My Primary Craft

April 19, 2014


Sometimes I wish I had chosen a more tangible art form to mold something with instead of creating with words.

When your art is to create sculpture, you scrape and saw and whittle down a piece of wood or metal  until it is shaped to your satisfaction. You can show it to an expert for advice, maybe get some help sanding down a errant piece here, removing an imperfect curve there, nail down a jutting area so that it looks just as you had envisioned in your head. It seems more definitive & less open ended than using words to make something beautiful.

James Griffioen eloquently captures this dilemma

I still have my words, though I struggle with those too. You can look at a piece of wood and see where it needs to be sanded to perfection, you can hold it in a certain light to see all its flaws and with the right amount of elbow grease you can make those flaws disappear into dust, but how do you do that with words? 

As I write and I write and I write, behind the scenes, and even here, how can I live up to the example my dad set for me? Scrape away a bit too much here, not enough over there, and even the finest sculptor with words must retain doubts. Still, I know that this is my primary craft. I will keep working at it.

But then again, you don’t always choose your craft. It chooses you. You do have the choice not to heed its call, or to nurture it. Doing the latter is one way to honor your purpose.

How do you nurture your craft?

2 thoughts on “My Primary Craft

  1. Toni Tiu

    Writing is a craft, yes? I nurture it via blogging! :) Recently I found joy in painting. I’d like to do that more often.

    I love the way you write, Van! There’s a peaceful rhythm to your writing.

  2. Van

    Yes, writing IS a craft! But its impact isn’t as immediate as a painting or a sculpture. And the process can be maddening at times, because you can’t really “see” how it’s shaping up.

    Peaceful rhythm to my writing – i like that. I’m stealing that phrase, Toni! And like you, blogging is my way of honing the writing skills :)


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