Some pieces of (my) mind
You ARE a fucking artist! Love this. :)
DAMN RIGHT, Lyle. I'm getting tired of people saying, "it is this", "it is not that", "you are an artist", "this is art", "this is not art", "You are not an artist". I am also never going to tire of discovering within myself and others, our answers to others' prognostications.
A 100+ billion people have lived on this world, and enough of them have created things in so many different ways, that to label a thing is a reflection not of the thing itself but of the labeler and the contours of their limitations and perspectives.
Who appointed anyone the deity of all there was, is, and will be when it comes to the creative facility which took us from the caves to other worlds, and brought us the work of countless minds of the ages?
People have sure tried through the ages to create velvet ropes and waiting lines, to give their stamp of approval or otherwise, and that's not going to change. What's also not going to change is that, thank all there is, that enough of us will go on and do the "thing", whatever form that takes, to create change. You're part of a long line going back to the first sunrise, and it's a pleasure to enjoy your art.
Back to your book, I want to read it. I want you to write it. I am not alone in this.
Anyway, you are an ARTIST.
Yes! Own it, Lyle. You make art. Each piece is part of a whole that is emerging over time. I'm so glad you are returning to your memoir.
Excellent Lyle. And yeah, your writing is art, you are an artist, fuck em all and make no apologies. (Hint: I've discovered they're all secretly rooting for you and no-one thinks your pretentious. And if they do, revel in it).
I'd also recommend a book I haven't read called On Pretentiousness by Dan Fox, though I think you're grappling with the perception of being pretensions versus actually being it, which is different. Read a great review of it though, and I think the soaring 20's needs more people to stand up and call themselves artists, and to stand by their 'pieces'.
I'm writing the most pretentious book I could conceive of, three of them in fact because I'm that pretentious, and I'm proud of it
Peace, and keep writing 'em✌️
Hell yeah, Lyle, you’re an artist! I usually call my posts on Substack issues (I think someone I read uses this term and I more-or-less unconsciously adopted it), and for other stuff, it’s stories if fiction and essays if nonfiction. It may be because English is my second language, but “pieces” doesn’t feel that pretentious to me, tho. I mean you’re right, what you make are “pieces” of writing. And I feel like you should be free to describe your work however you want. You’re the one who knows the most about what you’re trying to do, right?
I like to denigrate the value of my work by calling it a "bit"'.
I forget that the celebrated artists and musicians often aren’t recognized in their time (perhaps misunderstood?) Only afterwards. Let alone the fact that art itself is an expression of feeling, experience, and perspective. Thank you for your artistry week in and week out.
Well written. 👍🎉
Well written Lyle. You are a skilled writer👍🎉
Good piece (of art)!
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t suffer from the same doubts you wrote about so well here, Lyle. To me, an artist is anyone who creates art, and everyone is capable of creating art.
But it’s easier to express that sentiment than to live it. Sometimes I go around in circles about where my art sits in the hierarchy of art and if it’s even really art. Reading literary criticism, especially the more modern stuff written for the internet, hasn’t helped me square those circles. If anything, those kinds of pieces bog me down. Sometimes I think that’s the point of those pieces. They’re usually written by people who don’t make art, but instead prefer to critique it. Their work is useful and necessary, but I’m not sure how helpful it is to the artist.
As I read this piece, I was excited to hear that you’re working on a memoir. Why? Because I know you have a good story to tell, and even better, it’s the kind of story that a lot of people would benefit from hearing. Is that story art? Yes, of course it is! Embrace your art, tell your story, and ignore everything else that gets in the way.
Well, that settles that! Glad you came to the correct conclusion.
Bob’s (that’s the alias I’ll use here) reaction is priceless “you’re the writer that knows big fancy words.” 😂😂😂
That said, it’s your work so you can call it whatever you want. If you want to call it sausage gravy, I’m down. To eat his (or her) own, I say.
"To him, it’s as if I’m saying, “Look at this important piece of art I have created with my mysterious and complex artistic sensibilities that you, a common, more simple person, couldn’t possibly fully understand.”
This statement possibly comes from a person who DOESN'T fully understand, and it sounds a bit defensive, sorry to say. Your writings, Lyle, are just this: important pieces of art, created with your mysterious and complex sensibilities. Your concluding four sentences are exactly right. Trust me. I am sorry you even have doubts about your writing. We all do.... but still.
Sharron at 🍁Leaves