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Thursday, June 16, 2011

RANT: Writers: If You Think You're Brilliant, You Probably Aren't

Now this follows in a way the self absorbed rant, however the people who fall victim to EXTREME EGO ATTACK aren't usually obnoxious. Although they might be occasionally.

In reading about great artists: painters and writers alike I've observed few if any of them were in love with their own talent. Genius usually continually finds fault with its own creations: it's never good enough, it isn't quite what they expected, it could be better. That insecurity actually serves a purpose. It encourages the artist (writer, painter or actor) to always improve.

Searching constantly to write a better story, paint a better picture and the like benefits all of us.
Is it hard on the creator? Sure, it is. So why should they bother? Answer: they should bother because they are on a life-long mission to produce the best art they can produce.

There used to be a joke about Orson Welles. They said he'd have wanted and expected applause everytime he came out of the bathtub. That conjures up some pretty hiliarious images.
On wth my rant:

Since I don't like hypocrisy, I am asking myself this same question--do I think I'm terrific and everything I write is? Answer: no way, Jose. I am never certain if a story is going to be accepted and let me say that lately I am only writing stories that have been requested I write! I don't think for a second that the person reading the story is going to grab their chest and say: OMG! THIS IS GENIUS, I LOVE THIS! IT'S THE BEST STORY I'VE EVER READ!

Nope. I strive therefore I am. I write as well as I can and hope for the best. I write things very often I realize don't have truth in them: i.e. the truth of the fiction I was striving for. There must, after all be truth in what one writes.

I think the most important thing to realize, understand and never resent is we sometimes get it wrong or if we don't get it wrong we might come damned close.

Divinity and perfection are not facets of the human being and no writer anywhere is perfect, not in this world at least I don't think so. What about you?


JohnGMarino said...

I hear what you're saying about striving to be better. I figure if I stop trying to get is time to hang it up. Besides, if your perfect...wouldn't that make your witing pretty stagnant? Boring place to be if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

Hey! great comment. you are right.
imagine how that would be?
noo don't think so!
Gee thanks, John!

Lisa Lane said...

After I wrote my first book, I thought it was brilliant. After I wrote my second book, I thought it was brilliant. After writing my tenth book, I looked back on books one and two and saw them for the crap they were.

We're always growing and progressing as writers. While humility is not a requisite for personal writing success, it definitely helps, as only with humility can we ever strive to be better.

Anonymous said...

Lisa, thanks!
that's so funny! i'm sure they weren't crap though!
i can see the huge difference with stories, for myself. i thought the first story i submitted was so cool (sci fi) then i hated it!
so i know what you mean. i do feel my book is good but that's only because my publisher liked it. !
but i'm going to try to do much better with the sequel.
yes it's about striving and growing. thanks Lisa!

W.J. Howard said...

With a title like this one, how could I not drop by to read.

I could go on and on about this subject, me being a nonfiction writer for years before getting serious about fiction writing. I ALWAYS strove to improve each and every piece of nonfiction I'd write, getting my facts straight and my point across with just the right words and meticulous details. Why? Mainly because if I didn't, I'd be attacked as being a hack. Or someone would blame me for their inability to use common sense while reading or ask questions. So how could I ever consider my fiction writing brilliant or perfect?

The way I see it, there are two types of creatives: those who want their creations remembered and enjoyed for years to come and those who want to be noticed and remembered. Too funny, the later usually think themselves the most brilliant.

Anonymous said...

that's interesting. i never thought about non fiction. so true.
gee I never think my stuff will be remembered!
what irritates me are not the people who produce a lot and even think they're good on occasion it's the people who hardly write and think every sentence they write is a masterpiece. that's too funny also!
there's writing and there's blurb writing and copy writing. and then actual stories and novels with characters and plotting.
but hey, i'm getting ready for another rant!
sorry i rambled! thanks Wendy!

Blaze McRob said...

Hemingway: the first draft of anything is shit

Blaze: the second draft of anything is a little less shit

No one is perfect, nor will they ever be. All writers need editors, beta readers, and so on. And then it's still not perfect. So we continually strive for perfection, never attaining it, but getting closer. Who could ask for more than that?

I would much rather have my story remembered than me.


Anonymous said...

yeah, but you're so unforgettable!
Seriously, sure. I agree.
Hemingway gave the best advice. That simple sentence is so true. the first draft is ca ca.
the goal is to de ca ca fy it as much as possible.

excellent advice my friend!
thanks Blaze!

Sharon Hamilton said...

I don't care if I'm remembered. I want the readers to remember my heroines and heroes. Well, mostly my heroes, if I'm totally honest.

I want that book to be the one life doesn't seem fit for living after they've finished it. They're craving the next one. They are in withdrawls. They need it like vamps needs blood.

Who cares if they know me? Applause when I get out of the bathtub? Um, are you kidding? I'm just happy when my husband likes the way in look in my nightie, or lack thereof. And wants more...

Our characters live forever. I like that.

Nicole Hadaway said...

I can never tell with my work -- in the end, I will think two things at the same time:

1) it's utterly brilliant /or
2) it's complete crap

When I think that it's either awesome or epic fail, at the same time, that's when I know it's done and I let it fly ;-)

Anonymous said...

that's great! see, that shows you are a good writer. you judge it as we all do--wondering, sometimes certain, sometimes not.
But the fact that you aren't totally 'convinced' everything you write is genius means you are not 'one of those' i'm focusing on here!

an artist (writer, painter, musician) i think must weigh up his/her work.
sure, i've sometimes written a sentence and i think, 'gee that's great!'

but not always.
and really you're right too what we think is epic and brilliant, no one cares about!

it's so funny isn't it?

thanks Nicole, and btw you are a great writer and you use history in your work which i love!