1. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Am I a horrible person!?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by GuardianWynn, Jan 29, 2016.

    :cry: :cry: :cry:


    Of recently, I have become more aware of something(which I am thankful for, since knowing can at least help me hold my tongue) and that is that to me writing is art. It is this beautiful master piece, as impressive as any painting, constructed in the same basic back breaking levels of hard work(even if there is no risk of actually breaking your back.) That is all I can see it as. To the point, I am sad that my goals for traditional publishing means selling it. I am not stupid. I understand there is value in my hard work, and I understand that selling it is the goal so that I have more time to write more and turn this into my career. Yet it still saddens me. I wish art could be free.

    And the part with the title question.

    Because of this view, I can't help but feel a bad taste in my mouth at those that don't see it as art. Those that paint by numbers or view it as work. Or those that make plot decisions not based on if it makes the story stronger but based on if the targeted demographic will like it. To the point that a awesome idea may be butchered to give the reader what they want.

    I am not stupid(I hope) I understand that just as I am allowed to view it as art, they are allowed to not view it as art.

    So the question is this. Am I a horrible person for still feeling this? I can't help how I feel. Am I a horrible person?

    I suppose since I opened this as a topic , maybe it would be good to hear alternate views on this. What is your take on the position of writing as "art" or "just work"?

    Thank you for letting me rant. And I am sorry!!! :cry: :cry:
     
  2. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    That is not horrible but just human. And it is allowed to write what you enjoy.

    Not everyone has publishing as a sole goal (I certainly am not sure I want to publish), and if you write just for yourself it makes for huge enjoyment. That does not mean that the story would never be sellable (because obviously you try to make it the best you can make it), just that you don't set yourself a goal in publishing. And in not taking that goal yourself you become free. Free to write the story you want, write as it is meant to be written.

    I can't speak for anyone else, but for me writing is in itself satisfaction, not work with a commercial goal.
     
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  3. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think you might have misunderstood what I meant.

    Like, take for example a video I saw. In the video, the person said he discussed Twilight with the author before she wrote it and they went over points for the book to cover in order to make a lot of money. That makes me sick! I get mad thinking about it. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth. For someone to look at art and say. "How can I make money with this?" When I look at Twilight(the movies in this case. I haven't read the books. But my issue is a plot one, not a writing one.) it screams to me a self-wish-fulfilment story that is not interested in telling a story but is rather just interested in making money. Which, if that video was correct was her goal. To me? That is like peeing on the Mona Lisa. It is an insult to an audience to write a story not to give them a good story but to just give them mindless entertainment!

    But that feels so mean. Just because I like writing in the sense of beauty and art, it doesn't mean other people have to take that same value. But I can't help but feel upset thinking about it. Surely there is a place in this world for people that paint by numbers but it still upsets me and it seems like I am a horrible person because of it.
     
  4. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    I feel similarly, really. I was just ranting about something like this to a friend last night. Sure, I'm trying like hell to sell my writing, but I'm trying to sell writing that I want to put out in the world because I feel that it means something. Realistically, the chances of getting published are very small, so I'm not going to strive for that - I'm going to strive to make something I can like and be proud of having done. That way I still have something cool regardless of whether I get paid money for it. If I made something that I just wanted to be popular and it didn't work out, it'd feel like massive exercise in pointlessness.

    That said, I've written straight for money too, advertising and stuff, and I didn't hate that either, mostly. It could be interesting and kind of fun. But I'm not proud of any of the ads I wrote. Sometimes I forget I ever did them. It wasn't 'art'. But then I go around saying shit like "art is a science" so what are my opinions on what qualifies as art worth? Hahah.
     
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  5. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    It is allowable to have different opinions. And it is also allowable to disagree strongly, even to the point of rage and ranting. As long as you don't go out and break laws and people, that is perfectly fine. We are, everyone of us, different. And that is a good thing! I also disagree strongly with certain things going on around. I can express my opinion in discussions, can try to make my point clear when challenged, can try to change the things which I disagree with. That only makes for a better world down the road (or at least I hope so). Am I a horrible person too when thinking and doing that? I don't beat myself up over it. Don't you, either.
     
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  6. BrianIff
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    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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    I share the value that my writing should aim to be art -- something unique -- but do not see the point in passing judgment on the tried-and-true, market-driven criteria that must be in some creations. People like those stories, so, whatever, c'est la vie, it's their time off work or not studying.
     
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  7. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    :D I like you.

    I think art is like a science too and here is my argument.

    Can we rate cooking or food objectively? Kind of. If we go by taste, of course not. Everyone has their own opinion and that is fine. But cooking, at least with a recipe has a clear goal. Clear instructions. Can we measure who followed the instructions better? Easily. In the same way, we have a standard for what we consider art. We have rating systems beyond popularity. Someone can say "I don't think this story works as well because I think these stories themes do not work well together." And that can completely take personal taste out of it. Yes, there is still some level of subjectability in writing for example, the standards for what we consider art is based on our own logic of course, but however those standards appeared, does not change that those standards exist and can be measured. People really need to stop connecting persona taste or enjoyment to good quality. In the same way I like the 10 cent packs of noodles, but don't boast that they are 5-star dinner quality.

    And most of that came to me while I was thinking of dialogue for a character. Neat?
     
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  8. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Fair point.

    Yeah, I wasn't passing judgement exactly as I admit it is fine to exist but wondering if it is just mean for me to feel upset about it. It exists, I realize that, I am fine with it exisiting I would be much more upset to learn people weren't allowed to express themselves. But yet I still get a bad taste in my mouth thinking about it.
     
  9. BrianIff
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    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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    Yes, my apologies for any insinuation I may have overlooked. I'm kind of on the defensive whenever I talk about this topic because my views on what kind of writer does do things this way are somewhat strong. ;)
     
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  10. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    I was kind of expecting people to jump on this "how dare you dislike it when other people don't behave a certain way. *kicks GuardianWynn*"

    I am not sure how to deal with people taking my side in this case. lol.
     
  11. Mans
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    Mans Contributing Member

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    Well, it is dependent on a writer position. Everyone can choose his way. Some writers may need money for living and some are needless. The writer that needs an income has to "work" and the writer that is needless earning money from writing does artistic.
    But I believe except a minority of writers the others write based on their love to art, even the writers that have to work for income. This group of writers sometimes have to write somethings that are not ideal for them but they sometimes write just based on their own will and interest, and this does mean art.
    Of course we are inevitable to accept that a minority of writers look at writing as a business, market or even a ladder that lift them to a higher rank.
     
  12. Samurai Jack
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    Samurai Jack Active Member

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    No one is a horrible person for thinking, even if those thoughts are horrible. So. Don't murder anyone over your opinion.

    But I start thinking about the freedom established creators have when it comes to their content. Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro turned a 300 page book into a trilogy of movies, creating content where none existed. Of course they could, because it's the Tolkien world (stupidly profitable) and they were famous directors. The Lord of the Rings trilogy had to compromise for the sake of money, The Hobbit didn't. LotR is widely acclaimed. The Hobbit isn't.

    Kevin Smith churned out 'better' movies with little to no time and money than he does now with large budgets and more freedom.

    I've gotten into a lot of self published fantasy and space opera book series, and I often think to myself, these 12 books would have probably made 2 good ones. Did they go through publishers and editors and not like the results? Were they unwilling to compromise? Had the compromised, would they now have a much larger audience to tell a grander story? There's no real right or wrong answer.
     
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  13. King Arthur
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    King Arthur Banned

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    I think all art should be free, though I think publishing a novel pays a lot of people other than yourself. Printers, ink-people (no idea what their actual job description and name is), dyers, cover artists, editors, publishers would all go out of business. That's several (tens of?) million jobs that have been ruined if no one published traditionally.
     
  14. Samurai Jack
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    Samurai Jack Active Member

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    Nothing is free. Nothing. At best art could be subsidized, but in the end an artist has to eat, and that subsity has to come from somewhere.

    Maybe I could be the best altruist I could be, and go nonprofit in my desire to provide as much content with as little kept for myself as possible, but then who determines what is fair for me or the artist? Do I get to choose where to live? If or where I get to vacation? A new or used car? State or private college, liberal arts or medical school for my children? If free or subsidized means I don't get to keep my Harley, then free it shall not be.
     
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  15. King Arthur
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    King Arthur Banned

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    If I published my ebook for free, then it's free. Totally free.
     
  16. Samurai Jack
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    Samurai Jack Active Member

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    You wrote it on something, uploaded it somewhere, I downloaded it some way and read it some way.

    You subsidized it's creation with other paying work, storage is subsidized by advertising, and it took an investment on my part to download and read it.

    That all might be semantics, but that's the side I'm on.
     
  17. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Then again, free art is not something I was saying should happen. It is a just a dream worth dreaming about. I mean if it could happen, it wouldn't be worth dreaming about. I like to reserve my dreams for things that cannot happen. If I can do it, I would much prefer to work for it. :)
     
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  18. King Arthur
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    King Arthur Banned

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    Then there's not much point in having dreams.
     
  19. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't understand. Could you explain yourself in more detail please?
     
  20. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I think Arthur is saying that dreams are what spurs you to work on whatever you want to work on; if you don't dream, then you don't have anything to work towards.

    At least that's what I think. He/she will have to clarify.
     
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  21. King Arthur
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    King Arthur Banned

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    Exactly. Dreams that could be possible, however unlikely.
     
  22. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    First, I am splitting some hairs here, but what lovely hairs they are to split.

    The problem I have with that is I am seperating goals and dreams. In a sense your use of the term dream is my use of the term goal.

    A goal is something I want to happen, and I work hard in order to make it happen. A goal by this defintion must be reachible otherwise it has no point.

    A dream by my standard here goes beyond possibility. I love imagining what isn't impossible(I am a fantasy writer after all) but I admit it will never happen. I wil never have magic powers, or anything like that. That is why I dream of it, because it goes beyond that which is possible. To dream of only the possible I would find boring.

    This very much reminds me of when people say "If you had one wish, what would it be?"

    I find it funny when people reply "Lots of money."

    To me? That is a silly wish. I can work for money. I may one day get a million dollors. No magic required. If magic is being offered to me for one setence, or one moment. I would want something I can't otherwise get.

    Like, if I had one wish. I would wish for the power to freeze time, or to have infinite youth. I don't even mean I would do anything bad with freezing time. Freezing time would be for one purpose to me. So I wouldn't have to miss a moment. I could watch every movie or sleep in frozen time and then have fun with my friend, and then sleep in frozen time and then write for as long as I wanted. I might even still go to work. Why not? I have plenty of time. I don't need to break the law. I can enjoy life at a pace I decide. You can't get tht, which is why I would wish for it.

    Make sense?
     
  23. King Arthur
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    King Arthur Banned

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    It makes sense, but I just don't agree.

    I dream of being published. It's unlikely, but I might be. It's not at all a goal of mine to get published.
     
  24. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    I did open by saying I was splitting hairs, didn't I?
     
  25. King Arthur
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    King Arthur Banned

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    And you finished with "Make sense?"
     

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