We all want to be liked by others, or perhaps more accurately we’d all like some kind of validation from other people. Whether or not you care much for other people, it’s almost an inherent desire that we want to be noticed. Yet, contradictory to that notion for many is that some are afraid of being noticed, nine times out of ten because there is a fear of being judged or ridiculed by other voices. As a person, let alone an artist, this is a dangerous barrier to not only personal growth, but to expressing yourself freely. And it’s my belief that as an artist you absolutely cannot stand to be afraid of judgment or let the feelings and whims of others dictate your desire to express your art.
Whether you’re part of the working world or still a student, no sane person can argue that critical thinking, or at the very least the capability for individual thought, is not of vital importance. Beyer (1995) refers to critical thinking as making clear, reasoned judgements, and most definitions you find will be somewhat along these lines. Unless you’re pursuing an academic definition from a source such as The National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking. Yes that’s a real thing, as I’ve discovered prior to writing this. Individual thought on the other hand can be seen as the ability to make up your own mind and reason for yourself, and not just follow the bandwagon. To many these skills are obvious necessities, but it never ceases to amuse me whenever I notice their clear absence in everyday life.
In life we know that letting go is one of the most difficult things you can do. As it is in reality, so too is that truth relevant in fiction. We become attached to other people or objects, whether real or not. We become invested in characters and stories we’ve followed for a long time. Sometimes that emotional investment clouds our perceptions, and other times it results in us not wanting a certain world to close or story to end, even when a conclusion is perhaps a necessity, or the overall quality of what we’re enjoying has certainly taken a nose dive. We are ultimately beings of intimate emotion and tangible feelings, striving for connection. But is there a point where this need for attachment becomes too much in the creative process? Is there a point where it begins to harm your narrative, and becomes a weakness? Or is it a writer’s strength in bringing their characters to life?