It’s All In The Family.

The Family of ArtWriting is an Art (not a craft). This is because Lexical Art is begotten of the same parents – Cognitive and Emotive Communication – as its siblings, Visual and Musical Art. The Three Children of Communication share similar features, to greater or lesser degrees.

Writing shares with Music rhyme and rhythm, which are evident in prose, poetry, drama and song. Writing and Music also employ writing instruments, ink and paper, analog, magnetic and digital media, to record words and notes, using languages specific to each Art. Works of both of these Arts can be memorized, to be shared at other times and places.

Painting and Drawing also share with Writing the use of instruments, pigment, paper and electronic media. In the performance of an instrumentalist or a dancer, Music shares the three dimensions with the Visual Art of Sculpture.

Two or three Communication Arts frequently are used together in the same Work, and they can disseminate messages very quickly, very widely, and to very large numbers of people, often simultaneously. Although transmission, reception, translation and copying errors, as well as intentional editing, do occur, works of Lexical, Visual and Musical Art have the potential to be reproduced, unchanged, for all foreseeable time to come.

But Lexical Art – the Art of Writing – possesses the most power. One reason is because the knowledge, skills and abilities that are required to produce, reproduce, receive, and perceive the messages that Writing communicates, require less effort than the demands the other two Children of Communication make on people. Many anatomically and neurologically intact persons still cannot learn to produce Visual or Musical Art, but almost all people can learn to write, most of them begin to do so not many years after they learn to speak and read, and with sufficient practice, they can learn to write very effectively.

Another reason is because Writing seems to have the most consistent command of both Cognition and Emotion. All of the Arts can make people think or arouse their feelings: Music has a particularly strong emotive influence, but its cognitive effects are fewer; and Visual Art seems to have a strong cognitive component, compared to its unpredictable emotive selectivity; nevertheless Writing rarely seems to leave people untutored or unmoved. I can cite no comparative studies of this phenomenon, but take as evidence of the power of Writing, the historically unending efforts of people to obtain the power to censor written works, and to ration literacy by their controlling access to education.

All of us who author blogs are writers. Many writers who blog also produce other works of Written Art. As Artists, writers are powerful people. We must not allow anyone to deny our true relationship as Communicators in the Family of Art.

Throw a log on the fire:

How do you perceive your role as a Lexical Artist?
What strengths and power does your Written Art exhibit?
How do you integrate Visual and Musical Art into your works? 

As a patron of Lexical Art, what Artistic features do you look for in the Writing that you read?
Do you prefer Writing that makes you think, or that makes you feel, or do you like to read both kinds?
Do you seek both educational and emotional features in the same work, or in separate works (or genres)?


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4 responses to “It’s All In The Family.

  1. I love when you analyze writing as an art. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Rachel! It’s really nothing but the truth, and if more writers knew it, they would find great liberation in their vocation. Since I started beating this drum, I’ve seen maybe two or three other bloggers who espouse the same understanding. But the “writing as craft” myth is still going strong and causing as much misery as ever.

      Liked by 1 person

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