Monday, 7 December 2015

Neither wax prolific nor wane unproductive.

Though blessed with an assortment of talents I cannot claim being prolific among them.

My personal written output has been limited when compared to my fellows.  This holds true with the addition of poetry and songwriting to the prose writing spoken of in this comparison.  Even considering technical, essay, and fitness writing my total output pales compared to the majority of writers either amateur or professional I would suggest.

I don't deny splitting the focus of my literary efforts.

My early attempts at a literary career were derailed by an assortment of issues including substance abuse and limited talent.  These were further compounded by the failure of my academic career and an appreciation for the amount of work required overcoming the unfortunate nature of my limitations.  A largely private period of trial and error in the practice of prose writing filled the time between then and now.  In addition to the successes and failures of alternate career paths, artistic endeavors, and the life choices derived thereof.

I make no apology when I admit to having had a wonderful time.

I have always believed we are shaped by circumstance and defined by commitment.  The talent endowed by natural selection provides the building blocks only for what the nurtured character is willing to exploit.

I believe in this sense we are each of us equal.

Among other gifts I was not given in abundance include imagination and humor.  This was balanced by an affinity for travel and an appreciation for the absurd.  When compared it's my contention that the latter pair make better tools for the prospective writer than the former though my evidence is at best considered anecdotal.

I trust the author and will take his word on this subject.

It has also been observed that one is often best served working with the tools found closest to the hand.  To my great relief the exchange of gifts described above in this case would reveal the theatre of the world in great abundance.  The results I can only allow to speak for them self though I will repeat that my times have been filled with moments of great joy.  That a man has also known the pain that living brings at various points in his travels is simple proof that no ride is free.

I would willingly trade the same mistakes were I granted similar results.

With my fiction work for the first time in the hands of a small reading public after spending my lifetime read by a limited few I will admit to nerves aplenty.  The desire for appreciation appears more than less universal among our kind.  I'm certainly no less afflicted by the desire for approval than my fellows despite the vanguard provided by the experience of a career in popular music.  It is a bruising business to be coldly evaluated by a remorseless entity devoid of an appreciation for a unique artistic vision.  The experience can overwhelm to the point of distraction and even the thickest of skins rarely survive critical opinion unmarked.  Those few scars left by reviews of all types are worn best with satisfaction.

I have always considered it a privilege to receive the notice.

The right to earn them good or bad is granted to the most fortunate few.  They are the ones with the commitment harnessed to talent sufficient to produce a finished work of art in literary form.  Only to them go either the raves or the rants.  In whatever style or medium it may be presented only the finished work of art alone, in its successes and its failures, its flaws and its virtues, celebrates and commemorates our presence in the continuum of space and time.

            I claim no authority aside from an abundance of approximate historical and cultural references for the conclusion.

            It is also worth noting by artists working in any medium that those who provide the critique of your finished work, good or bad as described by the review of it, in many cases are not blessed with the ability to create such work themselves.  A man who travels will invariably discover himself in the company of subject matter experts from time to time.  Depending on the motivation for the travels the circumstance may arise routinely.  In my case it has been so and for this many times I have been grateful.  Expertise makes for interesting conversation and keeps the rest of us honest in our approach to the work we do.  In most cases however these experts would trade their knowledge for the satisfaction of creating finished works of their own.

            I have discovered that neither expertise nor talent is a replacement for good work habits.

Prolific or not I'm pleased with the work I've managed to complete.  Good or bad you may trust each example of it was the best I could do at the time.  Despite the recently discovered presence of a number of recurring and egregious typographical errors in the final text of my novel 'A Dog and His Boy' that has been and remains good enough for me.  One can only hope it proves the same for the reading public.

I look forward to publishing work to compare against it.

Thanks for being here and thanks for sharing the blog.

-          TH
December 7, 2015