Is There Integrity in Writing?
The Difference Between Writing and Painting
Some groups still debate whether writing (and painting) is an art or a craft. But that’s not my topic here. The frank article ‘The Myth of Artistic Integrity’ by T.W. Anderson prompted me to write about this. Anderson bravely and brilliantly explains why artistic integrity is a just a myth. Once your write for money, you lose integrity. One proof of this are padded bestsellers. it seems to me you have no chance of writing a bestseller if you can’t pad your manuscript. It also made me realize the difference between writing and visual art of painting or drawing (I do both). A painter can’t ‘pad’ his work like a writer. So I conclude that a visual artist could have artistic integrity while a commercial writer can’t.
The Writer’s Worth
How much respect does a writer deserve? Does a writer need to be recompensed for all his efforts and expenses? ‘Writers are usually left in the gray area of trying to balance doing what they love and keeping the lights on in their dens.’ Collin Kelley wrote. More of his thoughts here:
I always read this caution on freelance writing sites: Be cautious handing out business cards declaring yourself a writer. So what is a ‘writer’? Or more definitely, who is a writer? Why is freelance writing business stricter than print and online publishing? Does it have that right?
Since on-line publishing started, the definition of a writer became an issue. If you were declared an ‘expert author’ by an online publisher, does that make you a ‘writer’? I agree that you’re entitled to the title ‘writer’ if only when you’re published in print. But what if my digital online articles are better than your printed articles? Who should be entitled ‘writer’ between the two then? The main question is: When could one be declared a ‘writer’?
The Writers Rating Authority
My proposal is that a rating authority for writers be created. Unrated ‘writers’ will then know they shouldn’t be calling themselves ‘writers’ yet. Let’s say a writer with an article published by a reputable on-line site be called a One-Star Writer; a writer whose eBook was published by a major publisher be called a Two-Star Writer; bestselling authors be rated Five-Star writers. I don’t think rating authors just between ‘novice’ and ‘bestseller’ would work. What do you think?
Padding the Writing
If you ever dream of being a bestselling author, quit it if you don’t have the talent of ‘padding’ -writing unnecessary words just to pad your story. I daresay that 90% of all bestselling fictions are padded.
And that is my problem too. All my stories are just like summaries which I can’t seem to pad.
Neologism -Crafting New Words
If I coined a word, could I call it ‘my coin’ or if yours, ‘your coin’? Do you know that Shakespeare coined the word ‘puke’ and that he introduced hundreds more? I love coining words and I’m good at inventing proper names. My favorite coined word is ‘netizen’ and my favorite that I coined is ‘digistress’ (meaning digital stress from the Net or computer) although I’m not sure if I was the first one to coin it.
A pun is a word play and crafting new words is just like ‘punning’ to me.
Who is ‘Well-Read’?
How about the word ‘well-read’? How would you define it? Who would you call well-read? Just how much do we have to read before being considered ‘well-read’? If I read almost anything that’s crime fiction, does that make me well-read? This is just another issue where drawing-the-line is the main issue.