Death by Erasure

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.”  ~Ambrose Redmoon

If you erase TOO much, you'll wear a hole in the paper.

As my writer friends know, a lot has to happen before an article of any sort comes into existence.  First, you need an idea.  An outline can work wonders for developing longer writings, creating a sort of skeleton on which to hang the meat of the article.  Once the framework is in place, the article can be fleshed out, then edited.  For a blog article you then look for images to compliment the content, edit again and then edit some more.  But while brevity and clarity are admirable traits in most any style of writing … so is the author’s voice.  The challenge I face is not to edit so much that I delete my personality entirely.

Until the launch of this blog last year, the last bit of “creative” writing I had done was my thesis statement in 2006, which was largely autobiographical in nature.  Aside from that, most of my writing from 2000 – 2010 consisted of fact-filled research papers.  In that format, there is little room for dashes of personal wit and sprinkles of personal anecdotes.   Just the facts, ma’am.  That, along with a sneaky underlying desire to remain somewhat hidden behind a a logical, “normal” facade (whatever normal is!) creates a tendency toward deleting the best of myself out of my articles.  It takes courage to swing out there and lay it all on the line.  I’ve not yet concluded that I am ready to be that courageous in my writing.

What is your biggest creative challenge?  Do you over analyze or over think your work?  Do you tend to rush it, or send it out into the world before it is ready?  Or is your biggest creative challenge that you don’t challenge yourself?  Or “worse” … you don’t allow yourself space to explore the creative side of you at all?  We are all on this big blue spinning ball together … I’d love to hear your experiences!  :-)

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About Amy Buchheit

I am a Signature Member of the International Society of Acrylic Painters and an Ambassador for Artist Trust. I earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Marylhurst University and have exhibited on regional, national and international levels since 2000. I am committed to connecting with the viewer through my work - stirring buried emotions to the surface for further inspection and introspection. The inspiration for my art comes from direct observations, research of subjects I am passionate about and personal experiences. For more information about my art, workshops and exhibitions, visit my website at http://www.amybuchheit.com. My blog "Fantastic Voyage" can be found at http://www.amybuchheit.wordpress.com, and I can be found on Facebook under Amy Buchheit Art and on Twitter as @AmyBuchheit.
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4 Responses to Death by Erasure

  1. Patrick Ross says:

    Hi Amy,

    As you know we share the same challenge in terms of putting ourselves out there in words. I’ll add another creative challenge I’m facing, one I thought of when you talked about your past writing and the challenge of a blog — critical essays. I’m supposed to write two short papers every month for my MFA in Writing in which I analyze books from my reading list along the lines of craft lessons I’m seeking to learn from them. It’s not the idea of critical writing that concerns me, I have experience there, but literary criticism is something I haven’t done since college, and we won’t say how long ago that was! But it’s part of the program, and my first two are due in 10 days, along with 30 creative-writing pages, so there’s no time for fear, I just have to go do it.

    Patrick

  2. Amy Buchheit says:

    That is what is awesome about college … no time to worry about it, you just have to do it because you have a deadline! Structure, along with the support of your fellow students makes for a great working environment that really supports creativity and growth. Kind of like “do or die” :-)

    Yes, we have similar challenges with vulnerability in writing. I had similar challenges with my art, but had a breakthrough with my newest series. Feel like its time to take it to the next level soon, though. I think that even writing about the struggle to be vulnerable is a step in the direction of vulnerability. Yay for us! :-)

  3. I just try to take a deep breath and write, sometimes it ‘happens’ and other times it doesn’t, but the old saying is true about practice it may not make it perfect but the more you write the easier it is for the words to come to you you find yourself straining to think less and the words just flow, the day you stop and wait, ponder and put down the pen or step away from the keyboard the harder it is the make the words flow easily again. The thing about the internet and blogs is people will read your blog because they want to, they enjoy it, whereas when you have to write something that is work related or college related whoever has to read it HAS to read it.

    Patrick above is so right ‘No time for fear’ just write…

  4. Amy Buchheit says:

    Ah, but see, the writing part isn’t what is hard for me (usually). I can let it go and let it flow … it is rare that I edit my work as I’m writing it. However, when it comes time to edit … THAT is when I get “eraser happy” and tend to delete good stuff. I did that with this article, then had to go back and add my voice back in.

    The practice for me is to try not to over edit, but when I do, take notice and put something back in that makes it a part of me, rather than some generic article written my Ms. Anybody.

    Thanks for popping by and saying “hello”, Ann! :-)

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