I could rant for days. But I won't. I do in my head, quite often. We all do, don't we? In traffic, at the television, at the news, at ridiculous products we see. At the colossal evil of transaction sorting, e.g. Bank of America.
I used to rant here, on this blog. When it was new, I wrote veritable essays. Even researched them. On the one hand, they were pretty good---a couple even got picked up by local magazines. On the other hand, ranting and researching took up an awful lot of time and energy.
But that's not why I stopped. Well, that's part of it. I asked more experienced bloggers, (i.e. the NGaiman) who told me that eventually the essays and rants would shape themselves to fit me better and I'd find my own voice.
The other reason I stopped ranting is because I started to understand that human experience can be very generic. In other words, I'm not special. I don't have anything to say that hasn't been experienced and explained before. Those hundreds of irritating cliches endure for a reason. The reason is that they fit.
We don't really get those little revelations until we've lived them, or until they're explained in terms that resonate, that ring our mental bells.
I stopped ordering and polishing and began to simply relay my discoveries as they happened. I never intended my blog to be exclusively for artists. I meant it to be for human beings like me, trying to figure out what the hell we're doing and why.
I don't know why I'm compelled to do this any more than I know why I'm compelled to make art. What I do know is that I'm compelled.
You are too. I read it in your comments, sometimes between the words. That said, let's talk about 'the voice.'
I may have decided that there isn't one voice. For instance, one of the most important lessons I've learned in the nearly twenty years I've been a professional artist is this:
Show up. Every day. Do the work.
Now, you've heard this from other sources. I was fortunate to hear it personally from both Ray Bradbury and Gene Wolfe. I won't go into this here (no worries---you'll hear it again---I cannot preach this sermon enough.) I relay this message at every lecture on every topic at every conference I participate in. It seems most effective to tell you outright that I know this to be true.
The secret to being a successful creator is to show up consistantly.
There---I said it again.
But other lessons will have to be spoken in the language of the art, because that works better for me. At times it seems best to allow Poppet to speak for me.
What are your thoughts on using fiction or other art forms (the truth hidden in the lie) to communicate personal revelations?
It seems to me that some subjects are more appropriately dealt with through this filter---that speaking openly of profound experiences somehow diminishes them.
Do you know when to speak outright and when to apply the filter? If so, how? And, is one voice more effective than the other?