1. Keith Trimm
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    Keith Trimm Banned

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    Writing, or any art, why do it?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Keith Trimm, Jan 4, 2013.

    I've been a life long painter, musician, writer, etc... and have had my work torn to shreds for as long as I have created it. There is always someone ready to pounce on your work and rip it apart and send you back wondering why did I ever put the effort into it in the first place.

    Here is the answer.

    I enjoy what I do. I dislike critics with a passion. And art is what it is.

    My style is not your style and your standards are not my standards. If you can get past page 2 of my book, you will probably finish it. If not, go make a snow cone or wire up some illegal cable to entertain yourself.

    Critics and lawyers belong in the same boat. Both are useful for something, just not sure what exactly.

    I don't want to create the "perfect" book. That would be dull. I want to make you think like I do.
     
  2. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    Well then... I wish you well.
     
  3. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    This was in the wrong place so I've moved it.

    1) Why write? Why do anything? If it's just because you enjoy it then what more do you need? Writing is just a form of communication, the importance is inherent in the act.

    2) You don't like critics, ok ... why do you think they exist? Do you think criticism is just about ruining art? I'm seriously trying to wrap my head around that one to be honest. Literary theory and criticism is not just about trying to get an amateur to improve their work but it's also about recognizing good work and why it is good.

    3) Perfection cannot be proven to exist unless you have something like Plato's theory of forms. So to me the 'perfect books' (and I can name a few I think are perfect) are those that have either stood the test of time or are likely to.
     
  4. Mithrandir
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    Mithrandir Contributing Member

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    If you can write well enough to engage readers like that, why not eliminate SPaG errors? It's not all that hard.

    What's dull about a perfect book? It wouldn't be perfect if it was.

    Editing has always improved my work; it seems kind of silly to handicap yourself like that.
     
  5. Keith Trimm
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    Keith Trimm Banned

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    Why do critics exist? I'm sure there is an evolutionary genesis when the cave people drew on the walls and another cave person thought he made his nose too big and got pissed. I think it's rooted in anger.
     
  6. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Some things require no further comment I suppose, they are just self-evidently not true, but I'm going to try. Most introductions to the Penguin Classics books is an example of literary criticism, and in most of those it is an author doing nothing but gushing about how great the novel is that it is introducing, with some interesting facts along the way. Where is the anger there?

    With all due respect this post sounds like sour grapes.
     
  7. Keith Trimm
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    Keith Trimm Banned

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    I'm sure there is a lot of sour grapes in my words.
     
  8. spartan928
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    spartan928 Member

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    Every check out Goodreads.com? How about Amazon? Reviews by journalists are becoming less and less relevant anyway. We live in an age where even the plumber next door gets a critique plastered all over the Internet. Writing that is fit for public consumption is going to get sliced and diced. So you have a couple choices. Completely disregard any and all criticism and write what you want the way you want. Or, try and learn something from the feedback. Use it to grow as a writer and artist. It doesn't mean you have to bow before your critics and try to please everyone. But, why be afraid of it? Critics aren't dismembering you personally. They have their own reasons for liking and disliking any work of art and that's OK. Personally, I think all criticism is valid and good because it represents an individual's taste. You have a lot of creative interests and to succeed in any of them, you need a pretty damn thick skin.
     
  9. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Keith, when you refer to "critics," do you just mean reviewers? A literary critic is someone who helps readers understand works of literature - at least, that's a big part of the job description. There's a lot more to it than just saying whether something is good or bad. Personally, I don't have much time for critics, but I'm glad they're there when I have questions about why a certain work is considered great and another is not.

    Reviewers, on the other hand, pretty much just pass value judgments on books, and that's always a matter of personal taste. I can't really get angry with them even if I think some of them are idiots.

    In answer to your question, the reasons I create (I'm a writer and a musician - visual arts are beyond me, alas) have nothing to do with critics or reviewers. I do it first for me, because I love my stuff, and second for anyone out there who might like it, too. I strongly suspect that there are lots of people out there who would like my stuff if I could get it published.

    As for making me think like you do, good luck with that. I'm always open to new sources of wisdom, but it seems like the older I get, the fewer of them there are. And I'm fifty-one now and my knees are getting arthritic. I'm approaching my curmudgeon years whether I want to or not. :)
     
  10. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    Everyone has an opinion and an idea of what art, writing, or music should or should not be. It is an inherent human condition. Take critique with a grain of salt, allowing for other perspectives.

    Every creator's work is ideal in their own mind, but no one else can see the perfection molded in the creator's mind. Onlookers, readers, listeners...They absorb the mediums through their own senses...Comparing the creative construct with their own perspectives and ideals.

    There is no one standing at the door of an art gallery passing out green goggles and locking them into place, saying this is how it is and must be. It is an insult to the observers to deny them their own thoughts and, yes, opinions.

    You put something out in a public forum of any type, you are giving people the right to critique and dissect your work. Don't want to deal with public opinions or critics, keep it put away.

    - Darkkin, the Tedious
     
  11. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    As others have mentioned, I write because I enjoy it. Yes, I want to be published, and I'm writing for like-minded individuals. Quite frankly, I don't expect a very large audience.

    I'm not sure why you hate reviewers (I'm assuming that's what you meant by "critics") so much. It's a part of getting your work out there. If you don't want your work to be pounced on and torn to shreds, then don't put it out there.
     
  12. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I know what you mean, sort of - tactless critics interested only in slamming for laughs
    are the ones to ignore. I write knowing 50 % of people aren't artistic,
    and don't understand art, and the other 50% that are, might not like what I write. With
    those odds the only one I can please is me. Don't sweat criticism - feed off of it - especially
    if they have legitimate claims.

    My father does metal sculpture and he has to tolerate all kinds of critics and weird buyers - one
    wanted to drill holes in his work and wire it for a lamp! He didn't find that very funny.
     
  13. blenderpie
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    blenderpie Member

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    If I wanted everyone who read my work to love it, I would show it exclusively to my mother. And, she would be happy that I could simply construct such a volume of complete sentences, despite their quality.

    Hearing reviews of what I have written, at least for me personally, is one of the more exciting parts of writing. I WANT to know if something isn't explained as clearly as I thought, or something doesn't "sound right" or "look right." Then, I can make it better for the next person I share my writing to. And, with enough help from other people, I might even make something that can be published and a large group of people can read and enjoy. But that will take a very long time and will take a lot of people reading it. While I might get responses back that may not be helpful, I try to look at reviews (at least on a forum like this, where, since I've been here, I've only witnessed people being respectful) as a way to help me to be a better writer, not to tear me down.
     
  14. Cerebral
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    Cerebral Active Member

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    Buddy, if people are telling you your work is no good, then it is no good. If they have legitimate criticisms of your writing, then it would behoove you to consider them, adapt to them, and improve. If you don't want anyone criticizing your work, then do your work, and put it away so only you can "enjoy" it. Everyone who reads your work is, in a sense, reviewing it. Readers will judge whether they like it or not. If the majority of people don't like it, it means that either you're targeting the wrong audience, or that you need to improve.

    You might as well stop reading...I guarantee that all the stories that you've read were not the first drafts of the authors.

    Also, your critic-lawyer comparison and analysis is completely off the mark. As with your other post, I don't understand why you feel the need to find someone who supports your opinion. The bottom line is that you cannot improve anything without knowing what it is you're not doing well enough. For example, I like to box and when I'm doing pad work and throwing punches, if I lower my free hand and drop my guard, my trainer would slap me right across the face hard enough that I'm not willing to risk getting hit again. If I get angry and tell him to stop pointing out my mistakes and instead just praise my flawed technique, I'd be acting like you and not getting any better.

    Grow a backbone, find some extra layers of skin, and apply some elbow grease. Then you'll be fine.
     
  15. PaulKemp24
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    PaulKemp24 Member

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    OP-

    You've started at least 3 different threads lately whining about getting rejected. You claim that you don't care but obviously you do. What is the point of these threads? There's no question being asked, no wisdom being sought, no discussion or debate being introduced. It's just griping. I don't get it.

    If you want to give away your work for free simply because you enjoy writing and aren't looking for any type of monetary gain then that's wonderful. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. But why do you come down on the people who ARE chasing their dream of publication? You get so worked up about people criticizing you but then you just give it right back and criticize the publishing world and all the writers who are trying to get published.

    Just let it be man.
     
  16. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There is a saying: If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

    There ar two ways (at least) for dealing with criticism. You can rail against it and wear yourself out with your fingers in your ears, yelling "Nah nah nah", or you can listen carefully, and use what you can to improve your art. You don't have to agree with every point, but if you keep an open mind, you can learn even from mean-spirited criticism.

    Don't let your ego get in the way of your art.
     
  17. evelon
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    evelon Active Member

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    He's reeling you in. Check out his other posts, especially the one that's been closed due to advertising. It's one way to get people's interest.
     
  18. PaulKemp24
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    PaulKemp24 Member

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    Exactly. All his threads are "My stuff can be downloaded for free just google my name and you can find it." It's pathetic. Let's not give into him anymore.
     
  19. cazann34
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    cazann34 Active Member

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    That will never happen. Because I am an individual, as you are. My life experiences differ from yours. Since we are the sum total of out experiences, we can never think a like.
    Perhaps I have read you wrong and you don't want to be dictatorial or be sent out a message of hatred out into the forum. Am I wrong about you?

    This is the second post of your I have read and you seem to be 'angry' at the world. There's no need to be. Don't get me wrong, I understand your dislike of critics, there is nothing worse than having a professional/novice rip into your work just because they can; to demoralize your work for their own entertainment. It sucks big time. But this forum isn't like that. In the short time I have been a member here, I have learnt one very important lesson: criticism is helpful. It certainly has helped me to 'see' my work as it really is, and not through the rose coloured glasses I have been proofreading it.

    I do wonder about your motive in becoming a member here. Was it to merely rant at the world for being cruel/critical of you? The truth is....life is unfair. To all of us. We adapt.
     
  20. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I really don't understand how people can get angry at critics, criticism is just an opinion and are you seriously suggesting you are made angry by people thinking differently to you? Or noticing things you missed/didn't think about in order to improve? Good criticism is a blessing, even when it's harsh. Especially when it is harsh.

    If you think I don't get it - what, you don't think I've not had my share of criticism? Or that I don't have my critics? Of course I do. But the thing is, a lot of the critics I trust are good friends who know they don't have to be 'nice' with me, they can be as cruel as they like because I don't take criticism as a slap in the face.
     
  21. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    why do it?

    because, in re art and true artists, one can't NOT do it... it's like breathing... see how long you can hold your breath... that's about how long a born-to-be-an-artist can hold off not painting, sculpting, composing, dancing, singing--or writing...
     
    2 people like this.
  22. Terry Turton
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    Terry Turton Member

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    And there's more often than not someone who will think it's the coolest thing they have ever read,seen,or heard.

    That applies to everyone just because one person think's it's a waste of canvas,paper or time doesn't mean somone else won't think it's the best thing they have read,heard,or seen.

    I have read books by authors that sold in there hundreds and were pulped or sold off for 10p a copy that have had monumental effects on my writing.I have read books that have brought me too tears or made me laugh so hard iv'e cracked a rib that no one as ever heard of.Writers who made nothing from there work who died in poverty that have wrote poems and short stories that i still remember from my childhood,writers that have made me angry to a point where iv'e done something to help or some piece in a book that's totaly changed my ideas about a person or group.Even books so obscure that the author is not even worthy of a wiki page have made me sit there for hours on end till the book was finished.Don't let other peoples opinions of your work bother you there will always be someone to say it's crap BUT there will also be somone who thinks what you have wrote or painted or played or constructed or made is the coolest thing in the world.We can't all like the same things and what one person says it rubbish could be priceless to somone else.
     
  23. evelon
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    evelon Active Member

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    You've summed up one of the best reasons for writing. It's not for money or fame. It doesn't matter how many books you sell or how you publish them. All that matters is that what you have written has had an effect on someone. If you've made someone laugh, cry, change the way they think, made them feel that they're not the only one, you've achieved something that a lot of people never achieve.
     
  24. Hwaigon
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    Hwaigon Contributing Member Reviewer

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    Maybe I should post similarly stupid-sounding threads to get more viewers and attention, which is
    defiinitely what you're far better at. Seems to me you didn't focus on what's going on here, 'cos you
    wouldn't have posted such thread, if you had.

    My answer is simple: why in the hell do you post such thread when you answer it yourself ???

    ...does it need any comment ? No. You're only unsure whether this is the way to go, and I say yes, it is, go for it,
    only after forty years of pursuing what you love doing you can say, from the comfort of your armchair as an old man, whether
    it all had any sense.

    ...then your passion in what you do is not strong enough, 'cos you would invite others to have their word, which in itself presuposes a certain
    degree of humbleness. You view critics as enemies, but those who really want to help can feel offended and there are people here who want to help.

    ...man, I feel like you're being grinded between the milestones of uncertainty about your style and believes as to why continue...
    Of course your's not mine and vise versa. You may have received a sharp criticism of your work, but there are always people
    who'll give you cold shoulder while viewing your work and those who'll think you genius for what you do, but you shouldn't get too serious
    about either, neither now, nor in thirty years of a successful career - only that way you stay faithful to who you are.

    I agree with Cogito and have a thing to add: I used to hold this conviction, belief or whatever that I am unique and that my stories
    are something out of the ordinary. What a faulty way of thinking. Today, I humbly ask people around to read what I've written, eager to
    hear what they think, eager for my words to reach them. Toss away your genius, unless you're a real one, get down to work and diligently seek the mysterious
    strength that propells you forward. One has to be stubborn for his dreams to survive and make it to the paper and to other people, thus spreading like light in the night.

    That's my vision - that my words reach you.
    What you think of them, well, that's another thing, the whole different matter.

    ...why ??? Didn't you just say your style would never be that of mine ?The same applies for thought...
    You can only let me know what you think, what your outlook on life is etc.
     
  25. Hwaigon
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    Hwaigon Contributing Member Reviewer

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    I guess this is indeed the case here.
     

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