I came from being a sculptor and moving on to becoming a writer about 30 years ago. How did that happen? I always loved the arts, and had moderate success as a sculptor. The question was: if I stayed in the art world I could make a bigger impact. But gnawing at the back of my head was something that had always intrigued me – being an author. Could I make the transition from creating images with my hands to making images with words?
How does this transition come about? What I had learned at Moore College of Art as a sculpture major was that one needs discipline and structure before becoming an artist. Thirty percent talent and seventy percent work. It was a life-changing attitude learning to build a foundation in any area of endeavor. So much had to be learned, and so I applied this background to my mission to become a writer. I dedicated myself to learning the importance of techniques of writing before putting a word to a blank page. It wasn’t easy. For now, suffice it to say, one has to learn the basic elements that I absorbed before striking out on the vast road to learning my new craft.
I have been in many “discussions” about precepts of structure, but I will swear by them. It is argued that if one is passionate about writing the story will come and flow. Not really. Framed within the discipline of writing is the story told that a reader can grasp and hold on to. It is imperative to keep the reader entranced. Although it is a time to give respite to your brain and escape life’s annoying issues, it must impart deeper meaning.
I know there is applause for stories that we can’t understand but to my way of thinking, why waste my time or yours reading it? I feel strongly that it is not fair to ask someone to read something so private no one gets it, and then call it brilliant – just because it is unintelligible. The story must resonate for the reader to make it worth the effort and time it takes to read it. In kindness, as authors we must share the ups and downs that everyone encounters. There must be insights to help get through the vagaries of life.
What inspired me to write? Well, let’s leave that for the next essay.