Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tough Writers Do Dance

How far should one go in writing?  Should one go as far as the imagination allows on a fictional platform that’s partly safe from hurtful realities, yet vulnerable to critical attack from having gone to disturbing depths?

What are the emotional effects in diving to such depths for a writer, though it may seem as if it were no problem to create what the writer imagined … gasp-reactive content that disturbs to ridicule.  These questions have been in my mind for years after an introduction to the works of Norman Mailer, upon viewing the movie adaptation of a memorable scene depicting scandalous adultery and raw emotions, as a man witnesses his mate’s blatant infidelity and attack on his humanity.

Instantly I became gasp-reactive while feeling the emotional anguish the character displayed as though it were my own.  I then wondered who the writer was, and further thought what courage it actually takes to write such material regardless of its context.

Though indelibly disturbed each time I think about the scene, as a writer, I respect the guts that it took for Mailer to write what he wrote, and the artistic resolution required in taking such risks.

While brave writing can disturb, it also affords writers the freedom to explore powerful emotions in having the courage to experiment, examine, and write from imaginings that can incite at the human core.

Mailer had the personal attributes of what it takes to be a great writer – verve, fire … relentless heart and Pulitzers for his former works, attesting to his skills.

With heart, I also believe it takes a visceral type of passion to pen what might unknowingly become a brilliant work of art without reserve of criticism, as it were with such diversely distinguished writers from Nathaniel Hawthorne, to living playwright and author, Ntozake Shange, whose greatest works received initial backlash prior to wide acclaim.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Links to Excellence – James Salter

Deciding and knowing who we are comes with an intuitive urging to proclaim and step into our calling.

In this Links to Excellence, Author, James Salter discusses his decision to become a writer.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Beauty of Being Real

There was a fascinating statement that Actor, Viola Davis made in the televised discussion of Black Women in Hollywood where she alluded how Black writers often “image-censor” their characters before pen is placed on paper, cautious of creating characters that might offend. 

Her argument suggested what true art is – how it actually becomes real through characters that are perfectly flawed and depicted through the extensions of their blemished lives without excising the ugly imagery that can tell powerful stories.

The exact statement that she made compelled me to think how we, ironically as humans, equate perfection with beauty, thus if anything is imperfect and flawed to the precision of our humanness, we are then ugly misprints of our inevitable truths, deserving of shame, ridicule, and an evasive cover up that strips away our substance.

The overall irony is, our flaws make us beautifully human, as our flaws, issues, and mistakes connect us all with an inseparable need for each other.