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  1. HellOnEarth
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    HellOnEarth Banned

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    Is taking the creative, artistic path worth the risk?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by HellOnEarth, Jan 6, 2007.

    http://www.brainshrub.com/gardener-success-career

    What do you think?

    I believe, in order to become an artist or a writer you must have talent, dedication, and perseverance. There is no practicing

    You are born an artist; you do not become one.
     
  2. Robert
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    I disagree. I think you need a certain aptitude to begin with, sure, which means that some (many) people can't achieve the top no matter what, but there needs to be something more before you achieve a level of success. As far as I'm aware from what I've read, top authors study and work hard before achieving success.

    Cheers,
    Rob
     
  3. Raven
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    Hmmm I agree and I think you've made a very good point as well Rob.





    ~Raven.
     
  4. HeinleinFan
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    For new writers who are interested in improving their writing style, here is an essay by Dr. Jerry Pournelle on the subject:
    http://www.jerrypournelle.com/slowchange/myjob.html
     
  5. Fantasy of You
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    A bad writer can become a good writer, with practice. But a good writer can never become great.
     
  6. Max Vantage
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    Based on what facts?
     
  7. Fantasy of You
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    The facts of life.

    You can teach a bad writer the rules of grammar, and he can have some good ideas. Thus, he can write a good story. A good writer, however, will never be a great writer. You cannot teach greatness.

    - FoY
     
  8. Max Vantage
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    Oh right, I misunderstood your personal opinion on the subjective topic of greatness and what it means.
     
  9. HellOnEarth
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    HellOnEarth Banned

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    I believe Stephen King said this. But you got it all wrong.

    A bad writer can work hard to become a medicore writer. A medicore writer can work hard to become a good writer. But a good writer can't achieve greatness. There were 4 categories, not three.
     
  10. Crazy Ivan
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    Is it me, or is HOE trying desperately to stop us from becoming good writers?
     
  11. HellOnEarth
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    No, just the opposite.
     
  12. Crazy Ivan
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    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

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    *puts on glasses and gets out big book that says EVIDENCE*

    1. HOE attempts to convince us to write long, crappy, dreary novels instead of good old quality writing in "Quality or Quantity" topic.

    2. HOE, following the logic of "lol u suk lol", attempts to convince everyone that they do not deserve to be writers in "I hate to break it to you" topic.

    3. HOE attempts to spread thoughts into our head that if we take the bohemian way of life, we will DIE AN UNLOVED STRUGGLING HOBO WITH AIDS RAARRR.

    HE'S CONSPIRING AGAINST US!

    Alright, so I'm just kidding for the most part (You can tell I'm joking when I start using caps) so I'll get back on topic now.


    I think you can scratch out a living as an artist if you're good at it, of course. If you're bad at it, I doubt you're going to actually try it as a full-time occupation, so this debate doesn't really matter.
     
  13. Peter
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    This is a myth, which is equivalent to the fallacy that all people who go to university are born intelligent. Artistry comes from interest, patience, perception, hard work (decades of it) and confidence in one's own ability. It doesn't come from some mythological God-given birthright. Because we're not born with our intelligence and interests in tow; those develop naturally throughout the course of our lives. When we were kids (maybe even a little older) we read and loved a book or writer or genre, which developed in us an interest in literature, and this interest in turn spurred us on to writing fiction. But if when we were six years old we hadn't went to the library that day, or when we were nine we missed that morning at school, or at twenty didn't meet and befriend someone who loves crime fiction, this interest wouldn't have happened. It's all chance. So if Shakespeare or Dostoevsky had been adopted out at birth, dramatically changing their lives (including the access they would have had to art), would they ever have become the great artists that they did? The answer is certainly "No".

    You should also know that in the history of literature not one writer has ever written anything completely original. James Joyce admitted that he didn't "invent" the interior monologue style at the end of Ulysses, but found the style in a paperback he picked up at a railway station. Some of Franz Kafka's greatest work is heavily influenced by the poor relationship he had with his father, pretty lame considering the majority of the world also have constant familial struggles.

    So that means the ideas and techniques and the world itself is out there to be studied and incorporated into our own writing.

    What the "greats" do have on most of us though, are time, perseverance and perception. Most of them probably read and wrote a great deal from an early age. But all that literally means is they learned literature and all its techniques early on, allowing them the freedom (also early on) to go off in slightly different directions: They had a lot of time to be creative and find new voices.

    They also worked hard. This is definitely the main stumbling block as far as most of us are concerned. We're too wrapped up in our own inferiority and "lack of greatness" to ever even attempt to write one sentence, never mind an entire short story or novel. We procrastinate, telling ourselves that tomorrow we'll definitely begin our masterpiece. But tomorrow never comes, does it. But there is no reason for this.

    A hundred or so years ago illiteracy was rampant, meaning literature was available only to few people. So that means the average Joe back then didn't have the tools (which is only the ability to read and write) to write fiction. Thankfully nowadays this is not the case. But we now have something else blocking us from writing: rhetoric fallacies, false images of perfection, elitist nonsense saying we're inferior. Here in Scotland I've had to deal with that crap all my life, in the form of language. I speak Scots, which is derived from English and nowadays spoken only by working class Scots and Irish. I've been told to speak "properly" from childhood, say "yes" and not "aye", "water" and not "wahter", and I've been told that if I don't speak "properly" I'm inferior to those who do speak standard English. But the most horrifying thing is that it's not real people telling me to speak this way, but systems. Systems like the one making you believe that "Artists are born that way".

    And systems are everywhere. We now live in a world where impossible perfection is to be aspired to. Nothing is real. We all must be super intelligent from birth, we all must have perfect bodies, we all must have perfect faces. We all must adhere to the code that some people are just "better" than us.

    And that's the essential thing about art: as long as writers are honest with themselves, it always has the chance of telling the truth. And it's also the only way of "finding" the truth. I've only realised that over the past couple of years, ironically from my reading.

    But the chance of finding truth in mainstream media is next to nothing. Mainstream media allows George Bush to say that terrorist suspects are not being held at Guantanamo Bay and then a year later admitting that they are; mainstream media tells us what to wear, what music to listen to, what films to watch; it tells us to love celebrities like gods: Mainstream media allows governments and conglomerates and systems lie to us. Art is the only place you'll find truth. So is the internet, but that's bound to change in future.

    So if you want a reason to write, it is to tell the world your own "truth".

    I will admit that true greatness is only found in very few people. But without a doubt their greatness came first from hard work and self-belief (in the case of Kafka, it was sporadic bursts of self-belief), and then finally how they perceived the world. And I guess that's what it comes down to: perception. But since perception is idiosyncratic, who's to say that none of us will write a masterpiece? And even if people do tell us our work sucks, why the heck should we listen to them? I know I won't.
     
  14. HellOnEarth
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    Peter, thou art a Darwanist. I do not particularly like Darwinists.

    And I did not like your post.

    Let's not resort to name-calling. First you call me a snob, a scumbag, and a piece of trash; I think you have some issues to solve with yourself. Just by reading your post, in depth and with great care, I come to this conclusion: you have some problems, son.

    ADD perhaps, or Manic Depression, otherwise known as Bi-Polar Disorder.

    This is why I intend to become a physcologist, and get PH.D, to help people like you. ;)
     
  15. Peter
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    lol, fair enough.

    What didn't you like about it?
     
  16. HellOnEarth
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    You believe humanity was created by some random chance, or what we call the Big Bang. You believe people were born into a certain race through probability.

    I do not believe this. There is a reason why some people are born black, others white, yet some even Hispanic or Asian like myself. There is a reason why some are gifted musically, artistically, or through the written word--or, hell, both.

    Everything is for a reason.

    I don't know what this reason is, or if we'll ever find out, but I believe--deep down in my heart--there are no coincidences.

    So believe what you want Dawarnist; and call me Calvanist.
     
  17. Domoviye
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    I like to think I have some talent at writing. But so far thats mostly just my ego speaking.
    But even I cringe at some of the work I did in November when I really started writing. Just from practicing for two months, my skills in grammar, dialogue, detail, and pacing have taken off.
    Yes people need some talent to get started. My painting skills suck, even after I spent a summer painting plastic models, because I can't draw a straight line. But without the practice, no matter how talented someone is, they'll never be more than rank amateurs.
     
  18. HellOnEarth
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    Amen.






    You have a long way to go. But keep writing.

    And reading.

    For good writing comes from good reading.

    And vice-versa.
     
  19. Peter
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    Coolio then. Everyone's entitled to their own opinions and beliefs.
     
  20. Gateship
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    Even if you're born an artist, that talent goes wasted if you don't practise it. It's like music - you can have the talent and know the theory but you still have to practise to get pieces right.

    I'm not bothered whether or not I class as "great" at the moment - genius is never recognised until after death.
     
  21. Heather Louise
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    i think any one can write. if you work hard at it, and practise, then anyone can write, and something desent. i do think however, that to be able to write good, then you have "to be born with it" almost. it's like you amy know all of the theory behind how ot write, everything there is to know about grammar and spelling and everything else. but when it comes down to it, you cannot be taught how to actually write. you can be given hints and advise, but the actual writing is up to you and if you have the gift or not. this partially scares me as i have always saw myself as an ok writer, but never particually good. lol.
    Heather
     
  22. Drydon
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    Uhuuuuhhh..

    Greatness cannot be taught because it is something you have to discover within yourself. Teaching greatness is to create a copy, yet to find your own original idea's, that is greatness, and everyone is capable of it. Get off your elitist mountain.

    Simple way to show you, I'm considered a naturally gifted writer, I can sit down and start writing and not stop once to have to think about plot or characters or anything. A kid in my class who has never shown any aptitude for writing, has to sit for hours to write the simplest paragraphs I write in 5 minutes, wrote something that blew me away. How did he do it? He used his own idea's, and his own knowledge, instead of trying to copy something or a appeal to a specific image.

    Do I believe hard work can lead to greatness? Definently.
    What's the point in greatness that isn't self inspired thought?
     
  23. elfdragonlord
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    Peter, I applaud your post. That was all very well said.

    Anyone who has the vision to be a writer and have something original to say (which is anyone who has done a lot of experiencing in life and has the ability to 'think outside the box' about things) - can with very hard work and a little bit of help learn to become a great writer. It's the vision that is the tricky thing - but if a person is deep down creative and really feels that they have something to say - then they already have been cursed with the 'creativity and vision' bug anyway. Most people who don't have vision aren't particularly interested in taking on a creative direction in life anyway. (well, you may get a few people trying to 'play' at being a writer for imagined kudos - but they mostly go away after a while anyway).

    Taking a creative vision and making decent (or maybe even brilliant) writing from it can definitely be taught.

    Learning about grammar and spelling is a must - learning about characterisation and plots is very useful indeed (but you have to find the theories that work and make sense for you - don't be a gullible learner either). I personally found Scott Orson-Card's books on 'Character and viewpoint' and 'Science Fiction and Fantasy writing' to be very useful indeed for the plot and characterisation side of things.

    When it comes to reading books about how to write well, I'll trust an established writer whose books are on the shelves in Waterstones over someone who has not been so succesful anyday ('cause clearly they know what they're talking about).
     
  24. Max Vantage
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    Rubbish. I'm born human...nothing more.
    What fuels me is ambitioun.
    It's this ambition that sees me fit to obsess over perfecting my skills to try and reach greatness within my chosen craft. Why is a different discussion altogether.

    When I'm able to influence a thought, emotion or anything else in another person with my work, this then affords me the rank of an artist. So yes, inevitably you do become one if you pay attention and learn. This is why we have mentors/tutors.

    Whether any of this means that I'm good is personal opinion. And if you have one of me and my work then that simply puts you down as a critic with nothing more than a personal opinion.

    Perfecting the technique and skills of writing is my quest to reach greatness. It's not of importance to me if I do get there...only the journey matters.

    And I don't care about anyone's narrowminded, elitist view on greatness and whether it can exist within us. It's not important and neither are they.

    I'm reminded right now of a quote which I love:

    As an aside: if anyone has called you names then it's only because you have insulted them and they feel the need to defend themselves. More power to them.
     
  25. Hellbent
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    Good stuff. Good writer...Good-God...
     
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