Monday, November 11, 2019

Prepare to Define Yourself: Dueling Authors

This author is driving me insane. I disagree with him, and I’m calling him out.

You can read his post here. He says we’re content creators—filling in reading spaces such as social media, blogs, speeches, podcasts. We’re not novelists, we’re creating entertainment for the masses.

I don’t like this guy.

The problem is, the writer is me.

Content Creator

He claimed we’re content creators. A writer focuses on entertainment values, formulas, bottom lines that result in numbers—readers and dollars—to build a resume.

Writing is a business. To this end, the business must grow. The writing, then, is a product and the product must sell. The call to action for the content creator, in the end, is to keep reading more of the content creator’s work.

The Artist

When a writer thinks of self as an artist first, the perspective changes. From self-promotion to human condition, the artist breaks from formula and studies with obsessed purpose the written word to create beauty.

As a content creator, I examine my past and see a gold mine. How did I make my dreams coming true? How did I overcome obstacles? Flashing quick stories and antidotes here and there makes for interesting reading. And it makes me look awesome.

Creating an artistic work resounds more deeply in people’s lives.

For example, I’ve seen my writing life in three stages, and they’re reflected in my western series.

Book One: West for the Black Hills. Philip Anderson wants to remain anonymous but is forced to step into the public eye to defend those he loves. In my life, I won $20,000 and a publishing contract. I can no longer sit on the couch and do whatever I wanted. I am an award-winning author, and I must act like one.

Book Two: Shadow of Devil’s Tower. Philip Anderson must take the next step in his life and become a leader in order to rescue the people he loves. In my life, it wasn’t enough just to write. I had to step up and lead.

Book Three: IN PROCESS. Philip Anderson will have to face his past, the past of others, and deal with injustice. No longer simply to lead, he must effect change in the world. While this book is still being written, it reflects my final stage from being a 100% introvert to comfortably standing in front of many and leading through example and direction.

Be the artist you were meant to be. Take the moments you are creating content and spend some time reflecting. Write deeply reflecting the human condition.

Be funny. Be deep. Be ironic. Be clever. Be bold. Be an artist.

Be funny. Be deep. Be ironic. Be clever. Be bold. How to be an artistic writer. #seriouslywrite #writerslife @petereleavell

prepare to Define Yourself: Dueling Authors. Content versus artistry. #seriouslywrite #writerslife @peterleavell

How to use your life to become art. #seriouslywrite #writerslife @peterleavell

Peter Leavell, a 2007 graduate of Boise State University with a degree in history and currently enrolled in the University's English Lit Graduate program, was the 2011 winner of Christian Writers Guild's Operation First Novel contest, and 2013 Christian Retailing's Best award for First-Time Author. A novelist, blogger, teacher, ghostwriter, jogger, biker, husband and father, Peter and his family live in Boise, Idaho. Learn more about Peter's books, research, and family adventures at www.peterleavell.com


2 comments:

  1. Thanks, Peter! I love this clever post. I recently chatted with someone not in publishing and she was surprised to learn of some of the limitations publishers put on writers. As a reader of fiction, she'd been resentful of not finding what she expected to find in certain genre fiction. Do you think readers would connect better with artistic work? Do you think publishers will consider an artistic work over a more content-driven work? Perhaps it all comes down to the marketing department's say-so. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent thoughts, Annette! We've all heard that story trumps everything. But yet the work must connect with readers. Instead of working a formula, finding an aesthetically pleasing balance that readers can't put down seems to be the height of art. Publishers are always looking for that next voice, so we keep plugging away until we find the balance, I think.

      Delete

We'd love to hear your thoughts! Please leave comments. We'll moderate and post them!