Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Writing Burst

-Bill Waterson
I have been trying to find a focus for this blog but to this point things have been pretty random.  I thought about using the exercises from The Artist's Way but when I went to the bookshelf I realized I had sold it to Half Price Books.  This led me to look for beginner's writing exercises on the web and I came across the idea of "writing bursts". Writing bursts are described as 5 minute free writing wherein the writer covers the computer screen with brown paper and begins typing on the keyboard without being able to see what he/she is typing.  I really liked this idea because when it comes to my own writing all I feel is last minute panic.  When it comes down to stretching my imagination I am paralyzed.  So I thought I would give the writing burst idea a whirl.  I  chose a famous quote as a prompt to get me started
Personality is everything in art and poetry.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Personality in its various incantations has always fascinated me.  For example, I am an  introvert and my partner is an extrovert.  I am obsessive and she is compulsive.  I am a cynic and she is an idealist.  I am a pessimist and she is an optimist.  You get the idea.

Additionally, over my lifetime I have met folks with mood disorders, substance abuse problems and any number of personality disorders -borderline, schizotypal, avoidant, oppositionally defiant, narcissistic, histrionic and obsessive compulsive. Psychologists posit that personality is formed in the very early years of life.  Some say that personality is fixed in youth and some believe it to be malleable.  Developmental stages important to the formation of personality can be thwarted by abuse, life circumstances or organic disease.   As a result, neurons in the brain of a child will not connect where they should or can wire together where they should not adversely impacting personality and developmental growth.  At least that's my excuse.

Goethe says that personality is everything in art and poetry.  This makes me think of what I have read about the lives of Virginia Wolfe, Sylvia Plath, Walt Whitman, Kurt Kobain, Judy Garland, Jim Morrison,  Vincent Van Gogh and Michelangelo to name just a few.  It seems that individuals who have mood disorders, substance abuse problems or personality disorders create some damn fine art.  I am hopeful then because I know it is intelligence, emotion and spirit that define who I am.  And I have these things to draw upon, even if what I create doesn't rise to the level of art or poetry.