Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Persist if You Must, But Persistence Is No Guarantee

If you do not persist in the desire to capture, define, then present your vision,the path of it being brought from your creative orbit to accessible earth, where it may be experienced by others is in effect nipped off at the bud state.Loaded question. The key focus is persistence.

Most creativity comes from some form of disciplined attack, rarely if ever from the single bolt of lightning. This has become one of the basic truths by which you live. This truth i is one flickering votive among precious few others as, indeed, the scope of your quest for such truths has evolved from a sincere but limited desire to produce undifferentiated works.

Your goal is to develop astring of works in which more votive candles may be discovered, then lit, then placed where they may offer up their flickering prayer to whichever forces those are to whom persons with ideas and visions llight candles.

A meme is beginning to circulate among some laboring in disciplines approximate to yours, in which the aspirant is asked to commit to the activity that will insure the receipt of at least one hundred rejection slips a year. 

This behavior is intended for poetry, short fiction, essays and novels. You are no stranger to rejection, whether the formal, printed ones, the handwritten ones, the letters expressing regret, even the lines scribbled on a returned manuscript. What other reason is there to write a thing if not to wish it the next step in its journey, which is either publication or performance?

However, as phrased, the current hundred rejections a year does not address the subsequent editorial or directorial process standing between the work and its introduction to the audience, implying, you believe, that the mere persistence of sending a thing forth is both necessary and sufficient cause for its publication or performance.

A thing, be it poem, short story, essay, or novel does not improve until it is edited, rehearsed, directed. The mere persistence of sending a thing forth will not make it any better or worse than it is at the moment of sending. 

To be sure, there are individuals of great talent among us, men and women who have engeged their talents in serious conversation to the point where extraordinary talent at some young age is cause for great delight and a resulting hope for a long, diverse life of productivity.  But there are types of persistence to be taken into consideration.

Once, earlier in your career, you were assigned an interview with a noted ballerina who. the night before, at the age of thirty-six, had danced the lead role in Swan Lake.  You encountered her early the next morning, her performance still plangent in your memory, at the exercise barre, doing limbering squats and stretches. You congratulated her on her performance and what appeared to you an unspoken demonstration of her devotion to her craft.

"Young man," she said, for you were indeed young then, "If I did not do my workout, especially after a performance of last night's scope, I wouldn't be able to talk/"

Persistence and devotion do allow us the sense of being able to walk and they may, over time, help us learn ways to make out work good, then better, then even more so, but they do not guarantee that we will capture the vision, then remove it from that wonderful and fanciful orbit where it shimmers in our senses to the excruciating point where we tremble in the fear of not being able to translate the meaning of the image.

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