We Must Write Dangerously

28 Jun

This week’s fourth quote comes from writer James Joyce:

The important thing is not what we write, but how we write, and in my opinion the modern writer must be an adventurer above all, willing to take every risk, and be prepared to founder in his effort if need be. In other words we must write dangerously: everything is inclined to flux and change nowadays and modern literature, to be valid, must express that flux. . . .

As I’ve been writing my current feature-length script, I’ve been struggling with convention versus personal innovation.  I continually find myself defaulting to the way things are expected to be, rather than the way my gut wants them to be.  

Default writing pains me.  It’s the result of watching movies for many years.  My greatest discipline as a writer in this stage of my career is to filter default convention more and more as I write, rather than go through with it to the end, resulting in trite, hackneyed fluff.

A big thanks to Sentence First for recently introducing me to Joyce’s words above…


4 Responses to “We Must Write Dangerously”

  1. Amir Teymouri July 2, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    Chris, I still can’t get over the fact you struggled passing your English classes in high school. Reading over the blog, one would never guess.

    Good stuff.

    • Christopher July 2, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

      You’re too nice, Amir! Yeah, I was horrible. After I took the English placement exam for college, I scored so low, I ended up in the absolute lowest level English class. But that ended up being a blessing, since it forced me to learn what I let slip by all those years in K-12.

      Thanks again for the very kind words…

  2. Marian Gotanian June 28, 2012 at 7:42 am #

    Chris your sharing this thought provoking quotes have been very stimulating, specially about writing , secretly I love to write but by default I tell myself I can’t I am not able to , however when I do its an amazing experience its liberating to put once deep thoughts on paper in words and expiration to be able communicant with others ..but when I come to realize the power of writing that’s when I slide back to my comfort zone , and function from place by default fear of bing noticed ! WOW DID I JUST WRITE ALL THIS !! Thank you chris for encouraging me to step out and write I feel as though I am standing at the edge of a cliff ! SCARRY BUT EXCTITING , THANK YOU AND BLESSING TO YOU ! MG

    • Christopher June 28, 2012 at 8:33 am #

      So good to hear, Marian. The important thing is to just do it and face your fears on a daily level. Regarding your insecurity about not being able to write, I recommend taking writing courses at GCC or PCC. I really think you’d love it and thrive. It’ll give you the confidence you need to go forth on a technical level!

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