I have always been a fearless writer... of fiction. I have even been a fearless writer of non-fiction, if it entailed the simple telling of events, whether in research or in a story. For some reason, I am filled with loathing for the process of opinion writing, such as blogging. When it comes down to it, this loathing is best described as fear. I'm somewhat bewildered by the feeling. I am not a fearful person.
I suppose that an experienced writer is so adept at manipulation that even people of wildly differing views and opinions can, in that moment in the story, be subtly (or not so subtly) nudged to see it the author's way. Art creators rely on craft and talent to convince a wide audience to see the world through their own perspective by creating empathy for characters and their plight. It takes a lot of savvy to be a participant in a story created by a master, then sit back and dissect how the author wanted you to feel, and whether you should agree or disagree. A good storyteller can reach out to someone on the opposite side of any spectrum and turn their opinion, if only a degree, toward their own. Dalton Trumbo was a talented writer, who sometimes made the mistake of being heavy-handed (i.e. "Hawaii"). When he was at his most masterful, his most subtle, he was the prime example of this dynamic between creator and audience. There are few conservatives who do not like the movie "Spartacus", for example. Dalton Trumbo was a Communist, "Spartacus" was Communist in theme, and yet many people on the opposite side of Communism on the political and social spectrum have, unwittingly, let the themes of "Spartacus" infiltrate their being, and their hearts. If a die-hard Communist can speak to, say, US Marine Lieutenants, anything is possible through art.
So, as an aspiring self-published author, I am attempting to establish a "web presence". I find this as enjoyable as pulling teeth. As previously stated, I find some necessary tasks - such as blogging - to be fear-inducing. The question, one supposes, is why this should be so.
If you blog, you reveal your true intentions, thoughts and feelings, in a far less artificial way, unless your blogging is utterly superficial. When you uncover these things to your audience, you begin to polarize your readers in a way that is counterproductive to your goals as an artist. A writer has something to say. It stands to reason that the most impact a writer could have would be amongst people who have opposing opinions to their own. Using words of fiction, the writer seeps his thoughts and musings into everyone's bones. Using blogs, the writer polarizes their audience, accomplishing the opposite.
Perhaps the temptation becomes to fly one's colors proudly, to say who and what you are, preach to the choir, and hope the choir embraces you for telling them exactly what they want to hear. Polemics, then, are cowards, in a way. They make their choice for money, and effect nothing, change nothing, argue no point with anyone who would argue another side in court. I think a true writer speaks through their work. Anything they would say in any other format to polarize would be a betrayal of their ability to communicate.
That is my fear. There is no part of Hunter Dennis that is as big as his ability to write fiction. In all other ways, I fall ridiculously short of my talent in this arena. My fear is that by communicating, in any other way except through storytelling, I will betray my gift, and my way of giving.
Anything I have to say is meaningless, if I cannot utterly love and embrace my audience. Words are heard, and opinions are changed, when people hear a voice they trust, speaking from a different perspective. This trust is the most important thing an artist can possess, and any theme expressed in any other way is a betrayal. J.K. Rowling had the trust of billions through Harry Potter. Every time she opened her real-life mouth, she lost trust. I suppose the pitfall is thinking that trust in your writing leads to trust in your mouth - but that is not the case.
So that is my e-fear. I know, deep down, that I am far less than my writing, in every way. My fear is that the lesser parts of me will betray the greater, for no other reason than the banality of advertising.
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