Friday, August 26, 2005

I've long believed that publication, or exhibition, is a vital part of any creative process.

The creating itself occurs in a rather solitary place, and in rather a solitary piece of mind. But there is implied, I think, with any artistic endeavor, the hope that you might one day able to share it with others.

And I've often felt as if creating something with no intention of ever sharing it is a bit like masturbation. Sure, it's fun and all while it's happening, but when you get to the end of it, it's really kind of silly and pointless.

So what do you do when you start writing something that you know you could never publish, never exhibit, never share with the rest of the world. Because it's too close to you. Because it dips into biographical stuff that you can't deal with yourself, so you tuck it as far back in your mind and soul as is humanly possible. You can't share that kind of thing with people. They look at you funny afterwards.

But how can you *not* write it, when writing can be such a cathartic experience? Getting those things out in a private way, when it's just you and the page, allows you to deal with those things in a way, albeit a small one. But even small ways are better than no ways at all, and too often I feel like I have no way of dealing with the things that are bubbling and gurgling in my psyche.

The problem, I guess, stems from the rare possibility that this thing I write, which I could never show to another human being, might turn out to be really, really good.

What then?

Even if I was a perfect altruist, the knowledge that I had created something might shake people, or move them, or make them think about something or realize something, and that I was actively keep it away from them...that would be wrong. That would be perversely wrong.

Of course, I'm not a perfect altruist, so it would be my ego that got in the way. The ego that would want people to go, "Wow, he wrote that? That's fricking brilliant! Not only that, imagine the balls on him if he's got the nerve to actually publish / display that work! It's so intimate!"

I doubt I'll have to worry about it. Things that are this close to me rarely turn out that good. They are what they are, and that is a cathartic exercise, a way to vent my spleen onto the page and get rid of at least a few of the cancers that eat away at my soul.

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