If you’ve been reading any of my blog posts, something has become quite apparent. I am all over the place. I seem to contradict myself in every other post. Earlier, I wrote about owning being a writer. Most recently, I wrote about how I disliked being labeled solely as a writer. Doesn’t seem to make much sense.
Isn’t that the beauty of life? It doesn’t have to make sense. We are allowed to contradict ourselves. We are allowed to hold opposing views that don’t seem to reconcile with each other. It’s just like art and writing. In school and through college, we are taught rules. We learn grammar, sentence structure, the rules of writing essays and beyond. And then, we read work by others that broke all of those rules. Throw grammar out the window. A plot? Stories don’t need plot! What about characters? Don’t need those either!
Art is absolutely confusing. It’s all over the place. You can love a classical piece that follows all of the rules. You can also love modern pieces that throw all of those conventions out of the window. It doesn’t make one art and the other not. They are still both considered art.
In college, you are taught the rules of creative writing. I’m sure you are all too familiar with the mantra: “Show, don’t tell.” If you’ve taken a writing class, you’ve heard it. Yet, there are plenty of published and famous poets and authors that have completely disregarded that mantra. Why? Because rules aren’t really rules. My professors told me in order to break the rules, you have to first understand the rules. I can understand that reasoning, yet it seems that we get so caught up in knowing and following the rules that we forget about breaking them.
It’s important to view rules as guidelines, because that’s what they are. Language is fluid, and by extension, art is fluid. Even grammar. Don’t believe me? Look at the Oxford comma. I guess what I’m really getting at is that contradiction is a part of life. I will contradict myself. So will you. I can feel like a writer one day, and want nothing to do with it the next. Don’t get discouraged by it. At the end of the day, you are still you, regardless of how your interests and passions change. And you can always come back to them.