Monday, May 16, 2011

The Patient Artist


“Life is Short, Art is Long”

This saying was displayed in the green room of my high school theatre. As young thespians, we were held to an expectation to create art upon the stage, art to be remembered. We would practice until it hurt, study our characters in depth, train our voices to be heard, as well as convey the type of person we were portraying.

All in the name of “Art”.

Creating art in our writing is just as worthy as the many hours an actor develops his character to produce live art on stage. And in Christian writing, we not only hope our art will be forever remembered—like a Shakespeare tragedy or the massive painting of the Sistine Chapel—we hope our art will point to the eternal God Who will never be forgotten.

An actor can memorize his lines and give them clearly on the stage. Or he can embrace them, create new ways to portray them, design the character's facial expressions, tones, reactions. A writer can write a good story. Or he can paint pictures with words, create vivid places, stir the soul of the reader with brilliant twists and turns. Create a masterpiece.

As an aspiring writer, it helps me to remember the above saying. It puts up speed bumps in my mind so I practice patience in my craft. To miss the opportunity to pour art on the page of a novel, is as sad as an actor whose performance is forgotten by the time the curtain closes.
Life is short...it runs away from us, and we are spun around in circles, breathless and unsure how we could ever get anything done in such limited time...

but...

Art is long...it will engrave itself in the heart of the beholder, and press its message into their very Spirit.

17 comments:

Joanne Sher said...

Beautiful reminder.

Pepper said...

Beautiful post, Angie.
And those words 'engraved' themselves in my mind as a poignant reminder of how our words are meaningful...and in print for a very long time. I think it comes back to the reason why we are writers - don't you think? Are we writers to get published? To make money? To glean fame?

Or are we word-weavers for a greater good - pressing a meaning of eternal hope into each sentence?
Anything done for the glory of God should be done well - and I hope to count myself among word-weavers who strive to impress others with the message of God's redeeming love.

Thanks so much for the reminder!

Angie said...

Thanks, Joanne!
Pepper, we are held to such higher stakes as Christian writers, don't you think? I love the imagery of word-weavers impressing our message of God's redeeming love!

Keli Gwyn said...

What a beautiful post, Angie. I endeavor to write stories that will make an impression on readers and give them a glimpse of a God who loves them.

Angie said...

Thanks Keli! It is so exciting to know that there are so many inspired authors out there to bring God the glory!

cheryl said...

Life is Short, Art is Long.

PERFECT. Enough said.

Mary Vee said...

Thanks Angie.
What a bold reminder of the purpose of our writing. :)

Ralene said...

A great way to kick off the week. I was feeling a little sluggish in my edits, but you've inspired my mind. Thank you for sharing!

Julia M. Reffner said...

Well put. Great reminder of why we write and of patience.

Saumya said...

Gorgeous post and such an insightful reminder of patience. It's easy to work quickly just to get things out but the real value comes in taking our time, creating layered works. Thanks!

Sarah Forgrave said...

Love this, Angie. And ho boy, that patience is tough sometimes, isn't it? (Okay, more like all the time.) :)

Tracy Krauss said...

That's a powerful comparison you made at the end about 'life' and 'art'. As an artist and theater buff myself, I get exactly where you are coming from. Writing is an art form and we need to remember that. Great post.

Sherrinda said...

Brilliant! Just brilliant. That was such an inspiring post...one that I desperately needed.

Angie said...

Thanks ladies! I have tried my hand at drawing, acting, writing...I have fallen in love with writing as an art form! I am at a point in my wip that I desperately need to listen to myself on this one!! HA!

Terrie Todd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terrie Todd said...

This post made me weep. Exhausted from a weekend theater festival where I directed a self-written play, I am also awaiting medical tests--the kind that make one think about putting one's house in order. And while I wait, in my waning energy, I find myself almost paralyzed in my writing...yet at the same time more anxious than ever to leave behind something important. Thank you so much for this, Angie.

Angie said...

Oh Terrie! I will be praying for you! Thank you for commenting today.

Many Blessings!!

Angie