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Random Thoughts On… Themes In My Writing

So, I'm writing a new book which is at 10,000 words as of today, and as I was brainstorming what to do in the next scene, I realized I have definite themes that come out on every single book I write. I really love the arts. I love music, I love painting, I love illustrations, color, sculpture, and, of course, writing. I believe that artistic abilities are at the core of every thing we humans do. I feel that even capitalism has a basis in the arts, and we would be nowhere if it weren't for artistic innovation.

My kids' art project from camp this summer. I love them!
My kids' art project from camp this summer. I love them!

When I wrote the Nogiku series, I knew I would include many Japanese traditions, foods, and arts. Sanaa, at heart, is an artist, even though she's an engineer. The job she wanted to do was architecture, but we see that she doesn't get that opportunity. Because of her personality, I knew she would be attracted to someone who was into the arts, so I made Jiro an illustrator. There was something fulfilling about writing about Jiro’s drawings. Describing the lines in the details was fun, and I knew I was putting the right picture in reader’s heads. Arts is never far from my mind.

I carried the arts into SUMMER HAIKUS. Though Isa loves to decorate her planners, she's not much of an artist. But like Sanaa, she's attracted to men who are. I made Masa and artist who hadn’t found his calling yet. He loved so many different arts that he felt lost amongst them, especially when his parents expected differently from him. I loved watching him try new things that made him a happy and content human being. In his heart, he was an artist and there wasn’t anything anyone could do to change it.

So now I’m here writing an entirely new book and I’ve made my main character an artist who gave up on art and tried to do sales business instead, which she is quite crappy at, I must say. I saw what I did with the story, brought art back in as a theme when I hadn't intended on that in the first place, and stepped back for a day to think about it. Really? I can’t come up with something better for her?

But I’ve decided to keep my story idea because it’s a human truth, not just for her but for everyone. She had a passion and denied it. What does that do to a person? How do you reconcile needing to create and needing to live? Can those two things work together? I think these questions will be the underlying theme for my main character in this book! I’m excited to see where it takes me.

2 thoughts on “Random Thoughts On… Themes In My Writing”

  1. How interesting, I never noticed those themes while readign, although I do see how it plays a part in your books now that you mention. I think because it’s a different art every time and you don’t put the main focus on it, it plays a role, but not so obvious that readers will notice it’s in each book. I do like how you gave both Jiro and Masa something with art and how that hobby fit their personality. I always have found that struggle between a paying job and following your heart and going with art interesting. So I am curious how that will come into play in your new book!

    I also love art, when I was younger I was always drawing and writing and during high school I took some art classes, but when I went to uni I started focussing on art less and more on my studies, although i did doodle during class. Nowadays I only have the writing part still in my blog and at times I wish I could do more with art, but I don’t often make time for it. And my blog does allow for a way to express myself which I like.

    1. I didn’t realize it myself until I was reading over my work this week! Lol. I made Masa an artist who hadn’t found his medium yet. He loved to play his guitar, write poetry, paint, arrange flowers… He kind of did it all. It wasn’t until he went to an arts university that he settled on paper-making which could also be a business. I loved that about him.

      I focused on arts through college (screenwriting and creative writing) and even managed to do graphic design out of college while I was doing the practical building of websites. Writing was always a part of my life through blogging too. I guess I’ve never given up on the arts! And I love that I can include them in my fiction now, too. It’s doubling down on arts. Lol.

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S. J. Pajonas