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Of painting and writing
By concurring with the saying : “A picture is worth a thousand words”, it is not my intention to belittle the art of writing; but rather unveil the task that faces a writer. This is because writing is an art that employs the use of words to paint a picture. The greatest of writers who have stalked this earth were those scribes who painted the clearest pictures in the minds of their readers.Just like a painter on canvas, a writer is recognized by the strokes of his pen on paper. While a painter is concerned with their choice of color and representation of form, a writer is obsessed by their choice of words and his arrangement to construe meaning. While a painter works backwards as the final product demands interpretation by words, a writer works anterograde as the strokes of their quail lay out to create a visual representation.
Creativity the goddess of great writing
Both acts demand creativity. By all means, creativity is just but the ability to bring forth. It entails acknowledgment of the past events and experiences, appreciation of the present and the verve to predict the future as shaped by ones beliefs and prejudices. As simple as that may sound, creativity is one elusive hard to please and impossible to marry maiden.
To be with her- creativity, the goddess of great writing, you have to be ready to pay the ‘bride’ price. The price is this case does not include curd chewing cattle, coin or gifts. Writing demands the you. Any writer has to be ready to let THEIR opinions and THEIR life constructs embody every word they employ to pass their message and paint the picture of their times. To be a great writer, what is demanded is an even greater ask.
The not-so-great lives of great writers
If you have cared to have a look at the personal lives of any genius be they literary or otherwise, it may have occurred to you that the picture ain’t as rosy as it is meant to be. Alcoholism, imprisonment, estranged wives, disillusioned children etc are some of the burdens that these great names in history carry on their backs.
It is this observation that has led to some concluding that for one to be a great writer, they have to be some form of social misfit, bear some stroke of madness and at times both. Though this deduction is not entirely true, it is clear that great writers have a knack of rubbing some elements of society the wrong way.
This assertion is not to be mistaken with a trumpet for delinquent acts of controversy just for its own sake, but rather as a wake up call to budding writers to realize that as a writer, straddling both sides of the fence on an issue has no place if your ambition is to conquer the literary world.
Great writing is about clarity of self
To be a great writer, you simply have to be bold and clear in your convictions, beliefs and other life constructs and chose your words brilliantly so that the oomph of your message is not lost in the translation from mind to paper.
Granted in doing this, you might ruffle some feathers along the way, induce ridicule as much as acclaim and even some dear personal liabilities may have to be suffered; all in an effort to remain true to the art of writing. This is because the power of any form of art lies in its ability to stir a reaction from the audience. In this vein therefore, if you want to be a great writer; be ready to pay the price and without doubt they [the audience]will pay attention.