The Greatest of Them All
“The Greatest of Them All” That title was not what it seems. It was cynicism and sarcasm mixed with spittle as I prepared to dismantle one of the most revered writers of our time. Sorry, I’ve read him but I just don’t get him. I drown in his pages of purple prose long before a point has been made or a real event occurs. But as I wrote my carefully crafted take-down I began to wonder what’s my point? Insane jealousy? You’ve never heard of me but I guarantee you’ve heard of him. Nevertheless I did eventually finish my essay, I mean blog entry. Unlike most of my other efforts, this one was brilliant! Yet, I realized that it did not represent what I hope to accomplish with the word craft. (No, the author I was referring to was not Lovecraft!)
In my last blog entry I heaped praise on a story that I found moving, profound, just a little bit difficult, and well worth the effort. Now, should you take my advice and read that particular story you may think that it sucks - differences of opinion do happen. But, at least I didn’t waste your time by bitching about some writer who pisses me off, or simply bores me. I tried to introduce you to something good. For both of you who read my blog, there is the possibility that I’ve introduced at least one of you to greatness.
So here I was, having deleted my best work to date, with a blank page. I began to ponder: Why do I bother writing anyway? After several false starts, and the inevitable deletions I decided that, at least for tonight, I would give up on that particular question. However, I can say that my intention in writing is that my writing be a positive experience. Not necessarily all laughter and giggles, maybe something that tears you apart, but in a way that allows you to empathize and relate with the story and with the characters.
It occurs to me now that there is a mantra stating that you write for yourself. Well, OK, of course you write for yourself, but there would be no need to bother with all this typing if I didn’t want somebody else to read it too. So, write for myself - yeah, yeah, of course – but I also write to create something of worth; something worth sharing. Sharing because I’ve been constructing my alternate reality in an effort to explain - everything and anything - to me - and to you.
They - and as had been established many times, we have no idea who they is - say that a picture is worth a thousand words. I’ll leave that unchallenged as truth. But an idea or emotion, especially one that attempts to encapsulate the many thousands of contradictions that are inherent in any worthy notion, easily requires tens of thousands of words. (Or a few carefully bent notes from B.B. King, but I’ll leave that discussion for another day.)