Monday, December 26, 2005

No Lines Mean Everything's Between The Lines

I was just discussing, in yet another way-too-long forum discussion, about how everything is a tradeoff, in creativity specifically. Everyone has their own set of priorities regarding their creative expression, and based on those priorities people go about their creative paths choosing one option over another. Someone may prefer to sacrifice fame and fortune, for example, in order not to ever compromise the form and content of what they make according to the standards of a specific industry. Others may prefer to find a way to express themselves in ways that would conform with or appeal to the industry in question, in order to eventually manage to quit their day jobs and do creative stuff for a living. Whether that is a total sell-out or a noble cause is in the eye of the beholder.

And then I thought about my own goals and aspirations, about my own priorities and dreams. Well, one thing is for sure: I want to write for a living, eventually. I would be content to write based on what other people tell me to write - I've been doing it for most of my life anyway, along with my own stuff. And, no matter what, I have this blog where I can always directly express my thoughts, emotions, hopes and feelings - nobody's stopping me, as long as I have a minute of spare time. And I can always make stuff "for me" that stays in my hard drive or my drawers or is read by nobody but my friends and family. But I want to get to the point where I will be paid, quite good money, to exercise my craft and fulfill a market of viewers or readers to the best of my ability.

I remember being younger, and writing, and showing my friends what I made. There were people who liked my stuff back then too. There were people (slightly maturer people) who like my stuff now. But I have nothing out there that's truly "out there" for all to see and judge. That's the ultimate challenge. That's where you really find out if you're actually any good. And the fact that nothing of mine is "out there" means that I'm not even a small step on the way of actually becoming any good in the near future. But there's always the far future to hope for, and I'm already making the first steps towards making those first steps ;)

Still, I already have figured out what I would and wouldn't compromise. I would never, for instance, write on lined paper. I can't. It's one of those things I literally cannot do. Even my university notes I write on blank A4 paper. Lines restrict me too much, whether I'm writing, or sketching, or just jotting things down. It's a compromise I'm not willing to make - lines for me are the ultimate symbol for conformism. There's a feeling inside me that I can find ways to express myself through anything, however much it's supposed to conform to certain norms; there's always a small window for deviation or for originality, or just for "saying things your way", but not when there's lines on the paper, telling you where to write and how to compose your manuscript. I know, it doesn't make any sense, except in my head.

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