I don’t suffer from writer’s block. I don’t believe in it as it is. But I have experienced long periods in which I did not write for various reasons, but never because I was somehow “blocked”.
This is the third attempt to start this blog. That usually doesn’t happen. I just throw something out there, edit it a little, make sure there are no spelling mistakes (please forgive the ones that slipped through) and post it.
I’ve been having a weekend full of thoughts and opinions on a variety of topics that crossed my path as I was reading blogs, articles, tweets and dreamed my strange dreams. Some issues, I thought, I might want to write about, compile my own thoughts on them. But I would not have written more than a paragraph, let alone a whole blog entry.
I didn’t feel very strongly about any of the subjects I read about.
Two things stood out.
On Amanda Palmer’s Twitter feed people were of divided opinion on liking someone’s art, but not the artist themselves, or vice versa, liking them, but not their art.
It is a conundrum that I have only experienced in Amanda Palmer herself. I like her and how she does things, how opinionated and open she is. How passionate she is about the art she makes, how much she inspires the people that follow her. I like how she makes art.
But I’ve not found a good access to her music yet. The lyrics can be quite striking. I don’t think she has a remarkable singing voice, albeit an interesting one. I think she is better live, because I had the pleasure to hear her perform her “Ukulele Anthem” once, somewhat adapted for the occasion.
On Friday I played some of her videos and songs on YouTube, but couldn’t get into them. So, maybe I am a fan of her and not her music then. I think she would consider this quite alright.
The other thing that stood out, which is at the edge connected to liking art and artist, or not, was an open letter by Dylan Farrow, Mia Farrow’s daughter and alleged abuse victim of Woody Allen.
I believe her.
Charges were never pressed, so his guilt was never officially established. Thus he lives under the presumption of innocence. There’s no way to have a fully informed opinion of the matter, because I have little information. Reading her open letter, I believed her.
Woody Allen is a director that seemingly every actor or actress in Hollywood would like to work with and quite a few already have. I know very little about him and have only seen very few of his movies. Many of them have been recommended, but I never seem to get around to watching them, even when they star someone I quite like, possibly even admire.
The thing is, even though I don’t know the man, I never liked him. I’ve not liked him as an actor and since I can’t remember if I’ve seen any of his movies, the ones he directed, I can’t say that I like him as a director.
I don’t like Woody Allen as a person. I don’t know why, and I can honestly say that there is no rational reason for this. I just never liked him.
So, is he one of those artists, who make great art, but who may very well not be liked very much? Is his art great? I can’t say. Blue Jasmine has received wide acclaim and already many awards. And he just received a lifetime achievement award as well.
But none of that tells anybody anything about the kind of person he might be and the good things or bad things he might have done in his life.
I wonder, if there is a shadow of doubt cast on him over this latest stirring of the past.
What made me sit down and write, after all, was neither of the above. I read a blog on publishing short stories. I will have to read further on the subject. I’ve been writing quite a bit this week, which is why I didn’t sweat the fact that I wrote so little over the weekend.
What struck me about the blog was not the advice it gave, but the responses it received. The majority of people, who replied, wanted assistance to publish their own short stories. Not a single one seems to have read the actual blog, they just posted replies trying to get someone else to do the hard work for them.
It was quite appalling.
And it wasn’t funny either. Not even the fact that not a single reply showed any sign of talent for writing. It was awful. The whole lot read simply awful.
I kept on reading in the way that people stare at the scene of an accident. It’s impossible to avert your eyes and if you do, you know you are being a hypocrite, because you really, really want to have another look.
I’ve read comments on many blog posts and articles. Depending on the poster and the subject, it is quite possible to read a lot of rubbish posted by trolls. Or eloquently put paragraphs that say everything the commenter wants to say, and well.
Such were the comments on Dylan Farrow’s open letter. And none of the commentators proclaimed themselves a writer. Whereas everybody on the article about publishing short stories did and none of them should have.
It does not take a literary genius to distinguish good writing from bad writing. As matter of pride, and the vague hope to rightfully call myself a writer, I try to always write well. Everything I write has a first draft that nobody else will ever see. You may see number three, or ten, or none, but definitely not the first.
How do I want to end this blog?
Well, I’m not a writer to keep the words in. I’ve just thrown a lot out here. There’s only the thinnest of threads that connects every aspect of what I just wrote. Making art.
Whatever art you make, make it with passion and take pride in it. Nobody needs to like you, but there’s nothing wrong with being a decent person. I’d rather like art and artist, not just either or either.
Presumption of innocence is a good thing, it does protect the truly innocent (or so we are hoping). Justice is another good thing. And I’m all in favour of forming opinions based on obtaining as much credible information as possible. So please don’t consider any opinion uttered above as fully informed.
Make art and take pride in it. It’s the only way it can become anything that might be considered good at least by some, hopefully enough people.
Be decent. Be kind. Be just.