If I cannot be myself in what I write, then the whole thing is nothing but lies and humbug.
– Henrik Ibsen
I write to give myself strength. Be the characters that I am not. Explore all the things I am afraid of.
– Joss Whedon
Two different quotes from two men who, in their own generations, were and are among the most successful in their craft.
Ibsen is the playwright whose work is performed more often than anyone’s but Shakespeare. Whedon is one of today’s most successful screenwriters and directors.
So, who is right? Actually both.
This is another one of those 2:00 a.m. insomnia prompted posts, so I’m not going to analyze either quote too deeply nor spend a lot of time worrying about whether they’re saying different things.
We write for different reasons. If we all wrote for the same reasons, wrote the same things, had the same thoughts, life would be pretty boring.
I am inspired by the works of both Ibsen and Whedon.
Once again, I am comparing myself to neither beyond the fact that I am also a writer. I do not anticipate that a hundred years from now that anyone will be performing my works or writing about them on whatever the 22nd Century version of a blog turns out to be.
But I do see a little of myself in both quotes.
I write to express myself. I write because, as an introvert, it’s easier to put words together from a keyboard than it is in conversation.
Likewise, I act because I get to be someone else. I get to be characters that I am not. That’s also why acting works for an introvert.
Where I differ from both men, again other than the fact that I will never reach their level of success, is that they pursued their passion at an early age.
If I have regrets as a writer or an actor, it is that I waited until I was in my 50s to seriously pursue that passion. But, as I have said before, that also gave me experience from which I can draw inspiration.
So, let’s not live with regrets. Let’s move on.
In other news, the commercial below has been circulating the Internet. It is based upon The Christmas Truce which occurred in Europe prior to U.S. involvement in WWI. It is an amazing, true story. If you don’t know the story, look it up. It is inspirational and carries a message for today.
Several years ago, the Music and Fine Arts Ministry of West End Assembly of God told this story in Glorious Christmas Nights in a production called “No Man’s Land.” It remains a favorite among cast and crew.
The Christmas Truce was a reminder that, while we have our differences, we have much more in common. It’s far too late, or actually too early to expound on that thought.
Just watch the commercial. You’ll see what I mean.