Writing As an Art, Not a Piece of Machinery – Guest post by Caleb Hill

Posted: June 4, 2013 in Writing Stuff
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It’s a pleasure of mine today to bring a new guest post from a cool friend of mine, Caleb from Acerbic Writing. He brings up some great points in this post, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed reading it the first three times. Without further ado, I bring another entry of my guest post series on Writing as an art.

Art: the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects.

Writing is often times described as one of the easiest yet hardiest works. Easy in the sense that people foolishly believe that everybody can achieve this monumental task of creating a piece of written work. This task becomes harder as people trudge on with their daily lives, their hobby no longer what they loved to do. But perseverance keeps the end in sight.

Writers are made out to be a technical animal, churning out word counts and other useless jargon a day. Progress, people like me call it. Boring to most. It is from this assumption that onlookers believe the job we have as a writer is boring.

And boring days does not equal art.

Art is lively. Art is fun. Writing is never seen like this in the first few stages. In the middle it becomes progressively worse. You beat your head against the wall, sometimes fall into the hole of incompleteness. My work has to be horrible. Who would ever read this tripe? So we believe that our work is bad.

And art is not bad.

We as writers are peppered with the “how-to” manuals, the writing classes, and the tips and tricks every hacker could dream of. All are different, yet the same. Unless we learn to take advantage of these helping ideas can we create work. But wait, that’s wrong. Anybody can write. And anybody can have an innate, artistic talent. So anybody can be a writer. Not everybody can be an engineer.

It is in understanding the craft that it becomes a chore. We try and spot the little niggles, the small things that cliché and pile up. Not everybody can create a masterpiece on the first draft. So does edits make us technical?

No.

We have to know what to cut, what to add, what to change. Nobody can consciously tell us what is good and what is not. What works for one may not work for the other. Writing is subjective. Art is subjective. Engineering is not.

Art in itself moves an individual, emotionally or physically depends on the size and narcotics. Writing does the same. It is, as Jian said, the highest form of art. Prose is probably the number one in its ability to move someone. Characters do the same. I would argue that a piece of technical machinery can’t move your emotions. Hopefully not for a few more years at least.

Hard work can get you a number, but only knowing what to do, that inner voice that speaks Spanish, can get you to understand.

Well, there you have it. I definitely agree with what Caleb has to say about this subject, and I want to thank him again for writing a guest post. If you liked it, remember to follow him at Acerbic Writing. You can also follow him at Twitter.

The next guest post Writer’s Periodical will be featuring is from T.K. Trian, two great writers that are writing an epic sci-fi story together, and they’re also my beta readers. Have a nice day.

~Jian

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