm only half done with the first draft of The Princess of Wands, and I look and see how much more I have to write... depressing. Yet I won't give up. I think that hits all writers from time to time... that they see how much more they have to do to get to the end of a particular book and they just throw up their hands and go, "IT'S IMPOSSIBLE!"

Obviously, it's not impossible, but it can feel that way. So, instead of dwelling on "OMG I HAVE ALL THIS TO DO", I'm going to choose to look at what I've done so far. I've written about 150K words in JUST this world alone! That's a lot! And it's a lot more than would-be writers have done who think about writing but have never started. I've not only started, but finished and published novels! And tons of short stories and novellas! If I can do all that, then I can certainly finish one more book! And when I finish that one, then I can do the next one... so on and so forth. The point is that even if we fall or falter, we can always pick ourselves back up. There is no such thing as THE end, only AN end. I'll have an end to this book, but it's not the end of my writing. It'll be the start of my next book. And the next, and the next, and so on.

I wish I wasn't so tired, but I will keep my goals small for right now and build back up. The Princess of Wands is delayed, but it is coming. And after that, Reamin' Demons. And after THAT, The Brujah and the Beast. And after THAT....