Tag Archives: author

The Necessity of Art

art1Without creative expression, we are nothing more than automatons, robotically plodding through each day under the command and watchful eye of moneymakers dropping us on hamster wheels to sprint for our supper.

It is the liberation born from artistic endeavors that enables human beings to break the chains of conformity to stand as wholly unique individuals. Whether it’s a song, film, painting, or book, the idea that something can occupy space in the world where there was previously only a lone notion is a beautiful and mysterious thing.

Inspiration born from the deep recesses of the mind is an inexplicable phenomenon. Lightning strikes come without warning, and suddenly the picture begins to find focus. Since my primary arena is words, I can only speak from that perspective. But there have been countless situations when my fingers were writing something without assistance from any earthly grounded force. I stop typing after 15 minutes and wonder who filled the page with these phrases and metaphors. I liken it to composers who listen back to a piece of music as if they’re hearing it for the first time.

We are simply conduits for creativity, and the results are generally more succinct and better developed than the head-spinning process of trying to generate poetry by pounding two pieces of clay together, struggling to form a shape.

Everyone has a place and a purpose. Scientific minds are here to answer the world’s most complex questions. Educators instill the next generation with the necessary building blocks of knowledge. The woodworkers and craftsmen are indispensable pieces of the equation. Farmers literally keep us alive. But without art, the very core of what makes us human would be lost.

So the next time you hear a perfectly-constructed melody or read words that seem to dance off the page, remember that it takes a very specific energy and talent to generate something that stirs the soul.

Adolescence Interrupted

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A Writer’s World

AI2“The more closely the author thinks of why he wrote, the more he comes to regard his imagination as a kind of self-generating cement which glued his facts together, and his emotions as a kind of dark and obscure designer of those facts. Reluctantly, he comes to the conclusion that to account for his book is to account for his life.”           -Richard Wright

I am beyond happy to report that my book, Adolescence Interrupted, is officially available. To be able to write those words after a seemingly endless publishing period is still surreal, but I’m doing my best to allow the significance of the moment to register. I’m aware this is an event that will only happen once, so I better savor a few smiles before I leap to the next undertaking.

Anyone who was even remotely aware of the mysterious endeavor that took years of secluded labor and emotional excavation understands the weight behind this statement.

A writer’s world is plagued with worry, wonder, and self-doubt. We pound away on these keys in isolation, with little knowledge of road maps or finish lines, and hope for some modicum of coherence or readability. Then, with blurry eyes and bruised fingertips, we swipe the sweat from the screen to inspect our creation. There are sentences or sections that often feel otherworldly, authored by some apparition to help push us down the path. Other times, phrases are buried beneath the marble, and no amount of persuasion or coaxing can bring them to the surface.

It is inside this push-and-pull exercise that we find flashes of clarity and bursts of inspiration. We learn to ride that seesaw up and down until a notion or objective stands, fully formed.

There is no satisfaction in the result without some frustration in the practice. Work worth its salt takes bumps and bruises as it’s built. The writer’s job is to embrace the bout, duck the critical jabs, and stand to fight another day.

Adolescence Interrupted