The Morality of Robert Louis Stevenson

We revere Robert Louis Stevenson for his adventure novels, but he was not a genre writer in the modern sense of that term. While Black Arrow, Kidnapped, The Master of Ballantrae, and Treasure Island may seem like straightforward romantic picaresque yarns, Stevenson was always deeply concerned with the moral aspects of his story. Among his…

Advertisements

How Van Gogh Lost His Artistic Vision

Why do art? For the immense intrinsic reward and the hope of touching others as the artist himself has undoubtedly been touched. The artist hopes to share his own attempt to make sense of his experience, with the aim of adding meaning to the lives of others. Vincent van Gogh was a perfect example of…

Lifestyles of Writers and Other Creative People

High-level creativity takes time, lots of it. It also needs peace and quiet. To secure the requisite time and tranquility, creators of all kinds have traditionally turned away from mainstream lifestyles and embraced less conventional ways of life. The taste among intelligent middle-class English writers for living quietly – and inexpensively – in the unsophisticated…

Living the Creative Life

Creative people view life a little differently than does the average person. They manifest a much greater degree of commitment to their work. A notable result of this dedication is their highly selective attitude towards what they will and will not do with their time. Much more than the typical individual, they recognize that time…

Dedicating Your Life to Writing

Unable to sway his obstinate father, young Robert Louis Stevenson had to justify to himself his decision to pursue writing rather than a more realistic means of earning a living. (Image: public domain) The Dedicated Writer Not all writers want to dedicate their lives to their art, but as Virginia Woolf has noted, many people…

Writers, Solitude, and Creativity

“Conversation enriches the understanding, but solitude is the school of genius…” - Edward Gibbon Writers sometimes live simple solitary lives in remote places so they can devote more time to their work. Yet there are times when solitude is just a state of mind. (Image: public domain) The widespread self-publishing phenomenon is new, and while there are…