Writing as an Artist

“Detail makes the difference between boring and terrific writing. It’s the difference between a pencil sketch and a lush oil painting. As a writer, words are your paint. Use all the colors.” Rhys Alexander makes an interesting connection between authors and artists in his quote about writing. The idea that writers are indeed artists of a sort, gives us the opportunity to think about how words can become like paint applied to a canvas. The canvas, when one looks further, is actually our reader’s mind. This happens because the reader’s mind becomes the dwelling place where the full color and texture of our written ideas are absorbed and understood.

Taking this idea of the artistic endeavors of writing a step further, a writer, like an artist, is most often influenced by the environment around them. Would Monet’s painting of water lilies have turned out so ascetic if the day had been dull and rainy, thus altering his mood to reflect a dull and listless pond? As writers our environment touches on our senses and perceptions, altering our mood and also our writing; thus adding to our strengths and weaknesses, and giving our words the vibrancy and hues we need to paint our “canvas”.

A bedroom is a wonderful safe haven from the chaos of everyday life. In this room we rest, dream and spend time with our own being in simple comfort. These sensations of relaxation and solitude form the basis of why I choose it as my primary writing environment. Here I can mix the ideas, opinions and data I have collected from the outside world and make a work of art that reflects my own inner thoughts of the experiences of which I write about.

In my room I can be as creative as I like, without others to criticize or influence my words. Granted, people will do that later once the work is complete; but while it’s being created, it’s completely my own. The comfort of my room strengthens my writing because it adds to my feelings of comfort and security.

These perceptions allow me to search deeper and possibly write with more courage about how I feel. If I were to do this anywhere else I would fear that others would judge my words and ideas even before the writing is finished. Then I might not find the nerve to write my own thoughts and opinions, but rather someone else’s. In this sense, solitude and comfort help me paint my verbal canvas with clarity.

Solitude and comfort in a bedroom can however be a weakness due to the fact that it at times feels like the “same old thing” and induces writer’s block. Sometimes the feelings of our surroundings “lock” us into a repetitive pattern, and soon we find that all of our writings begin to take on similar qualities with no unique flare to make them original. For this problem, sometimes it is best to escape to the outside world and gather more data, or try and capture someone else’s enthusiasm for a topic.

When this is not available however, altering a writing environment can help. Open the blinds, let some sunshine in, or maybe even close them and try writing by candle light. These are ways that can improve if not the writing environment itself, at least the writer’s mood. Hanging inspiring paintings or photos on the wall may or turning on music that suits the feelings we are trying to convey may also be helpful. Sometimes writers have to be as creative with their environment as they are with their words.

Thus far we have seen that a writer’s environment touches on their senses and perceptions, altering their mood and also their writing; thus adding to their strengths and weaknesses, and giving their words the vibrancy and hues they need to paint their “canvas”.  I have only minimally explored and shared with you what my environment means to me and how I can improve it if needed. However, I hope that you as the reader have gotten a glimpse of where and why I create my art the way I do. I believe that each of us is inspired by the environment around us, whether it be the crashing of a thunderstorm or the slow steady roll of the ocean waves lulling us to sleep.

Works Cited

Alexander, Rhys. (author of webpage unknown).

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