Sophocles is our April guest on Read.Write.Repeat! He is a super talented graphic novelist and all around cool human. You don’t want to miss what he has to say during the episode, which will air Sunday, April 29th at Noon! While you wait, read this wonderful article he contributed to Tibetan Lemonade!
By Guest Author Sophocles Sapounas
What is the writing life? What does it mean to be a writer? The more I think about it, the less I seem to understand. I believe that it’s tied to a simple act that I find is a human necessity, and the basis of all art: expression. Beside the fact that writing as a tool for communication is an extremely heady concept well deserving of a couple of PH.Ds-worth of research and discussion, it is part of how we as a species have found to work best as a means of expression and of knowledge transfer.
To be a writer, therefore, is to be human; an active student and participant of the world and the experience that is life. Which you then distill, combine it with your unique perception of the world, and attempt to express it to the rest of the human race through the written word. A writer, an artist, is a funnel, and their chosen craft is the spout.
Over the millennia we’ve created rules and standards, and keep adjusting the bar (ever higher) of what constitutes “good” writing. This then, besides being an unfortunate barrier of entry, creates a certain expectation from ourselves, and from others. Fortunately, at any point in time we are standing on the shoulders of giants, and their works can only help us get better when we take them in and study them. How lucky are we that we live in the age of information, and with a few taps of a screen or keyboard we can access an incredible trove of knowledge? Examples of, and therefore lessons on great writing are so accessible that it would be a crime to think we are not capable of producing something of equal merit. IF however, we are applied and diligent in finding our unique voice.
Like any trade or craft, mastery of writing requires practice, discipline, education, immersion, and the unique ability to drown out the voice that whispers “this is pointless, and you are a hack” in the recesses of the mind. One half of the entire effort in a writer’s life is finding a voice, a way to make sure that what’s written on the page mirrors what’s heard in the mind perfectly; true expression of the self.
The writing life is one that requires finding joy in entertaining and educating those around you through the use of written words. It is one that is both at times solitary, and yet impossible without knowing and understanding and socializing with fellow people and participating in life. It can even be said that it is the balancing point between asceticism and hedonism; the point where living life to the fullest and dedication to a craft meet.
The writing life is your life, if in fact you write.
Cover Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash, Callout Photo by Dustin Lee on Unsplash
Meet the Author:
Sophocles Sapounas is a Greek graphic novelist living and working in Detroit. The first volume (of seven) of his graphic novel series has been released, and he’s currently writing the second one. He has been known to skateboard, play the guitar, and go on misadventures with friends and by himself. His passion is living life to the fullest, and making sure it doesn’t pass him by. He loves his cats, complaining about the weather, and he secretly enjoys being miserable cause he claims “it makes for good stories.”
Connect with Sophocles:
Check out Sophocles Sapounas’s website, www.notal0ne.com, for the first volume of his graphic novel series Not Alone, which updates every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
You can also connect with him on your favorite social media platform:
- Twitter: @sophsapounas
- Instagram: @n0t.alone
Don’t forget to check out Not Alone, and download the ebook if you hate waiting for updates!
Not Alone is a lofty project I deluded myself into thinking I could make, and then stubbornly refused to let go until it was. The first volume is out, and while my primary vision is a book version, it is too costly at this point in time for me to print. So you’ll have to make do with the webcomic version and M-W-F updates. IF you want to read the whole thing at once, and IF you feel like like paying anywhere from 50 cents to 15 dollars, you can download the entire ebook from the website here: Not Alone: Volume 1