Fear of the banal is a good thing, actually

Okay, so I so get this post, and I’m glad there are writers out there who have the sense to be afraid of being banal. And here is why, and yes I’m harping again on the topic I alluded to a few posts ago: you can’t throw a rock without hitting somebody passing along tips about the “craft” of writing, and craft is all very well and good, but tell you what it’s not everything, not by a long shot. If you (the writer) pay close attention, when you write, you’ll notice that there is a point when the thing you are trying to write about has No Form, and than a moment when it has Form — that is the moment at which you are able to express it with words. And that moment, or event, or demarcation, not sure exactly, has something to do with perception, which in turn has something to do with consciousness. So you can’t necessarily equate Writing with Being, but you can’t separate the two, either — and Being can’t be taught — although we can, with time, chip away at the things that get between us and our connection with Being.

(This all sounds very abstract, but abstraction is another trap, as well. We also have to remember William Carlos William’s caution no idea but in things. The antidote to falling into the trap of becoming too abstract.)

But if we avoid that trap, hell yes banality is a nightmare, but not one we fend off via craft — it’s one we fend off by being authentic, and then communicating that authenticity in our writing.

When Hemingway said “write the truest sentence you know” I think this is what he meant. I didn’t understand that for the longest time, but I think, now, that is what he meant . . .

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