Writers: Making Art from Trash Since 6,000 BC

Recently, Shannon Hale wrote on her Twitter: "Writing a first draft and reminding myself that I'm simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles." Eloquent and so very, very true. I just finished the first draft of my newest WIP today, and had to remind myself of this constantly. I've heard writers of every ilk--John Green, Anne Lamot, Jackson Pierece, Jonathan Franzen--spout similar wisdom. It's OK to write crap. In fact, you will write crap, and that's just fine.  

I just discovered the work of British artists, Tim Noble and Sue Webster, who literally create art from trash. If you're a writer who's taken a piece of crap and turned it into something lovely, or if you're a writer who's in the process of creating crap, I hope you can recognize some of your own journey in these pictures. 

Now some really profound art analysis: What I love about these is that the art is not the trash, it's the shadow (did your mind just get blown? Mine, too). Sometimes, when we write, the least important thing is the words. The real art is the impression the words leave. Anyone can shape trash together and call it art, just as anyone can string together pretty words. When I first started studying poetry, I thought pretty words were poetry. But, real art is when you sculpt something that transcends the boundaries of its medium, of its clay or paint or sound or fabric or trash or words. It's hard to do, but so worth working toward.

Alright, back to the trash heap...