Avert Not the Eyes

Have you ever know a person who stayed in a relationship (s)he didn’t enjoy simply because “it’s better than the alternative”? When people say that, they are overlooking a positive alternative: being open for someone better.

Since my last post, I realized a writer can develop a similar relationship with a story idea.

The feared alternative wasn’t being without ideas. (As if!) It was a fear of something else. Of being a coward, perhaps.

The great filmmaker, Akira Kurosawa (known best for Seven Samurai) supposedly said, “To be an artist means never to avert one’s eyes.” I think of this often, and I believe it.

There are times, though, when it is necessary to avert one’s mind.

After all, eyes don’t store troubling images–one’s mind does. A person’s mind can fixate on what is familiar and stop thinking about what could be better.

By focusing on ideas that don’t progress on paper, a writer might close herself off to stories that she could actually finish and put out on the market in a decent amount of time. I think it’s time to avert my mind from those that would offer too little promise to readers.

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7 thoughts on “Avert Not the Eyes

  1. It’s true. If we become bound to a particular idea, we can miss all of the possibilities that are out there. I guess the key is to find a balance of some sort.

  2. Inspiration comes in the twinkling of an eye. Grab hold of it and write. Later doesn’t work because the inspiration will dissipate into the ethers. Sometimes when I get an inspiration, I write a little note to myself for later, but, alas, the inspiration is gone later and I can’t remember what I was going to write.

    My best writing occurs in the moment in a sea of inspiration.

    At least that’s how it is for me.

    . . ./John

    1. I’m like that, too, when I also have the courage to float in the sea. Thank you for sharing your thoughts here, John. Happy Blogger Appreciation Week!

  3. “Have you ever know a person who stayed in a relationship (s)he didn’t enjoy simply because “it’s better than the alternative”? When people say that, they are overlooking a positive alternative: being open for someone better.”

    Unfortunately I think I was one of those people. I’m seeing it more and more now that I’m single again, and had rationalized it by saying, “It’ll be easier since we’re still living together.” even though I knew we were going to break up eventually.

    I like this post a lot. I think it will help motivate me to actually try writing instead of keep on thinking about it, or saying I’m going to but not.

    One of my biggest fears is failing and/or writing horribly. But, hey, I’ve got to be terrible first to learn to be ‘good’ or to even learn what ‘good’ is.

    1. Welcome, Thomas!

      I learned a hard but important lesson from being “one of those people”. It looks like we’re both moving away from that thinking.

      On writing: For several months, I started each session by free-writing about my fears and goals. I felt that it warmed up my hand and cleaned out my head. Writing as a hobby or profession isn’t for everyone, but if you’ve been thinking about writing, give it a try.

      1. Thanks for the warm welcome. I think I’m learning a lot from being “one of those people too” but this thing called learning is a slow progress sometimes.

        And thanks for the encouragement. Just have to have the discipline to actually do it instead of letting myself be a couch potato like I usually do.

        Very interesting blog you have hear. I’m sure you’ll see me around more in the future.

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