Creating Challenging and Vital Work

As I’ve written before, I’ve been slowly re-working my way through Deena Metzger’s Writing For Your Life, and last week I came across this quote that really helped me combat some of my fears that I’ve been facing as I get ready to release my poetry collection.  Bear in mind, this book was published in 1992, and our media hasn’t improved since then.

American television, in particular, and increasingly American publishing – alas, most commercial media – have the tendency to reduce life to the flat and pat.  This pervasive trivialization dominates the postmodern world, where life models itself on superficial images and four dimensions are increasingly reduced to two.  Soon we become oblivious to the consequences, which are our constricted and unsatisfying lives.

This quote encapsulates why I’ve felt the need to start this blog and to actually share my creations with the world.  It is my own form of rebellion against this “flat and pat” world we live in.  Understanding this makes my fear a bit more understandable, and it helps me work through it.

It is truly astounding to think about how much the arts and entertainment we consume nowadays is formulaic to a fault, from film to TV to theater to music to books to fine arts.  Even that which is considered “edgy” or “cutting edge” is often just full of graphic sex or violence for the sake of pushing the envelope, it seems.  People buy what they are told to buy, and creators produce what they are told to produce, and the middle men make the money while both the consumers and the artists move further and further away from their inner selves and the truth that they might reveal.

I am going forward and releasing this work, despite the fear (of both success and failure), despite the vulnerable position I put myself into by putting some of my innermost thoughts out in the public world.  Because if I don’t, then I won’t be able to look at myself in the mirror.

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