Writer/filmmaker Kevin Smith (Red State) dropped some heavy words of wisdom about writers today.
Smith, not one for the 140-character limit of Twitter, went on a multi-tweet "Smonologue" (a term he recently coined to coincide with his Smodcast Network) on the power and the importance of the writer. No matter what you may think of Smith's filmwork, the man can certainly preach a good sermon. Here's his response in full:
Writing is the closest any man or woman will ever come to playing God (or A god). Some will say childbirth, but that's giving life, not playing God. Some will argue the cruel play at angry gods, but any animal can inflict pain; cruelty is not playing God, it's playing Man.
Some will point to art or music, but the canvases, while valid & beautiful, are limited to what is heard or what is seen. Film? I'm living proof that even chimps can make cinema if there's enough talent to back it up; and the talent is never in the individual anyway, it's in the group effort of MANY filmmakers aiding the one in telling a story.
I love film; it has given me everything I have today. But even filmmaking is not playing God. Only writing – amongst not only all the arts, but amongst ALL of humanity's waking endeavors – allows we mere mortals a true taste of all-encompassing creation along the lines of that which God (or A god; or a god-like energy from which the universe sprang) knew or knows.
You sit down with a blank page or a blank screen and you create a universe. You fashion a world. You populate it with whimsies and desires. You make the world the way you feel it oughta be. And you don't have to show a single image to convey your creation to others. The more you share it, the more your fiction becomes a reality for others – a reality that can even manifest itself in that most unimaginative and over-valued currency: cold, hard cash.
But for any writer, money is never the motivator: it's the crushing need to get that story/blog/script/poem off your chest onto someone else's mind. A writer doesn't need motivation because a writer can never shut it off. When you write, you are as a god - or even THE God. Who needs motivation for that? You wanna be enjoy the perks of godhood without some jackass nailing you to a cross? Go write something. Right now. Stop reading me.
Of course, he ended his Smonologue in perfect Smith fashion:
They gone? Those "writers"? *phew!* I thought we'd never get rid of 'em, the artsy-fartsy fucks. Okay: lemme tell ya 'bout my wife's ass...
It might be a good idea to copy and paste this onto a document to print out and hang in your writing space. (The beginning part, not the part about his wife's ass.)
Thanks for the pep talk, Mr. Smith. We all can use it every now and then.
UPDATE: Smith put up the full, polished version of this Smonologue on his Silent Bob Speaks blog here.