I’m sure many writers feel like this about our art. We write from an emotion, a feeling… something that we can’t exactly put a name to, not when 50,000 words will do a much better job at painting the picture we want to show the world.
It could be romance, dystopian fiction, sci-fi fantasy, horror, or a children’s story. Whatever it is, if it starts from an emotion, I’d like to call it art. It’s an interpretation of something inside us.
The reason I’m saying this is twofold: 1) Tate Gallery’s addition of Cezanne’s quote is just what I needed to hear this morning because I’ve come to the conclusion that I cannot for the life of me write to market, and 2) there are so many rip-off artists out there.
I tried giving myself a deadline early this year with a goal to write X number of books (I can’t remember now, to be honest), including those under a pen name that would tackle erotic romance and make tons of money. Yeah, right. Every time I’d start, I always dove right into deep POV and character (who is the heroine? Who is the hero? What are their motivations?) and totally messed up the whole theory behind K.I.S.S. or Keep It Simple Stupid.
Why can’t I keep it simple? Why can’t I just write a simple story and go right into the action? Why does it feel like pulling teeth?
Because I feel like a fraud doing it, that’s why.
The other day, I finally broke down and bought a PC laptop for the hubby who needs to master Excel for his job. He can’t do that on my Macbook because my Macbook and Microsoft Office just don’t gel; I also don’t use Office unless I really have to and even that feels like pulling teeth. So I set up the PC laptop and while perusing their App Store, was pleasantly surprised to see Ulysses, the markdown writing app I use to write on all my IOS devices.
$14.99 instead of $44.99? Definitely! I’m in, baby! Maybe having a PC isn’t so bad after all…
Then I tweeted the guys who developed Ulysses and told them I’m happy to see them have a version for the Microsoft store.
No wonder some of the shortcuts wouldn’t work on the Microsoft version. It’s a damn rip-off! I should have paid attention to the logo alone, which was different from what I see all the time when I open my MacBook and iPhone apps.
So I contacted Customer Services and requested a refund. They asked me if I was having any issues and I told them that I’d just found out it was a rip-off of the original app. The customer service rep told me the Microsoft store does not sell rip-offs.
Yes, you do, I told them. The makers themselves told me it’s a rip-off.
She said she’d send it to the higher-ups though I doubt anything will be done.
So what does this have to do with writing and emotion and art? I have no idea, but when I was chatting with the rep, I realized just how important it is to tap into the source of your writing. The guys that created the original (and in my opinion, the best) Ulysses app have a passion for creating the best writing product, hands down. The rip-off wanna be’s? Money. Just pure money.
It made me think of the story I was writing on that rip-off program, too. An erotic romance that had no heart and I just felt myself dragging with each word I wrote. I just wasn’t feeling it even though I told myself it’s writing to market; you got this, girl! When I got to 400 words, I stopped.
This is not why I write.
I write because I love it and it’s my passion and my art. It’s how I express myself best. It’s how I heal from invisible wounds that serve as the perfect foundation for my stories. Maybe one day I’ll learn how to write to market and make tons of money (ha!) but for now, I’ll stick to writing from emotion. It’s my art.
I’m also sticking to my Macbook.