Writer to Writer is a brief feature I’m doing in which I email a writer and ask a quick question about writing. Simple enough, right?
In today’s edition of Writer to Writer I’ve asked M. Lachi, whose debut full-length novel, The Ivory Staff, is available in both print and digital formats a question about the existential difficulty in writing fiction. It’s really an odd thing when you look at the stories of real people around you and throughout history, just thinking that you can come up with a story that’s more incredible than what you see around you.
Anyway, I asked the question, she gave the answer.
Question: Do you ever feel like writing creatively is incredibly arrogant, and pointless when there’s so much in the real world that’s so powerful? I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and it’s really an awkward thing trying to write fiction, because for me personally I have to take bold, calculated risks in the real world to get outside my own head.
Anyway, M. Lachi gave me her take on it, which I think is the perfect response.
Answer: I thought about your notion – how writing creatively can be perceived as arrogant and pointless considering the density of real world experiences and our need of the real world in order to write creatively in the first place.
I find that creative writing, especially in the realm of science fiction, is incredibly un-pointless and has arguably been a hefty contributor to social evolution and scientific innovation. There are countless examples of real world technological advancements born from novels and creative arts: rockets, cellphones, helicopters, submarines, 2nd Life, right down to the very word Robot coined by a playwright in the 1920s.
Is creative writing arrogant? Yes. I’d say producing (a.k.a creating) anything is arrogant. Finding oneself worthy enough to contribute to society by taking their insides and pouring it forth in any fashion is arrogant: down to the hard truth that bearing children, though etched into our DNA and (again arguably) our purpose for existence, is arrogant. “Who are you to continue your line of genes?” a critic might ask acerbically. “What makes your traits so special?”
However; to lock oneself in a cave, attempting to avoid arrogance yet keeping all of one’s creative potential to oneself, is also a selfish act. Moreover, to choose to deny oneself pleasures and external stimuli rings of self-absorption. The act of choosing on behalf of the self is, in and of itself, self…ish; and to choose not to choose is also a choice.
So if to do is arrogant, and to not do is arrogant, and if to resign oneself to suicide so as to avoid the dilemma is also arrogant, the real question is…what isn’t arrogant?
Keep writing! 🙂
There you have it. Fiction is arrogant. Non-fiction is arrogant. Just do something with reckless passion, and do it well. Whatever it is. And check out her blog, here.
Feel free to leave your thoughts on the arrogance of fiction below!