The Free English Dictionary defines freedom as
The condition of being free of restraints, especially the ability to act without control or interference by another or by circumstance
Now when it comes to creative freedom, be it writing or art or music I guess everyone’s definition varies.
I would define creative freedom as total self expression without being restrained to fit social norms or to serve a purpose other than being true to oneself.
I recently read Afterworlds which I reviewed here and as you may or may not know the protagonist is writing a novel and towards the end of the editing process, she is asked to change the ending of her story because a “happily ever after sells better” (correct me if I’m wrong)
Isn’t that just commercializing the story though?
If I wrote a justifiable ending to my novel and someone told me to change it for sales purposes I would feel torn.
So I finished reading Afterworlds and the next book I pick up, Little Women has a rather long introduction which spoils the book but that’s besides the point. What this intro also discusses are the changes and alterations the author had to go through to please the audience.
Louisa May Alcott had to “tone down” her writing and replace slang words with finer prose to make it more “ladylike”. Not even that, she had to write a sequel to Little Women where she had to marry them off
BECAUSE THE AUDIENCE DEMANDED IT.
She even said herself she didn’t want to write a sequel and why couldn’t people let the Little Women be just Little Women and not things that had to be married off.
So what do you get at the end of all that?
A literary classic which lacks the author’s originality cuz creative freedom ain’t got nothing on money making.
The other side of the argument is, books are a means of business after all and musicians and artists probably have restrictions too, I just feel like books go through so much editing and there’s so much pressure on the author to “impress the audience” instead of staying true to themselves.
No one probably agrees with me on this but that’s just what I’ve been thinking lately about creativity and freedom and yeah.
So tell me your opinion on this. What’s your take on creative freedom?