This is showmanship… performance art. I write in places you can’t see, in my journal, in my private online notebook. A lot goes on behind the scenes, even for a nobody like me writing on a blog like this. Writing comfortably takes practice, even when the performances are off-the-cuff and spur of the moment, which is usually when they seem to be purist. There almost has to be an underlying level of natural skill or talent, and talent alone always seems to be hit and miss.
The beauty of performance art in writing is that, if I want to, I can shape it, hack away the crappier parts, and publish streams of thought when they feel “finished” enough. Some of this post is probably going to be chopped out before I let anyone read it. It gets hard though when you’re to proud to write something that seems like intellectual trash. Pride is something I believe in, something I would encourage people to embrace in themselves, but it can also be a restraint.
Not the good kind either.
The only thing to do with it at that point is to break it or sidestep it somehow, which is what I’m doing right now. Writing something out without knowing where it’s going, almost entirely in the moment. To much analysis would stop me dead in my tracks so I’m just throwing words onto the screen. Recklessly, carelessly, and with a little apprehension at the possibility of still not being satisfied by the time I’m ‘done’ writing them. It seems like the only way I can find myself.
Surrender to the words, the tapping of the keyboard, and that’s always easiest when I’m not thinking about readers or what I’d think of these ramblings if I were one of them. It’s kind of funny because when I do that, when I write without worrying, I’m almost always able to look back with pleasure at what came out. It doesn’t seem contrived; it seems natural. It feels right. This goes well beyond what I’m calling “showmanship” too though.
Even with a piece of flash fiction, or a book, or hell, a movie, you can only create and capture something if there’s something in the moment of creation to capture. Some divine spark, inspiration, passion. Without that the best works of art in the world wouldn’t have been possible. Assuming a person could manufacture something powerful or beautiful without any passion for it… it still wouldn’t be a piece of greatness. It would be hollow.
No feelings from the creator tend to amount to no feelings (and no appreciation) from an audience. You need your passion to animate your art. Otherwise it has no soul.
(Originally written on December 12, 2014)