David Ross (dyvyd) wrote,
David Ross

One Must Act, or Wither on the Vine!

It occurred to me last May sometime that my writing purpose had become muddled again. I was finding my way out of personal blogging and into more productive fiction writing, but by doing that, I realized that what I wanted more than being published was just a short list of friends to trade bon mots with in a quasi-scholarly sort of way. Moreover, to do this, I had to short circuit the whole "thinking deeply" apparatus and instead think more dramatically in terms of quips, quotes, and repartees. In short, writing in seclusion was suddenly unbearably lonely. Too much blogging can make you a crack addict.

That being said, I also realized that I was not writing for posterity, or for truth, or even deeply for myself. What I was writing tended to be some (to me) interesting thought often said more for effect than for truth. Almost like: I wonder how this wild thing will look on the wall of my living room-- and will my friends just love it or puke on sight of it? You get some raves, and you get some pukes that way.

But this surprising need for attention caused me to realize that I was essentially a dramatist, and not an advocate of a particular realm of knowledge. I enjoyed evoking an emotion, even a mood, and I was very agnostic about what sort of material was used in the process. I had called this my need for expression. And expression here functions as a physical need as much as an intellectual one. Lying right behind this need is the hypothesis that, if one must express oneself, then one should strive to do it in a manner that might be called art.

So, in addition to my non-blog writing I began an actor's improv workshop. There I could do many things that I could not figure out how to do with just words. I got nearly instant feedback. I began tuning into what drives dialog, and some ideas of how to fit it back into fiction writing. The unsatisfied need for expression suddenly went away.

I wrote a short screenplay (SIXTY TIMES SIXTY) in a film workshop, and then played the principle role for filming. This seemed to cure me of all toxins unreleased through my previous writings. I will continue to seek theater and film parts as this seems to clear my head of excessively dramatic urges.

Working in three dimensions is very liberating and brings some freshness back to the two-dimensional page! At least on this side of the ink.
Tags: bio, writers and writing

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