IWSG: Art Reflects (on) Life

InsecureWritersSupportGroup2

So here’s my post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, led by the inimitable Alex Cavanaugh, who has promised us a surprise today.  (I’ll admit it, my curiosity is piqued!)

peekacat

Up until this moment, I had no idea what I was going to say for this month’s post.  Literally. I just deleted a draft entitled “IWSG: I Don’t Know What to Say.”

Then, I wrote a guest post which caused me to come face to face with myself, and as a result changed my plans for the immediate future. Because I realized – I need to pursue this line of thinking for real, in real life. Sometimes, writing – and reading – can do that to us.

In undergrad, a creative writing professor (who didn’t think much of the fantasy genre) once told me that Fantasy fiction was Freudian,  a way of releasing certain pent-up urges, and of living in an escapist fantasy. In a bad way.

But, really, what’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with fiction that lets us tap into our deepest desires and make them real? Sometimes we need to escape – for a while – to get a fresh perspective.

Have you ever written something and then stared at your own words, realizing what those words had to say about you, what you were thinking at that moment?

That’s what happened to me this past month – and maybe that’s why I need to write, why I’m terrified of writing, and why I cannot seem to stop. Some may say that life imitates art, but I am starting to think that perhaps art reflects on life, digging deep, showing us old truths in new ways and revealing parts of ourselves we didn’t even realize we were hiding, parts of ourselves in desperate need of the light of day.

33 thoughts on “IWSG: Art Reflects (on) Life

  1. “art reflects on life, digging deep, showing us old truths in new ways and revealing parts of ourselves we didn’t even realize we were hiding, parts of ourselves in desperate need of the light of day.”

    Truth, right there.

    And… I think you mean Alex J. Cavanaugh.

  2. I find writing incredibly cathartic. I can explore thoughts, ideas, problems, as well as, absolutely, living out my wildest dreams and fantasies. As well as vicariously doing things I would never dare to in real life. And there’s nothing wrong with that!

  3. “…art reflects on life, digging deep, showing us old truths in new ways and revealing parts of ourselves we didn’t even realize we were hiding, parts of ourselves in desperate need of the light of day.” Definitely have to agree with this. Writing can be a way of escape but also of working through things, even when you don’t write about them directly. Our stories our permeated with our personal lives.

  4. Oh for sure! I think most entertainment is that way. Certainly, my own writing reflects reality to varying degrees. It’s really interesting to think about our writing at different stages and what was in our minds at the time.

  5. You are so right, what is wrong with that? Most people read to escape. Sadly, that opinion is often found in academia, where writing is heralded as this great, opaque THING that only the true literary-minded will understand. So, I write and read YA and romance. Romance gets crapped on all the time, much of the time because of our inherently sexist culture–women are constantly belittled and shunned for liking romance fiction, and to a wider extent, even having sexual feelings. You’d think the academics would be all over not feeding the patriarchy, but whatever.

    I say, read and write fantasy if it’s what you love. Read and write romance. Strive to do it well. Don’t let someone tell you those aren’t worthy just because he or she is a professor.

    Thanks for sharing your post!

  6. I read to escape, so what’s wrong about writing that type of book? There is enough doom & gloom and horrible stuff on the news. I don’t want to read about it in fiction. The prof could be a frustrated writers–the sour grapes kind.

    Best wishes,
    Diane IWSG #95

  7. Reading has always caused me to reflect on life. I read fantasy because when I want to escape the world, I really really want the escape. And, I secretly hope magic, unicorns, dragons, and elves are real 🙂

  8. I agree, what’s wrong with that? Let’s enjoy where stories take us. A little escapist fantasy is a good thing.

    Your comment about how writing reveals us to us is so profound — and the main reason I write, I think. I am trying to understand myself as much as anything, and writing has provided that for me.

  9. I tend to start with myself in a way when I’m writing…as in, obviously, the ideas and the characters come out of my brain with my perspective so they have to be a reflection of things I’m working through or thinking about or am obsessed about at that time in some little way.

  10. There’s nothing wrong with it at all. Your last sentence is so true. I read for enjoyment and to escape all the bad stuff in the world. And I love living vicariously through my characters. There’s a part of me in all of them.

  11. I really believe that occasional escape is necessary to maintain sanity as long as we are not avoiding facing problems in reality by escaping. I think it is like everything in life and in art, moderation is key. Good post you really have me thinking now…

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