Friday, December 11, 2009

Pre-Roundup Thoughts

Lately I have spent an enormous time at my job, with my girlfriend, reading great writers and trying to re-enter the world of my own fiction. I have been working on a new novel, contemplating the idea of writing a screenplay about a legendary jazz musician and trying to find subjects to write non-fiction about for a larger audience.

It is precarious to be in my early thirties now. I used to look at thirty year olds as full blown adults, but now I know that dreams are always these metaphysical ideals that we are constantly reaching for. I have a job that many people dream of having or at least think would be very cool to have. I am not sure I can agree. I want to write sprawling fiction through the eyes of my twenty-one year old self, with the control and understanding I have now. Only, my eyes see things differently.

On criticism:
It is easy to criticize things, art, film, music, politics, athletes, etc... I do it, you do it, everyone does. But, when we critique something we need to truly believe in our critiques for them to be affective. This is to say, you need to have strong feelings, the skill to execute your ideas and the information to back it up. Not liking something isn't enough. I do not like Brett Easton Ellis, but I respect his work, he is neither lazy nor unoriginal hence I can not criticize him, in fact, I celebrate him.

On creating art:
A very good friend of mine makes art, shows art and is celebrated for it. If he were never to sell another painting he will have this moment in time. He has captured an audience and they are talking about him. I am very proud of him and the conversations we've accumulated over the last ten years have all found themselves in his work today. To say I am not jealous, would be a lie. He has control over his craft, like a sniper marine with his rifle, he takes aim at an idea and nails the target every time.

And this leads to what the purpose of art is. Painting a picture, telling a story, writing a song, it seems that it is all the same thing at the heart, getting something across, something you need to remove from yourself, nail to a post and let the world see. I need to remember that more. That's the reason I started writing. Observing, seeing the cracks in the foundation and filling them with ideas.

I do not know why I just decided to post this idea rant. But in summary, I want to be a better person in terms of my art and appreciating other people's art. The books I read, movies I see, songs I hear and art I look at, I want to celebrate not just the finished product, but the process, the motivation, the furnace that burns and heats the moment.

~ Craig A. Platt

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