Vision: A Resource for Writers
Lazette Gifford, Editor
Vision@sff.net

The old year passeth...

By Holly Lisle
2002, Holly Lisle
 


This is our twelfth issue -- the volume that wraps up our second full year of publication.  In the past, we've brought you writing information and advice on everything from hitting holiday markets to worldbuilding to plotting to getting the nuts and bolt of manuscript prep done right.  This month, we're tackling the sticky question of art in writing -- What is it?  When is it? Who does it?  And why does it matter?

Where art is concerned, though, remember that you get the final call.  You don't have to concede that tin cans nailed to a board or an image of Christ in a glass of urine are Art, no matter what pundits may say.  Shock is not art, and Making A Statement is not art.

You also don't have to concede that the latest novel garnering accolades from People with Presses is Art.  Art is what moves you, what connects to you, and what transforms you, and your own art will succeed or fail based on how it moves, connects with and transforms others.

Art is born of passion and pain and a whole lot of skill.  It is tempest and technique as Siamese twins linked at the soul -- neither can be separated from the other without killing the whole thing.  Every writer can strive for art, but in the end, only the reader can decide if any one writer has achieved it.

Write to change yourself, then -- to transform, transmogrify, overwhelm, and transcend who you are with who you might be in a different world.  Look at life sideways, upside down, and inside out and give your report from the trenches of the land of the strange.  Be honest -- above all, be achingly, painfully honest.

Then, even if others do not deem you a Creator of Art, you will be the creator of something worthwhile.  Your journey will matter to you, and you will not have been wasting your time.  If the only part of the world that you change for the better is yourself, you have still done something wonderful.  You will be your own Art.

Read on, take up challenges, and go be wonderful.

Holly Lisle