Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Artistic Expression

Writing is the ultimate form of expression. You can write about anything. The stifling rules of reality need not apply, for the only limits are those of your imagination.

It is an incredible release. All those pent-up frustrations can be loosed upon the page. You can be yourself for a change, rather than acting the part one is forced to play in real life.

Evil in literature serves a purpose: usually to be overcome. So, the destruction it wreaks in the real world is contained in the fictional one. The wickedness which vexes our daily existence can be dealt with entirely and to satisfaction.

One can write realistically, without poisoning the work with the failings of the real world. We have a sense about how things should be. In fiction, this state can be achieved.

Characters tend to be flawed, just like real people. But in a story, these things are meant to be recognized and struggled against. If they remain, somehow it is to prove a point or they are to prove fatal for the villain.

No art form has more freedom of expression than writing. Dull stories are born of dull minds. And thus, they will attract few readers. But to really live, one need only pour themselves onto the page.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

"Real life"

“Real life” is a misnomer, for in the real world human beings cannot truly be themselves. This is a blessing, because it protects us from the wicked. It is a curse, because even the good must live in constant restraint.

For the sake of our society, people speak and act with great care. There are rules that everyone must abide by, further restricting behavior. And this is necessary, but let it never be said that it is true.

There are always the rebels, who will flaunt themselves in the face of authority. The powers that be are content to let them act out, until it becomes bothersome. Then, the crushing force of civilization comes crashing down...

Peer pressure does not end with puberty. It is ever present, though rarely acknowledged. There is an unspoken rule that others must be judged. But the ones pointing the fingers, so rarely see the ones pointing back at them.

And so, the “real world” is a fictional place full of secrets and lies. People tend to be real only when they are alone, with no one around to disapprove. Unlike a story, you can never truly know these characters.

The restrictions of “real life” are necessary. If you give an inch, they will take a mile. Human beings have made a world where they cannot be themselves. It is a sad fact, and one of the few things in life that is real.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Pursuit of the dream

Dreams: everyone has them, but few actually pursue them. A dream is very much a hope, and most do not seriously believe it will become a reality. As for myself, I consider it useless to chase a dream without the actual intention of catching it.

People fervently wish for things, believing the wish itself is magic. But if you wish in one hand and relieve yourself in the other, one will clearly fill up first. A wish has no more substance than a hope. Whereas, dreams are motivational: they push you to action.

It is easy to be full of words; they flow so easily. But it is in deeds that goals are accomplished. Speech merely communicates intention, but actions are concerned with the achieving of results.

It is not enough to want something, no matter how strong the desire. To realize a dream, you must determine what is necessary to achieve it. Set smaller goals for yourself, each designed to get you one step closer to the prize.

Do not become discouraged when the journey takes unexpected twists and turns. If the bridge is out, you find a way around. One must constantly adapt to survive, and it takes even more flexibility to thrive.

I do not follow my dreams… I pursue them. Using all the resources at my disposal, I hunt them down. These fugitive hopes have no place to run and nowhere to hide. I will catch them... it is only a matter of time.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The unknown author

What is fame? And why do so many people crave it? It is not enough for people to know of you, they must hold you in esteem or else it has no meaning. For an author, to be unknown is for your work to be unread.

When I moved out here a few years ago, I didn’t know anyone. And I learned a hard lesson: when people don’t know you, they don’t want to know you. Such is also the case with the work of an unknown author.  The quality of the work is irrelevant if no one reads it.

And that is the great challenge. There are hundreds of books out there. Why would they want to read yours? This is a question every author should ask themselves. And that is why it is important to have a strategy for promoting your work.

Put yourself into the mind of a reader. What would a writer have to do to get your attention? From the cover art, to the presentation, to the quality of the work itself; one must cover all bases in order to be successful. It is important to be honest with yourself: would you buy this?

You don’t have to be something you're not. Readers will see through such pretense. Rather, take your own qualities and learn to market them. You would be surprised at how much attention can be gotten by just being yourself.

Eventually, I made a few friends here… and I cherish them all. Sometimes, it just takes time; but don’t let that be an excuse to rest on your laurels. To be successful, you must be ready for the opportunities when they come. Or else, they might just pass you by.