Applying the rules of art to writing: art is a form of experimentation

“But most experiments fail. Do not be afraid of those failures. Embrace them. Without courting the possibility of something miscarrying, you may not take the risks necessary to expand beyond habitual ways of thinking and working. Most great advances are the product of discovery, not premeditation. Failed experiments lead to unexpected revelations.”
Excerpt from ‘101 Things to Learn in Art School’ by Kit White

Nowhere is this more true than in writing: predictable, safe, boring, unpublished. Words set in concrete. Do not be constricted, particularly if you are writing for a genre which can be a straitjacket. Take a deep breath and write something unfamiliar, you don’t know where it will take you. My attempt [below] at being Picasso at www.picassohead.com was, understandably, deleted. But I did experiment.Kit WhiteI take most risks in my short stories, it’s an opportunity to try a different genre or voice, even a dystopian world. I get more from experimenting with short fiction if I give it space to breathe, before reviewing, before making a judgement. Sometimes I press the ‘delete’ button. Sometimes an idea takes root that may one day become something bigger.
Kit White

‘101 Things to Learn in Art School’ by Kit White [MIT Press] Buy now

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