Sunday, March 9, 2014

Creating Meaning

"Every person would be exactly as important as any other.  All facts would also be given equal weightiness.  Nothing would be left out.  Let others bring order to chaos.  I would bring chaos to order, instead, which I think I have done.

"If all writers would do that, then perhaps citizens not in the literary trades will understand that there is no order in the world around us, that we must adapt ourselves to the requirements of chaos instead."--Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions

Criticism be damned, I am going to keep on going.  Sometimes people too quickly let others get them distracted from what is truly important, which is relative.  I am guilty of this, and surely it has to do with the insecurity of the fact that I am venturing into new territory for myself as a writer, and if I wasn't insecure, then I probably would just be a blockhead.  Maybe I am a blockhead anyway, and we all are blockheads, and everything we do is meaningless.  

That doesn't have to be a bad thing.  Maybe my way of giving meaning to my life is  to others meaningless or trash or poorly written or whatever, but if it gives me some sort of happiness, then it isn't wholly meaningless, since all meaning is artificial, anyways, and thus, as long as it means something to me, that's all that matters.

Sometimes people play against your insecurities, and, even if you disagree with the criticism, the critic, even though he may not intend it because he is not attempting to be helpful as much as he is just being pompous, might be doing you a service.  When you put yourself out there you need to grow thick skin but also let legitimate criticisms inside.  They might hurt the skin, but, if there is anything I have learned through what I have read, a lot of times, more often than not, true growth only comes as the result of pain.  The wounds might be fresh, but in my mind I can heal them, if I allow myself to be able to do so.

Perhaps, the critic, while he might have been  inconsiderate, being removed from the project, unaware of the creator, or his intentions, or at least only vaguely aware of my intentions through intuition, is demonstrating the basic subjective nature of writing and reading what has been written. While certainly it is not fun to get a negative criticism, just because one person believes it to be legitimate, doesn't mean it is so, but it doesn't mean it is not either.  People decide for themselves what is legitimate and what is not, and some might agree, some might disagree, others might have other points of view.  It is hard to say, and it is out of my control, but I think what I have learned is to not respond to it or let it bother me too much--only enough for what I need to learn from it.  I can only be one voice among many, to try to affect change in others, and to allow others to affect change in me, when it makes sense to do so.

I fully acknowledge that I am not a perfect writer, and that I have room to grow and change.  it would be arrogant of me if I didn't feel that way.  Everyone always has room to grow and to change, even if he can't think of a way to make it happen, it is possible.  Sometimes it takes another person and an open mind to see it.  I am learning all the time, and I feel good about the future of my writing and what I am capable of doing--if I can work on my self control and truly articulate my ideas in the way that best suits each of them, individually.

Maybe I will only start off with one or two fans, but as I grow and adapt and become a better writer through experience: continuing writing, reading, and studying--reaching for what is possible, or slightly beyond, to keep myself wanting--I will ultimately break through and really reach people in a constructive and meaningful way.  And as for what is better and what is worse, I hold myself to the standards I have developed through my experience.  I will continue gaining experience and will adapt my standards as I learn.

If writing is an act intended to communicate ideas, and if social discourse also happens, at least in part, through writers sharing ideas with one another through time, then that is what I will continue attempting to do.  It is worth it to continue trying, even if I fall short.  Even if no one else, or only few other people understand, then at least I gain some sort of better understanding.  And you never know or rarely ever truly know who else might be affected--but even if you are never aware of it personally, it is worth it to try and affect others, positively.  

Maybe I will just continue to entertain myself, and maybe, if I am lucky, a small group of others, for a little while, and bring some sort of artificial meaning to life, even if the meaning is merely in the act of actually working towards something like reading or writing a novel from beginning to the end, and thinking about it a little while, before moving on to the next shiny object.  If that is the most one could ever hope for in life, then that is enough for me.  It is better than nothing.

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