I was reading through a series of interviews conducted by indigenous author, Anita Heiss (@AnitaHeiss), with other indigenous Australian writers.
You can read the wonderful series here.
I have no mob, no country, as I am not an indigenous Aboriginal Australian. I respect the land I live in, and acknowledge the traditional owners of the land where I live, and where I teach: the Darug people, past, present and future.
It was one question in the interview series that sparked my tangential thinking; one question that the creative person must ask of themselves. The question was posed for writers, “Of all the art forms, why literature?”
The question can be rephrased for any creative forms: “Of all the art forms, why music, or art, or photography, or sculpture, or film?” If I have missed your chosen creative medium, please add it to the list, and I apologise for leaving it out.
It made me examine why I write, to ask why I write.
Here’s the easy answer. I suck at drawing and art. I am an average musician, ok, drummer. I have rhythm but dance is beyond me. Singing is WAAAAY out of the question; my vocal chords produce sounds that are neither mellifluous nor tuneful.
So, why words?
I wrote a manifesto some time ago to explain why I write but I want to explore why I use words as the medium of my creativity.
I find words are a meditation, a mastication of ideas and thoughts which hopefully don’t come out as poo. Words are an exploration and investigation, a divining of questions, framed by the experience of the individuals I write about. Writing is creating and understanding the character of the story, seeing the person as an individual. Not as an archetype but as an identifiable person to explore big (and little) ideas (often the minutiae of life). But I’m not focused on writing parables.
Words give me the opportunity to explore the world as I see it and understand it or want to question it through the perspective of a character. The world of common suburbia is where I place my stories.
Words are the best medium for me to communicate it. There is too great a disparity between what I imagine and my skills when it comes to art or music or any other artistic endeavour other than writing for me to attempt it. Words allow me to bridge that gap. That’s not to say I won’t still dabble with art nor stop playing music; but they are not my preferred medium.
It is words for me.
Of all art forms, why *fill in the blank* ?
Ultimately, it’s a question all creative people must address at some point in their journey.
All great creative types have a unique perspective that allows them to create magnificent works of art. The artist sees through their eyes and through their hands to paint or sculpt. The filmmaker and photographer frame the world through their lens. The musician composes in a language that transcends conscious understanding.
Creative people tell stories with their works of art. The audience engages with the story within the work, or the work creates a story the viewer, listener or reader relates to and begins to pass the story on to others.
Art is about communicating. I choose words over brush, camera or instrument.
Why do you use your chosen medium?