Why color within the lines?

Ever wonder how a young Picasso would be treated today if he were in primary school, equipped with a few broken crayons and a single sheet of paper already printed with the outline of an innocuous scene from everyday life?

“Pablo, you need to color within the lines. I’m afraid you just don’t have a talent for art, young man…”

English: Picasso sculpture in Daley Plaza, Chi...

Picasso sculpture in Daley Plaza, Chicago, IL, USA (Photo credit: J. Crocker [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

Not that I am a budding Picasso. Far from it. My stick figures give sticks a bad name. But – the point is, the man stretched boundaries. He worked with many forms aside from his well-known painting. He was also a sculptor, a stage designer and worked with ceramics. And on canvas he did so much more than splash a few prime colors around with a brush. (Stand by for the point of the whole post) So why do some writers, or those experts “who know” insist we stick with one genre, one style, one form?

Write poetry? Try a short story. Fiction your thing? Write a short non-fiction article for a travel magazine. Novelist? Try a micro fiction dialogue that bounces between three points of view.

“They” say you should write what you know – and they would be correct. But – what is it that you really know?

I put forth your voice is what you know. in other words, just write. Damn the labels people want to put on you – your voice will come through, regardless the genre or format.

So to honor all those who color outside the lines, I penned a micro-fiction piece of dialogue that bounces unmercifully between three points of view. Sound familiar? I entered it into a flash fiction contest brought to light by the Limebird Writers.

We’ll see how it goes. I may have to return to drawing stick figures.

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2 thoughts on “Why color within the lines?

  1. Down with lines and boxes! I mean, they have their place and all, but what good reason has our art to remain stuck inside them? No good reason at all. Be free, creativity!

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