Creative Affliction

I often wonder if I’m committed enough to this thing called writing. Do I write enough, often enough, for long enough? With writing, it never seems enough. Time and motivation run in short supply these days.

How committed should a writer be? If we believe every magazine article we read, a real writer writes every day. Okay, but what constitutes a real writer? Is the term broad enough to encapsulate those who write every day, or are real writers paid writers, end of story?

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An endless supply of crafting advice exists and it often contradicts itself. Follow the rules vs. Break the rules, for example. It’s no wonder that writers wear a coat of uncertainty. Does following all the advice make one committed to the craft?

There’s no one right answer when it comes to art. One question on the craft could generate a thousand different answers from a thousand different people. Art isn’t like math– an arena where 2+2 always equals four. With art, 2+2 could add up to six, depending on an artist’s interpretation.

Ah! So it’s about interpretation! Well, yes. Of course it is. Without a personal edge, without interpretation, art wouldn’t be art. So it follows that commitment to art, too, is subject to interpretation– which is why there exist so many contradicting advice articles. What works for one may not work for another.

But none of this answers the meat of the question. How committed is committed enough? Some would say that hitting a daily word goal is committed while others may claim that thinking about writing constitutes commitment, even when there’s no actual writing happening.

I believe that many writers have no choice but to be committed, regardless of the level of commitment. Seeing a storyline in something as simple as a cup of coffee constitutes a level of commitment that can’t be easily explained in words. It’s a subconscious commitment, almost a reflex in that it’s something that can’t be switched off. Not for long, anyway. This reflex affects more than just writers. It’s a side effect of all creative minds, an affliction that only making art can alleviate.

So, let’s raise our pens and our paint brushes in salute to our affliction. Cheers!

(Image via Pinterest)

Twitter: @PuddledThoughts

Live. Love. Write.

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