BEING AN AUTHOR
By Michael Priv
I believe deep down we are all authors. Not even that deep. Get a firm hold on the first person you bump into, scratch the surface and voila! An author!
A significant part of life is hidden behind our eyelids, buried deep in our minds. Oh, the treasures! Most gorgeous women and handsome men, out-of-this-world bodies, passionate lovers, spectacular vacations, money beyond count, beauty, exquisite jewels, expensive cars, mansions, luxury and leisure, respectful and loving children, doggedly loyal spouses single-minded in their undying ambition to make us happy, stellar success and accomplishments, knowledge and wisdom, admiration, recognition, understanding, love and affection by the oodles—in a word, happiness! Well, okay, proclivity to fears, anger and insanity also lives there as an occasional bone-breaking or scull-bashing scenario with an extra dash of mayhem, which is again, ah-h, happiness! Hey, no harm done as long as you, people, stay the hell out of my head, right?
We can’t really see that world well or at all when it comes to others. Instead of looking at that world, we look around and we see pretty much the same exact thing minus the gorgeous bodies and passionate lovers, respectful and loving children and abundant vacations. Oh yes, and forget the incredible mansions, expensive cars, money and luxury, stellar success and accomplishments, admiration, understanding, recognition and, yes, happiness. Bummer! Obviously, we need some of that inner beauty shine through to make the reality better.
We are all capable of showing the splendor of that hidden world to illuminate the world. Some of us, however, the artists, are specifically skilled in putting their hidden world on display for the others and making their message understood. My hat is off to these people, the artists. They risk ridicule and invalidation of any form imaginable, but they still do it. They bare their soul, they present their underbelly to the sharpest of fangs. This serious imagery is mostly just a literary device not actually based in reality. For most artists, creative arts is their life, like eating or sleeping, and people are seldom hostile. They are generally receptive and supportive or, at worst, indifferent and that is fine, too.
To me, being an author is to show the beauty of that world between my ears to others, to get across a message which I feel strongly about in a way that a reader understands and makes it a part of their own inner world, augmenting the beauty they already possess.
Getting a message across is always a challenge. For example, through my life experience and observation of people, through my counseling and now healing endeavors, I came to the conviction that one can never be happy unless this major component is hardwired into their lives to the point of becoming their very nature: they must keep their noses clean and walk tall. In other words, a person who is committing demeaning or illegal acts lives with the fear of being found out and punished is wasting his or her life and will never know happiness. To me, this is the absolute truth for approximately 96-97% of the population. That is not true for only about three or four out of every hundred who are devoid of conscience or compassion to a marked degree or completely. Communicating to them about such matters is a waste of time. They could get interested in a cynical or degrading message, which I wouldn’t be interested in delivering to them anyway.
So, let’s say addressing the normal human beings, I write “Happiness is impossible unless you keep your noses clean, you people, and walk tall. Do the right thing even if no one is watching. Keep your ideals alive. Do your duty.” Nobody would even look at it, but if some did, they’d say, “Wha-a-at!?”
Now let’s say I incorporated this message into a literary work, such as a short story, a novel or a film script. An interesting storyline, a little bit of pathos, a dash of humor, believable characters, trying circumstances, raw emotions and whoosh! My message slides right in without me ever having to say those exact words that I wanted known. What happened? The reader internalized those concepts as their own—that is what happened. They made my concepts, not my word, a part of their inner world, adding to the beauty inside, or, rather, reinforcing it because they already knew all this, they have not actually learned anything new.
Being an author, to me, is a skill and an art of getting other people conceptually internalize my message to reinforce the beauty they already possess inside. It must be done. Somebody has to do it and many people do the best they can in that regard in order to counteract the cynicism and harmful concepts already internalized from many other sources.
In the final count, being an author is about happiness.