For Tuesday, April 5, 2016:
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.”
” … The rules on what is possible and impossible in the arts were made by people who had not tested the bounds of the possible by going beyond them … If you don’t know it’s impossible, it’s easier to do …”
Neil Gaiman, FANTASTIC MISTAKES
We writers, artists, and poets live and work in a good time nowadays. Compared to the rules and traditional ways of doing things with which I grew up, almost anything goes today. With the electronic resources we have at our disposal, we are able to share our work with a worldwide audience that artists couldn’t begin to imagine 20-30 years ago.
No longer do we face the same ‘industry’ constraints many of us expected and followed when we started out. Thanks to this medium in which I write this moment and you’re reading, I believe blogs were the advent of this new freedom. Because it was then harder to decide what was considered published work – were ezines ‘real’ magazines, for instance, were poems in a blog a collection equivalent to a chapbook? – it’s become gradually more acceptable to self-publish.
It’s not a taboo subject anymore. We don’t have to whisper the possibility. Rather than vanity publishing, the general feeling now is that print-on-demand is not only better for the environment, POD publishing allows us to share with an audience that was denied most of us coming up, and – this is important – it gives the artist much more creative control of the finished product.
We still have to do the work, of course, and I believe we owe it to our audiences to ensure it’s the best work of which we’re capable. At the same time, our new freedom allows us to push on those old boundaries, to expand them to become more and more welcoming.
Even Emily Dickinson could see it. Back in the mid-1800s, she wrote ‘The Possible’s slow fuse is lit by the Imagination.’ Nowadays there’s no telling where our collective imagination will take us and the possibilities that await us.