Friday, September 9, 2011

Writing: a subject which deserves more time


I think I considerate to be the highest art form.

Not to disrespect the amazing realms of music, sculpture, painting etc., but writing is just amazing. It's not only information and instruction packed into dense knowledge saturated jewels, but it's also the transmission of experience and sensation in a scope beyond anything else. I guess oral poetry and music can incorporate literature as well, so we'll throw them in too.

I sometimes feel as if when you're writing, you're playing an instrument, only the instrument is your reader's brain. You cannot just play whatever you want, you have to work with what's in his head, or give him new information and build on it. You might write a war story, but every person who reads it will be different. Some will have experience with war, some will not. For those who don't, you will have to relate it to things and experiences they have had, and expand those to convey the emotions, questions, physical and mental sensations of your scene. Recreating experiences that hundreds will relive. And some will understand, and others won't. Some people have minds and experiences that lets them experience and enjoy Jane Austen, others resonate more to JRR Tolkien or Kipling or Thoreau or Harry Potter or whoever. The author picks up an experience, and lets you live it yourself. And because you live it, your experience will be unique and different from the author's. You may even understand it better, or experience it more intensely than the original author.

But when you write, if you do it well, you can teach. You can change the people who choose to read it.

What writing has changed me? Has anything I've written changed someone else?


  1. Writing certainly is a subject which deserves more time. "I considerate to be..." ?? and I won't even touch your use of 'whoever' ;P

    I really did enjoy what you were saying and how you were saying it. And when you can combine great writing with great music or great performing...!

  2. Yeah, needless to say, I was really tired when I wrote that post.

    Though, pronounced in normal speech, phonetically "considerate" in that context is indistinguishable from the correct wording "consider it". Heh.

    Yeah, I was pretty tired. Makes me rambley at times.

  3. I laughed so hard at that second sentence! Nice one Joseph. I totally agree with John.

    I personally love visual art as well. There are somethings you can not describe in writing that you can describe in art you know?

    Have you guys been hearing from Andrew?

  4. Just that he got there, is enjoying himself, and learning Swahili--has been playing soccer, was going to visit 'the elephant caves', and has an unreliable internet connection.