31 March, 2008

Cranking creative widgets

I am thinking about posting my short story, Category F, here on the blog. I've always thought that if I ever actually got around to writing (rather than just thinking about it), I would make the fruit of my labour free to read.

I take a similar view to writing as I do to drawing. (If you've seen my drawings, you may have an idea not to expect a high degree of polish from my writing.) It's not that I don't want my work to be good; I do. It's that I fear that if I waited to produce the perfect drawing or story, I'd produce nothing.

I'm a big fan of process. I'm buddhistically inclined. Focusing on process feels a lot more useful than focusing on outcome. So I treat my creative work like widgets. A widget is a widget. Some of them are bronze, some of them are tin, a few are gold. They are all widgets and I learn something useful from producing each of them.

As for making them freely available. If it's good enough for Cory Doctorow and Kelly Link, it's good enough for me. I haven't finished Lewis Hyde's book, The Gift, but so far I strongly agree with his theory that creative work is diminished by being commodified. The best creative endeavour is its own mean, its own end and its own reward.

This reading, by Kelly Link, of her story, The Hortlak, inspired me to start writing again. Brilliant music too. Cheers, Kelly.