~ DO ARTISTS CREATE THEIR OWN REALITY ~
I have been blogging for years but mostly about subjects which reflect the content of my novel: vintage clothing, jitterbugging, cocktails, vintage sewing and WWII memorabilia. When Candace invited me to guest blog I was grateful and thrilled to have the opportunity to discuss some recent thoughts about writing and self-identity, but she went for another blog I wrote for her. It got me thinking and I had to share.
I, a few moms and our children had a poetry party to give our kids an outlet to express their writer. One of the moms, an editor, suggested the kids find an author they like and copy word for word their writing, (she was currently copying Dickens). Her theory was if you drove the writer’s words, style, rhythm, punctuation, and vocabulary into your head, it would make you a better writer when you wrote. I thought this a stellar idea, even I would try it.
WHAT WRITER WOULD I MOST WANT TO BE LIKE?
Who, who, who? I racked my brain, who could I copy, Jane Austen, D.H. Lawrence, Sir Author Conan Doyle? Henry Miller, Nabokov, Maugham? Hmmm, the problem with those writers is they couldn’t get published today. Austen and Lawrence would be edited to death for too much description. Henry, well, the sex bits are good, but he was such a rambler, and Nabokov’s and Maugham’s pacing and slow starts would never hold up under the scrutiny of today’s agents. So, how about someone more modern? Margaret Atwood? I like her. Tracy Chevalier? Ray Bradbury? Truman Capote? Fitzgerald? But none of them are me.
IS ME ENOUGH?
I was thinking about how until recently I wouldn’t let myself be called a writer. Certainly not until I earned some real money (I didn’t count contests, poetry publications or random short stories). Growing up I was not encourage in the arts, I wasn’t discouraged, but artistic pursuits were…hobbies, not careers and not self-identities. Sure if you can try out for the play or major in acting, creative writing, or art, but you better double major with something like business, or psychology, something that makes money. In my house you’re not a “something” unless you make steady money at it.
I thought about my own children and what kind of dreams I might be squashing by saying, I’m sorry honey, you’re too short to be a model, (maybe she was, maybe she wasn’t). I’ve heard parents tell their children they’re amazing when they’re clearly a four-footed moose on the soccer field. The point is, they give their kid something we all need.
PERMISSION TO BE GREAT
Permission to create your own reality. Creating your own reality is what the arts is all about. In the book (movie—my thirteen-year-old daughter’s new fave) “The Perks of being a Wallflower,” one of the characters says, “We accept the love we think we deserve.” I’ll take it one step further:
“We accept the reality we think we deserve.”
“We accept the SUCCESS we think we deserve.”
That said, you cannot achieve success by simply wishing it. As a writer we still need to put in the time, still need to edit the shite out of our manuscripts, build our platforms, but by working hard and believing in ourselves we can create our own reality.
The very next day I went out and printed up business cards with my website, email and blog and guess what I am?
I am a Writer
Are you a Writer? What do you think defines a writer? Do you think its good to have a back-up plan? Can people make money in the arts. What do you tell your children and yourself?
Tam Francis is writer, blogger, swing dance teacher, avid vintage collector, and seamstress. She shares her love of this genre through her novels, blog, and short stories. She enjoys hearing from you, sharing ideas, forging friendships, and exchanging guest blogs. For all the Girl in the Jitterbug Dress news, give-aways, events, and excitement, make sure to join her list and like her FB page! Join my list ~ Facebook page