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Whether Love or Not

 

Writers are strange creatures. We wander around our world, a love and hate relationship with that thing we do called writing. Beneath all the setbacks, the frustrations, and the seemingly endless revisions, we cannot quit being writers.

Dream leads to storylines. Storylines pulse through us until we cannot stand the beat any longer and we must DO something with them. It doesn’t matter if we believe they’re good, fully functioning ideas with potential for greatness. What matters is that we thought of them, felt a sharp pricking sensation when they flashed through our minds, and they whispered to us.

This relationship we have with our writing fluctuates with the events and daily routines of our other lives; our lives outside of sitting at the keyboard and communing with the inside of our heads and the movies playing there. It flutters as butterfly wings on the verge of take-off; delicate in form and newness, steel-strong in carrying power. It surges as tides of vibrant, sometimes stereophonic, images that wash over the outward reality of the moment, escorting us to places beyond, among those who don’t frequent our neighborhood.

Dramas vie with sweet romance, which oft-times takes a detour through the war zones of our world to pause amid the childlike wonder created by harpies that fill the skies with black ragged wings and voices ready to pierce metal armor, while children stand ready to protect the innocent from harm.

Along the way, laughter bursts forth from words penned by housewives who profess a lack of understanding as to why the world operates as it does, who keep asking for logic, knowing that human machinations has little of that commodity. Music may soothe the savage breast, but words linger within our spirits, to uplift or depress according to their emotional impact. That is the power of what we do.

Uneasiness with influence and power may hold us static for a time. Fear may prevent us from exhibiting our writing wares as often as we’d dreamed, but it cannot prevent our words from finding release. Like life, writers will always find a way.

Photographers know the plight of the writer. Seeing an incredible sunset and not having a camera in hand, is worse than having a fantastic idea for a story or article—far worse. The photographer can only stand and admire the gift of God’s colors and design while it lasts. When twilight rules, it is gone forever. It cannot be recreated as it was. The writer carries her camera of ideas within her head. Recreating them, while not always simple, is doable.

Musicians straddle that fence of creativity between photographers and writers. They paint their images with musical notes. Like writers there is no physical image involved. The musician’s frustrations are like the writers’ when notes won’t come together as conceived or when concern erupts that patterns of notes are as another composer’s previous music. That concern reflects on a writer’s work as well.

Creative design work, regardless of type, generates that love/hate dynamic within the artist. An artist is what a person is, not what she chooses to be. Non-artists can do the work. That’s true. Non-artists can also put it away and never touch it again.

Artists can’t.

Regardless of how deep the chasm between our love of what do and our dissatisfaction with it, we keep returning to the keyboard, the pad of paper, the piano or guitar, the camera or the carving tools. Painters, in water or oil, acrylics or pastels, must find release.

There is no craving for us. There is only a need to release what is fomenting inside us, within our minds. To deny that surge of creative energy is to deny ourselves.

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