Sunday, July 18, 2004

The Nature Of Writing

I'm going to temporarily ignore the frustrating and ongoing problems with State, as there's nothing I can do about that until Monday morning at least. I'm as disappointed (if not more so) as the rest of you that our hosts have somehow seen fit not to follow up on their promise to have the site back up before the weekend, so I'm going to have to chase them up on Monday. Until then, I hope you're all finding shelter from the storm in a suitably accommodating website. Just come back to us when this is all sorted out. Please.

No, tonight, I'm in a philosophical mood. Fleur and I were visiting some friends that we'd not seen in three years - Fabrice and Catherine ViƩ. They're both teachers - Fabrice was a colleague of Fleur's at Brooke Weston, a school in Corby, just outside of Kettering, that Fleur worked at prior to moving in with me here in Surrey. Catherine is currently expecting her second child, and we were all talking about the nature of the personality of an individual. We were discussing how people seemed naturally talented and inclined into pursuing different interests. Fabrice, for example is fascinated by history, Fleur by cinema and classic literature, Catherine also by literature, and me by just about everything under the sun, ever.

Catherine seemed surprised that I do so much writing; for this blog, for the State website, and now for PC Gamer. The discussion made me get around to thinking probably for the first time about *why* I write. What am I trying to achieve? What does anyone who indulges in the creative arts (writing, music, painting, sculpture, etc) want to do? Why do people feel the need to express themselves creatively?

After thinking about it for a while, I can only think of one answer:

Every creative artist wants to make connections to people, in a totally unique way. When I write, I want to say something to my audience that they have never heard before, to make them think about something in a way that they never would have considered if they had not read my work - to say something unique, valuable and memorable. Whilst I may never have the talent, insight or resonance of Shakespeare or Proust, I would like to think myself capable of affecting the people who read what I write in a way that they'll remember. Every artist (no matter what the medium) wants to create a legacy for themselves, which will carry their name and philosophy beyond their lives, in a way that will never be forgotten.

Most people perpetuate their memory by having children - something that neither I nor Fleur are interested in. If I am to ever be remembered beyond my years, I would like it to be for something individual, unique and profound. When I write, I pour in all the essence of my heart, soul and intellect into it. I want a certain measure of immortality. To be cited and remembered hundreds of years after my death. Of course, I'm not going to achieve this with a humble blog or a few articles in a computer magazine, but I have ambitions... A lot like Kieron I harbour the desire to write beyond simple videogames journalism. Whether I have the talent, or will have the time to realise my dream remains to be seen. But why have dreams if you cannot try to make them come true?

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