Sunday 1 April 2012

An Author's Art

There are some works of art that you will love. You can see why this book or film or painting or whatever has the reputation it has. You feel it.

Then there those things that are admirable, that are impressive, but your appreciation is detached and objective. You get it, but you don’t feel it.

And of course there are some works or art you have no idea what all the fuss is about. That’s natural—after all, art is subjective and we all have our own preferences.

When it comes to making art—in the case of myself and most of the readers of this blog that art being in the form of the written word—what kind of art do you want to make?

People prefer the art that they enjoy. You can’t produce something that will be enjoyed by everyone, but you can do it for one person, you. If you don’t enjoy the story you write, if it doesn’t engage you, it won’t engage others. Even if the thing that gets your motor running is fairly common place and unoriginal. Or obscure and unfashionable. 

That’s not to say you should write stuff that’s horribly clichéd or ridiculously obscure. You still need to put in the effort to produce something good. But there are a lot of people out there who like the things you like, and the technology exists so you can reach them. 

Shying away from something because it’s too popular, or not popular enough, isn’t a problem anymore. Well, not unless you’re a large corporation trying to stop the internet (good luck with that). For the rest of us, the market exists. Make it as good as it can be, and then put it out there.
This is my first A to Z Chalenge post, will be visiting as many blogs as I can this month. Will definitely be checking out anyone who leaves a comment or retweets. Cheers.


The Hopeful Romantic said...

i agree - writing like art is completely subjective. For me, be it in relation to what i want to write, read or view my tastes are (to use an overused term) eclectic. I can't always explain what i like or why i like it but I am comfortable with that. When it comes to writing as long as i am true to myself i am contented.

Well done for getting your first post up and good luck for the rest of the challenge! Do you have a theme?

Ryan Sullivan said...

Following up on The Hopeful Romantic's comment, my tastes are certainly not eclectic. Fantasy is what I read and write, and I don't intend to change that.
That's why this post is so encouraging. I've tried to stick with the mentality that if I like what I'm writing, surely someone else out there will like it as well, if it's written well enough. That's the other side of the equation -- I've nearly finished my first draft, and I've never revised a long work like this before. I don't know how I'll go with this, but I do know it can be better, and I have some points that I know need attention . . . I just want it to be as good as it can be. I think that's key.

sulekkha said...

Writing is reflection of your ideas and it has to be honest and from the heart. If you are not passionate about what you write about, your readers will not feel the emotional connection.Lovely post and best of luck for the challenge.
I am at

Jolie du Pre said...

I really enjoyed reading your opinion. The biggest problem I'm seeing right now, when it comes to authors, is jealousy. Why can't we support each other even when one of us makes it big? I've been an erotica author for over 10 years, and now my focus is on horror/paranormal. Since I've been in erotica for so long, I know a lot of erotica authors. The erotica Fifty Shades of Grey is big right now, but you won't believe the number of negative comments I've seen from fellow erotica authors. Bottom line - love what you write, find your audience and develop a thick skin for those who aren't rooting for you. You can't please everyone, and if you try, you'll fail.

michelle said...

Thought-provoking post! And a great start!
You really got me thinking on this one, and wondering about the direction in which my writing is/is not/should be going...

Unknown said...

Hey Mood! It's that atoz time of year again, a bit like meeting friends in your fave coffee shop. Can't believe a year has gone so quickly. Always find your blog posts invaluable. How are you doing with the story of the man on the bus, and when will you have it published so I can read it?

mooderino said...

@Hopeful-thanks for dropping by. My theme is writing(that's pretty much always my theme).

@Ryan-I certainly think there will be others out there like you.

@sulekkha-thanks, will check out your post too.

@Jolie-I think the reason people are giving Fifty Shades a hard time is very specifically to do with it being fan fiction. Although it's a very astute idea. Not all Twilight fans are Mormons and want to see Bella get some.

mooderino said...

@Michelle-provoking people's what I do!

@Fiona-hello! I've left that one to percolate while I write a new on, Planet Janet. The first few chapters are up at Authonomy as I finish rewrites.

Anonymous said...

"Make it as good as it can be, and then put it out there." Excellent advice! Good luck with the Challenge.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with A-Z.

I get mixed views from my art but I love it. Love my writing too but It's not finished enough to let people read it yet.

Twitter: @LynneInPborough

Ted Cross said...

I want to write stuff that is horribly cliched, because that is what brings me the greatest joy in life. Nothing makes me happier than reading Tolkien or Martin, yet they only produce so much and there is so much more that could be done. Maybe no one will buy my stories, but I can't be the only person on Earth who read these authors and wished for more. If we want more, then what's so wrong with having more? The publishers never bother to answer that.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I write the stories, etc that I like to read/that I would like to read. :)

Good luck with the A-Z Challenge!

Hektor Karl said...

Three A's in the title. I like it!

"Make it as good as it can be, and then put it out there."

Well said.

nutschell said...

Moody! I'm glad you joined the challenge. I'm sure your new bloggy friends will find lots of stuff to learn from your blog. I always do whenever I visit!

Pearson Report said...

Since all art is subjective I only write for myself...certainly hoping in the process that others will enjoy what I put to paper (or screen).

Well...truth be told, I write for me, myself and I - after all, it wouldn't be fair to just write for myself...what would happen to me if I was left out of the process. (time for more caffeine!)

Great post! I'll be back to see what comes next.

Jenny @ Pearson Report
Co-Host of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

unikorna said...

I have a huge irresistible inner desire to create something that will touch people's hearts. I know I'm not ready yet but it's there...
You sound like you have astonishing words to share with the world :).

Precy Larkins said...

Ah, yes. Subjectivity. It's the one reason why there are people who love Twilight, and there are those who hate it. Neither one is wrong. In my opinion, whatever makes you happy, go for it. We can never please everybody, but we can pursue things that'll make us happy, and sometimes, that is good enough.

Excellent post!

Joe Richardson said...

I think you nailed it when you suggested writing the story you want to read. Your first draft, certainly, should be about finding your story and entertaining yourself. Or so says I. You can always edit toward a broader audience in later drafts, if you've wandered too far afield.

Nice kick-off post.

A/American Road

Alicia Willette-Cook said...

This seems like such a simple concept, but it really isn't. I had this 'aha!' moment probably 2 years ago with my writing. Was really struggling trying to pull a story out of, well, nothing. Just wasn't working. Then something one of my sisters said to me about my Job (Of all things) made me really think about what I was doing with my writing. You have to really think about what you want your end result to be. WHO are you doing this for? Because really, if your soul aim is just to write to make the masses happy...meh. Now. Now it's so much easier. (And by easier I mean I'm happier with what I'm writing! :) Because I've stopped really thinking about writing a best seller...and now I'm just writing.

Saffron Wine

Sandra Tyler said...

you're right. If you don't enjoy writing the story that you're writing, if it doesn't "engage" YOU as the writer, it won't engage your audience. visiting from the A-Z challenge!

Mary@GigglesandGuns said...

You have a very good point, Moody. If you don't like/appreciate your work no chance anyone else will.

Lydia Kang said...

So true that we can't please everyone, and it's most important to please ourselves when it comes to our writing. Great post Moody. Your posts never fail me!

Charmaine Clancy said...

Yep, we like what we like.
Wagging Tales

Tasha Seegmiller said...

I am both a musician and a writer, but I still have visual art envy of many people. It's a creative medium I wish I had the tools to but just don't. Great post - new follower :)

mooderino said...

@jesstopper-and good luck to you!

@lynnelives-letting people see what you've come up with can be quite daunting, but never as bad as you think.

@ted-I don't really think the people running the business really understand it. After all, a business where 99% of products fail to make back money suggests some degree of incompetence.

@Madeline-you too.

@Hektor-I did think about doing that with each letter, but quickly gave up on that idea.

@nutschell-glad to see you joined too. Race you!

@Jenny-If you write for yourself and you have good taste, what's not to like?

@unikorna-yes, I sound like it, but...

mooderino said...

@cherie-enjoyment is underrated. Mind you, so is expanding your tastes.

@Joe-write what you like, then make it better. You need both, so say I.

@Alicia-your soul aim... says it all I think.

@sandra-of course, writing stuff you hate for millions of dollars has its attractions...

mooderino said...


@Lydia-I like to think my posts are very much like yours, just fewer maggots.

@Charmaine-got to believe in your own judgement.

@tasha-thanks, following you back.

The Pervist said...

Love the name of your blog! Have fun with the blog challenge....I will be back to check yours out!

Anonymous said...

I agree. And then there are authors like me who dabble into several different topics and worry about having a brand. It can be complicated at times to find an audience but I love your attitude. Thanks for sharing!

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