(Assuming anyone's reading, which may be a totally unwarranted assumption). I seem to be forming better defined principles with which to approach my new-found "life's work" (i.e. writing fiction).
It is art. I am almost to the point where I can say that without blushing and feeling pompous. (Almost, it still feels pompous and self-aggrandizing, but it's what I've secretly (almost guiltily, I don't know why) believed for a long time - I am an artist, or at least an artist-in-training).
The point of art (in my opinion only, this is a hugely contentious assertion, I'm aware, but it works for me) is to observe, examine, contemplate, and report on "what it means to be a human being." Whether any of the many art forms that are apparently unaware of the human race beyond the artist are therefore "not art" or are "bad art" I don't know and I don't care. I'm only concerned with my own notions here (it's MY blog after all). Let's say "The point of MY art is to observe, examine, contemplate, and report on WIMTBAHB." Any "self-expression" on the part of the artist that is not employed in this, is superfluous. It's perfectly fine of course if an artist uses his own feelings in a particular situation to communicate some generalities that apply to "What it means" and more importantly to make me feel what he's feeling in pursuit of identifying with the generality of la condition humaine. (Or whatever). But unconnected, incoherent blurts, whether visual, verbal, or aural seem not to do this.
Fiction is Truth unconstrained by Fact. More ruminations and cogitations on this later, but it's a phrase I came up with some time ago and have been turning over in my mind for the past 3 years or so that I've been pursuing this fiction-writing endeavor seriously. The capitalizations in that phrase are intentional and significant, BTW.