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  • Writer's pictureKristina Atkins

The Opposite of Art

Or, Musings from Kris on a Wednesday Night, While Waiting to Fall Asleep (Then Written on Thursday Evening) :

I don’t believe in Writer’s Block. I truly don’t. I think there are times when ideas are scarce, and words are harder to put together in a decent way. But you can still write. You can describe your backyard, or make up a scene between Billy Bob Thornton and your pet hamster, Shenanigans. What you write may suck–it may be completely unintelligible–but hey, you were still able to write something down.

So, no, I don’t believe in Writer’s Block.

However, I would say that depression is as close as you can get to Writer’s Block. Not, “I’m feeling a wee bit glum today,” but “All I want to do during the day is sleep and I hope time passes quicker, but I dread the night because then my mood really plummets.” It’s not sadness; it’s tearfulness, hopelessness, and apathy.

You can still write during those times. And I think, often, the desire to write remains. You miss your character/story/setting and might even know where the story’s going next. You have a desire to write, but not the drive. Because apathy has completely overwhelmed you.

What is the opposite of art? To me, it’s apathy. All art forms are about connection–with your characters, with the notes, with your readers, with the world around you. And the best art make us feel things. Preferably, all the things.

So if Art = Feeling All the Things

and Apathy = Feeling None of the Things

Then Art ¥ Apathy I mean, Apathy is the Opposite of Art.

(The ¥ kinda looks like the not-equals sign. At least, to me … I was going for a play on the transitive property, or something like that. Math, anybody?)

I continue to struggle to put enough emotion into my writing. I always get there, but it usually takes a few re-writes. I’m not sure why, but that kind of emotion scares me. (Okay, I do know why, but I won’t bore you (anymore) with the reason.)  When I write something, anything, even a sentence, with enough emotion in it, I consider that art. Before that, it’s something less.

I’ll always strive to turn my writing from words into art. And I believe emotion is the biggest factor of success.

What about you? What aspects of writing, in your opinion, have the power to turn words into art? What do you consider to be the opposite of art?

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