Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Writer's Challenge (NOT the FaithWriters Challenge) (06/10/10)
TITLE: Life Essentials
By Emily Owen
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An artist and a writer, both from the UK, were having a debate. They were arguing over the relative merits of writing versus painting. Both were convinced that their area of expertise was far more important than the other’s.
This had been a long standing debate between the two men, each had spent years defending and promoting writing/painting to the other….and getting nowhere!
Artist: Art is beautiful
Writer: So is prose
Writer: Words spark imagination
Artist: So does art
And so it went on, week after week, stalemate after stalemate. In fact, the debates had become a part of daily life. Quick chat on the bus on the way to work, another one on the way home etc.
Until…one day was different.
It started out as any other;
Get on the bus, buy ticket, sit down.
Artist: Art is essential to daily life
Writer: So is writing
Writer: Writing is creative
Artist: So is art
Get off the bus, walk to work, enter the office…hang on a minute! The writer stopped still. All the discussions on the bus had been harmless, until today – what did the Artist mean, Art is essential to daily life?! Intriguing, yes. Beautiful, maybe. Interesting, possibly. But essential? That was going too far…
The writer mulled it over all day and, on the bus on the way home, started an entirely different type of conversation;
Writer: I have a challenge for you
Artist (thoroughly into the debate mindset): So does art
Writer: I said, I have a challenge for you
Artist: So does…what did you say? A challenge?
Writer: Yes. I challenge you to prove that it is impossible to get through a day without art.
Artist (recovering himself): Well, I challenge you to prove that it is impossible to get through a day without writing.
Writer; Ok, fine but let’s swap. I’ll try and go a day without looking at art, at pictures or drawing, doodling, sketching etc and you try and go through a day without reading or writing anything.
So the next day, having taken a day off work, each man took up his challenge…
The writer went to a coffee shop and ordered what was described as a ‘double decaff cappuccino’ in the menu – he’d never had it before but the name looked interesting!
The artist also went to a coffee shop – and ordered a regular coffee. He hoped it was on the menu but the menu didn’t have pictures so he couldn’t be sure. Usually, he tried a different, more exotic sounding coffee but, today, he couldn’t read what was on offer.
Then the writer went for a walk and bought a newspaper from a street vendor. He sat down in the park and opened the paper. Soon he was reading about the latest happenings, and finding the pictures alongside the articles surprisingly easy to ignore.
The artist also passed a man selling newspapers and, knowing that there would be a billboard screaming the latest headline, averted his eyes. As he passed, the vendor shouted out the headline, which was bittersweet for the artist. His football team had won….but he couldn’t read more about it!
The writer folded up his newspaper and set off to walk to the library. On the way, he was stopped by someone asking for directions. The person was holding out a pen and paper, asking him to draw a map….which he managed to avoid by simply writing down the directions.
The artist was also stopped by someone asking for directions, or, more specifically, an address. He shook his head sadly with a mumbled ‘sorry.’ Of course, the artist knew the address, he just couldn’t write it down.
The men reconvened in a local café and shared their experiences. The artist admitted that ‘art is beneficial to daily life’ would have been a better choice of words. And the writer agreed.
They also agreed that it is sometimes allowable to misquote Shakespeare – so they did.
‘If writing be essential to life, write on!’
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