13 January 2009

Embracing Inspiration

I had just begun drafting a post that was going to be entitled "Embracing Anxiety" when I realized that I was feeling exactly how one of the main characters for the novel I'm currently stalled on would be feeling at this point in the story. Struck by inspiration, I've decided to retool my anxiety to be used as the opening to chapter one, which I haven't written a word of in the month since I finished the prologue. 

As a general rule, I don't intentionally use my life as fodder for my fictional canons, but in this case I think that it may be the jump start that ANJIDIA: THE FALL needs. I prefer to keep Mary Sue as far from my stories as possible, unlike some authors I could mention.

Which begs the question: do you let your art imitate your life? If so, how do you draw the lines? Does it even matter?

What say you blogosphere visitors?


Alycia said...

Unless you go by the updated "Little Women" movie, a good rule of thumb is write what you know. Yes! Absolutely include eliments of your personal life within the story.

E. Van Lowe said...

I always write what I know. I don't write it exactly as it is, that might create a problem. But I always try to draw from my life.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if it's possible to truly separate the art from the artist's life. When you write or draw or sing or dance, inevitably a part of yourself is going to be put on display for those watching (even for those of us with an audience of possibilities). That's what makes art and being an artist so breathtakingly courageous. That said, it's possible to limit your personal experiences' influence on your work, indeed necessary for a professional artist with goals and deadlines, but the best art takes place only after personal inspiration. If you have the painfully bittersweet luxury of a deeper emotional understanding with your art, don't let those feelings go to waste. If you're crying, then let your art cry. If you're smiling, let your art join in the fun. Just because it's parallel to life, doesn't make it fake. I'd argue that art based off of true emotion is more real than any professionally distanced process could ever be, and those brief moments when you can indulge yourself and your art in your reservoir of love and hate and passion will be the most fulfilling artistic endeavors you could be blessed with.

Samantha Elliott said...

I'm curious, Alycia and E, what are some things you've included in your writing that are part of your lives?

One of mine: I habitually use the names of family and friends for characters in my stories--sometimes main characters, sometimes secondary.

E. Van Lowe said...

Yes, I sometimes use names. But more often I use the personalities, the quirks, the emotional underpinning of folks I know... That includes me.