Hello everyone! Queen of Spades here. I hope everyone is faring well, wherever you may be. I wanted to take some time to speak about the spirit of writing.
I know you may be asking, "Spirit of Writing? What do you mean by that? Can't creative writing be learned? Isn't that why they have classes?"
You have valid points. There are numerous courses that teach you the mechanics of writing. How to be technically sound. However, I believe that the spirit of writing cannot be taught. It's one either you have or you don't have. An experienced reader can tell if a book was manufactured by teaching versus nature. It is what separates what's trending from what transcends.
When I think of my gift (to me, my writing is a gift), I think of the purpose I want the gift to serve. I want my words to be a present, not only to the mind but also to the spirit.
When a person reads a stanza of my poetry, I want it to linger and to resonate.
When a person reads one of my stories, my hope is that the person gets the moral of the story and applies it to one's life. Or, if one is going through a tough time, that the words serve as a gateway to the path of healing.
For me, writing is a genuine calling. Even when I'm shown the ugliness of the world, nothing is able to silence its voice.
I think of the day when my body is no more. Will I be happy with what is left behind? Sure, at this stage of life, I do not have children, so there's no physical "legacy" that represents me. Yet, my greatest hope is that what I've published will provide such richness, it is as if I've never left.
The richness of literature in the form of transcendence.
Does transcendence have a place in the modern world of writing? Does it help or hinder?
There are some aspects of the modern world I do appreciate. One can use technology to reach hundreds and thousands of people from all over the world to talk about your work. It is even easier to publish thanks to online platforms. If none of the big wig publishers are interested in your writing, you can simply go indie and publish yourself. It gives the impression that any and everyone can be an author.
And that is where the fallacy lies.
Just because one is published doesn't mean what's written is very good. Although the online platforms try to have some sort of regulation in terms of quality, many seep through the cracks. There are still publications on Smashwords and Amazon that are cringeworthy. Poor syntax is only the tip of what's wrong.
Unfortunately, not just from the indie publishers but even the well-known houses have faux pas. Also, because many individuals are drawn to what's hot (aka "trending"), there is this pressure to write about said subjects, which leads to saturation in certain genres, speaking about the same storyline but using different manifestations of characters.
Paranormal is a huge example of a genre full of authors attempting to use the Twilight formula to blaze their own successes. The downside of accessibility is that the writing world has become less original. It feels as if you've read one storyline, you've read them all. Being different appears to be more of a downfall in the literary world than an advantage. For those writers who aren't with the curve get fewer views and fewer sales while those riding the temporary wave get showcased ... until they have to acclimate to the next popular topic.
So ... do I feel this has helped me or hindered me?
On the whole, I believe it has helped me. I can convey richer material to my audience, not just my typical readers but reach others who I did not reach before. It demonstrates that I can evolve with the times while sailing along in the sea of the old-fashioned.
I am very excited about my current WIPs, both in poetry and in short story form, particularly what I have in store for the next book in the Concordant Vibrancy collection.
Hang on! It's going to be an interesting ride.