Wednesday, June 19, 2019

On Bravery Part 3

I have known a great many writers over the years. I have had friends and colleagues who write one very short story a year. I have had friends and colleagues who'll write a novel every eight weeks and they can continue that pace for years. I have known published writers who do not have a single word written other than the books they've had published. I have known very prolific writers and I have known writers who would be content to write a sentence a week.

I have also known people who wanted to be writers, and are unable to even get started. I have known people who claim to be writers and have never written a single word. I have known people who have every excuse which keeps them from writing. This is not a good thing, these excuses, these claims, and this lack of action.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

On Bravery Part 2

If only being brave was an internal thing. If the only obstacle to overcome was the one within. Of course, the internal struggle is the only one that is truly legitimate, it is not the only obstacle we have. The biggest obstacles are often the ones that we do not need to overcome. The biggest obstacles we have are the ones that ultimately do not matter. We can define these obstacles as those of society. And society whether defined as the overall structure of our families, our communities or our group as a whole, should not have any baring on our decisions to become writers or artists.

I know there are many families and many cultures out there that value the arts. There are many families and cultures that place the arts well above everything else. This is not our society in general here in modern America. This is not the family that I came from. My family, very much like the society in which we live held the highest value on money and material things. My family could easily gauge success on the size of the house over the accomplishments in a published short story. I do not mean to suggest that a person cannot have both, the big house and the published short story. I also do not mean to say that my family ever mistreated me as a writer. I was never encouraged to be a writer. I was blessed to have not been encouraged to do anything. I was also never discouraged from doing anything either.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

On Bravery

I grew up with the notion that bravery was something that people had when faced with dangerous situations. Bravery was reserved for soldiers and Apaches and that it was something I should strive to have. A soldier I could be, but there was no way I could ever be an Apache. Being brave, was the first and most important of attributes to have.

When I was first cutting my teeth as a writer, I had what I considered the normal influences. Although the words I was reading were from Zamyatin and Huxley and Orwell, I began to have very different ideas of what bravery meant. It was becoming clear to me that the most hapless or the most clueless of heroes could and often were, brave. Bravery comes in forms that push along the plot, whether it is the plot in a story or a plot in life.