ambition, beauty, craft, creative writing, creativity, emotion, empowerment, inspiration, love, nature, passion, poetry, process, purpose, sensuality, stoicism, strength, Uncategorized, wisdom, women, writing

Spark

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Trials lie in wait

On every corner

I hold within

A spark of purpose

I am earth, air, fire, water

And all things

Within it

Undefined

By anything

Beyond will

And purpose.

Each quiet hour

Before dawn

Pen makes

Love to paper

Fingers seduce

The keyboard

If you would

Find me anywhere

Find

Me

There.

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ambition, anxiety, blogging, book reviews, books, creative writing, creativity, emotion, experience, fiction, passion, pleasure, process, reading, short stories, stoicism, Uncategorized, writing

Two Pages (24/09/16)

I’ve moved things forward this morning, wrapping up this section with the part where we take the character from damage to reconciliation. It’s bullet points really but that’s deliberate, taking a few choice moments to capture a past that informs but does not dominate the main external and internal plotlines.  All storytelling is based on choices that you make, what you show is not the same thing as what you know. You suggest, if you’re good at it, tell the things that the reader needs to know but not much more than that.

I say ‘if you’re good at it’, I am not certain that I am but I enjoy doing it and I work at it regularly. You work in a state of solitary confinement, self imposed exile from people in order to entertain them. I say entertain because to do otherwise is on that axis between lofty and pretentious. I don’t like to think of myself as that. It’s too much bloody pressure for one thing and when you’re only reading my work on a blog, anything else sounds delusional.

There is a degree of self-appointment. No one makes you write, except in school. I could sleep in, stay up late, consume rather than produce and yet to me, it would feel like preparation for death. No matter how much grief, frustration, upset, repetition is involved, the glory of finishing something and being satisfied with it is quite spectacular sometimes. There are good days and bad in writing, but you keep going and going until something is finished then start again with something else. The pleasure is in the work, the process not always the reward If the rewards motivate you, then that’s great but don’t make them your sole source of gratification. I believe that discipline beats motivation every single time, and discipline is not dependent upon the praise or criticism of others. Discipline is quiet, it shuts up and listens, so should you. It inures you to insecurity for the most part. It doesn’t stop it, but you can reassure yourself that you’re working and if you keep doing that, you will improve and that makes it easier for people to pay for your work, either via a publisher or off your own back.  If it is something private, intimate then you can go deeper into the pain or the emotion, find the nuances in the experience and reach for the sublime within that. I don’t assume everyone writing is doing it for financial acclaim, to one degree or another, we write for some deep, personal reason. Pleasure is perfectly acceptable as a motive, as is pain.  To increase the former and decrease the latter defines so much of life, but we need the balance of both in order to grow and develop as people.

I’ve put up another episode of my series, The Ogden Review, and I’m pleased with how that’s going. It’s pure playground for me, it’s sloppiness and plotholes are a small price to pay for the simple joy of being able to write without a care in the world. It’s not slapdash work at all, but it lacks the ambient agony that the books engender. It has it’s own energy and I hope that if you’re reading this, then you might read that. If not, it’s cool too, there’s lots of good books and writing out there and you have to make choices.

 

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masculinity, music

Watch “Mastodon “Colony Of Birchmen” (Official Video)” on YouTube

This song gets me through workouts and writing sessions with the same primal fervour.

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books, creative writing, writing

My Mantra For Writing

The Joker: If you’re good at something, never do it for free.

 

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Uncategorized

It Either Pumps You Up Or Pisses You Off

David Wong wrote this, it is a set of harsh truths but it will make you better. In an age of Upworthy sentiment, sometimes the harsh stuff feels more honest. 

He refers to this blog article as well, which is fascinating and powerfully written. 

I used to be pissed off at Alec Baldwin’s speech. Now it is a powerful motivator for me. 

Not finished your work because you’re working on fan fiction instead?  CLOSE

Not submitted a query to an agent because you’re thinking of self publishing although you’ve done nothing in that regard either?  CLOSE. 

Not taken a photograph or painted something because you’re not feeling inspired. CLOSE.

Hard work is no guarantee of success. People criticize Randi Zuckerberg for many reasons, but in truth her only crime was to be in the right place at the right time and not to be humble about it. But if you work hard, then if you get lucky, then you’ll have the grace to assume a degree of humility about it. 

Don’t let the whimsy blind you to the reality. That’s not to say that the universe is brutish, it isn’t. It’s pretty wonderful, and even the sad parts are there to show up how wonderful it all is. The desire to make art and get it out there, to build a useful, purposeful life from it is a noble thing but it is not easy nor is it inevitable. However you can learn useful things about yourself along the way and it makes you generally a better person or one honest about yourself as you go about your mission. 

 

 

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Uncategorized

You Are What You Spend Time Doing

http://www.cracked.com/quick-fixes/the-60-second-guide-to-bullshit-free-life/

David Wong has a wonderfully refreshing turn of phrase that applies to the motivation and guidance that I swear by, equal parts pragmatism and direction. 

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Uncategorized

Two Pages

Getting closer to the end now. Starting to wrap up plotlines and move towards the point where I can end it and move on. The interesting thing about a first draft is that by the end, you know what the book is really about. I look at writers who go into a project precisely knowing what happens and what themes there are with awe. Genuine awe.

I’m a gardener, then I trim up and invite you in to walk around. I have, at this stage, a degree of self belief and I hold myself in esteem. I don’t put myself above anyone because on one level, we are all the same. A universe expressing itself individually as well as an ego that identifies itself as other, separate. My work writing feeds that ego and also the expression of the universe too. 

Anyone who writes, good or bad, warrants your acknowledgement. You may not like the writing itself, because we all have our preferences and tastes. I’m not a bland cheerleader, there is work that I have read and not enjoyed but I don’t talk about it or seek it out to define myself in opposition to it. Like attracts like so I would rather talk about the things I love so that I get love back in return. Or not. 

I like when writers reach and fail as much as when they succeed. I don’t think that anything I am doing is an outlier, I caught something about the flarf movement this morning and it’s beyond what I am doing. Not better or worse, but different and I don’t consider myself in the terms of what I am doing is any different, I know my audience, my goals and the destination I aim for. 

How I get there is one word at a time, two pages a day. If I work hard at what I do, then if luck comes to me, then I will be in a position to take advantage of the opportunity when it arrives. Don’t trust to inspiration or luck solely, self sustain and grind until you get there. Help others along the way, be compassionate in your art but understand that you will still suffer. 

I work a day job too, so it’s getting up earlier to start then finish it when I come home. I make sacrifices to write, of my time and attention but it’s a labour of love, a temple built with words that I hope people will come in and worship. 

 

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