Friday, January 06, 2012

Take the Hand from the Picture

Nulla dies sine linea. This has been my motto for some time, without my realizing it. It's attributed to a fourth century Greek painter by the name of Apelles, and it means "No day without a line". Apelles believed that art was a daily discipline. Like a true artist he boiled that idea down to its simplest form- four words in Latin, five in English, and in the process he invented a simple rule to follow, one that I believe yields results. I have certain word counts that I keep myself accountable for. One is optimal. Half that is minimal. And if I don't reach at least one of those numbers on any given day, I label myself a failure for that day. It's harsh. And it needs to be. And this year I'm raising my numbers.

I don't fancy myself an artist, though I do find myself entrenched in one of the arts. A practitioner, maybe. Calling oneself an artist is the first step toward complete uselessness. Maybe it's my particular personality but I almost view fiction from a more scientific viewpoint than I do a creative one. The technical aspects, the chemistry between the various elements. It's like a form of math which has to be reinvented midway through every equation for it to work. That's why it can be so challenging at times, why the chase eludes. The toughest game draws the most fools, and I number among the crowd.

A lot of people talk, some of them write, but only a few of them write every day. Nulla dies sine linea. No day without a line.

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