The Madness of Art

Can’t you see the beauty in it.
Blank in its formless shape a potter begins to mold her creation.
Whisking paint across an already smudged canvas he screams…
Can’t you see the beauty in it!
How can you not. My god!
Pounding, Slamming, Crying out for understanding.
What do you want of me says the singer?
Forcing the melody to a page of lines from the clouded head of creativity.
A hum too faint to be audible becomes a chorus of the first line.
Meanwhile out back in the garage the high pitched whistle of white hot light whispers.
Forged from rusted steel, iron and sweat.
Can you see the beauty now?
Maybe you if you stand back…over there…
How about now?
I understand this madness all too well.
Words coming so fast I can’t think.
The artist knows of this madness.
A madness that can’t be squelched.
Like water from a fire hose it comes through them.
There is no relief from this stream of the unconscious pursuit of the perfect.
For there is beauty in the ordinary that makes things extraordinary.
It comes and it comes and it won’t stop.
No amount of sleep, drugs or therapy will make it end.
It only dulls the din of wanting out of his head.
A self expression so pure only the artist knows the madness of art.
Can you see it now she cry’s.
Backed into a corner slumped down, brush in hand… it is done she smiles.
The torch of molten creativity has faded like a boiling tea pot removed from the flame.
The madness of art stops…only to be torn down and begun again.
Can’t you see the beauty in it!?

 Spoken Words by Gerald Grinter

One Challenge I Use to Better my Creative Writing

Writers are artists. The blank screen or the blank page is their canvas. Their challenge is to use their words to paint a picture, to create images that people can read and feel like they’re part of the story. The good artists or authors are the ones that can immerse their readers into their stories. Think about the creative writing blogs that you can most associate with. My guess is that you felt like part of the story that you were there and could imagine everything as it were explained.

That’s the challenge I face every time I do creative writing; to paint a picture, to invite my readers to be part of the story.

One the most valuable tools yet hardest the wield is the power of active voice versus passive voice. Passive voice, by its very nature, is just there. Active voice dances on the page, excites the readers, and colors the story.

The passive verbs, the verbs of being, are just there. There very nature, being, makes them blobs. The list of villains is short; am, is, are, was, and were. That’s your list of the blob blurbs. I find using those adds no color or excitement to a story. Here is a plain Jane example.

The day was hot.

See how it just sits there? How it’s not descriptive? How it is the blob? Let’s see if we can make it better. One thing we could do is to simply replace the blob verb with an active verb.

The day felt hot.

Well, that is a step in the right direction, I replaced the passive verb with an active verb. I added a vibrancy to our story,but let’s give it another try.

The heat of the midday sun could fry an egg on the sidewalk.

There! That’s the color I’m talking about! See how it added to the story? Even though I’ve never been in a place hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk, I now have a feeling of how hot it is. It is so hot, I probably don’t want to be there. I feel sucked into the story, and I want to find a nice air-conditioned room.

Active voice forces me to be descriptive. It makes me paint a picture. Sometimes I may choose oils, other times charcoal and still other times pastels, but the intent is the same; to draw people into my stories. When I’m doing this, I. myself, can more easily see myself in the story that I’m writing.

Keep in mind, not all examples are that easy. Some will leave me scratching my head for a minute or two trying to figure out a way to bring more action to my story. Whenever I do this, I find I have done a better job of painting the picture, of telling the story.

I, at times will purposefully leave a passive voice in my writing. I usually recognize this as I’m writing this sentence. I make a conscious decision not to change it so that I do not fall into the trap up to rigidly following my own rules.

So, with this new tool in hand, replacing passive voice with active voice, I challenge you to go forth and be an expressive artist and the. Draw people into your stories. Be an artist and more beautifully paint the picture you are trying to represent.