When to write?

Okay, let’s watch a game of football. The last two teams standing.

Do you notice how the winning team is always happy???

Simple question with a long and complicated answer. Well, I am going to do what is required of a short simple post – cut the crap out.

Of course they are happy. They struggled through group stages – they came on top. They battled through knock-out stages – again, on top. And winning the finals proves that you feel good when you win. Shocking, isn’t it?

So, when do you write? Do you write when it’s raining and you don’t feel like getting out of bed? Do you write when you are on a beach with your kids? Or do you seriously believe that you can start writing [well] when you get published for the first time???

My answer is simple – write any time, all the time! I keep wondering why I am not finding the time to write. In fact, I say write when you are depressed or down. When you are not in the mood, you develop a routine to write whenever as long as you practise doing it. “Non-stop” is the way to the top!

be good – write something.

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Untitled

She was unmoved. The grace with which she was determined not to let a smile appear on her face was the triumph over my reasoning. Why do I bother? I know she has no intention to simply let go of her freedom or accommodate anything as important as love itself. Too busy? Too tired of trying? I am not sure anymore…

She has been untouched by the whole thing. Between my losing the balance of power and her silence, I am keeping my pride. Heavy, bruised, it drags me, like million pebbles, to the bottom of that lake where every relation, before and after, suffocates in a final convulsion of self-loathing. Good night my love. Good morning freedom. Forever yours. Michael.

 

be good – write something.

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What Should I Write About?

Most web searches done by starting writers are trying to answer a simple, yet important question:

Where should I start?

It’s quite an ambiguous question but more often than not, it means how to start writing. I, however, believe that the actual question, any beginner should answer, is what to start writing about. Here are some ideas on what you could possible write about that might interest your target audience.

Say 17 to 24 – you could begin by writing teenage stories. A common theme to your writing would be inexperience, starting awkward relations and struggling to become a grownup – a sort of view of adult life through the eyes of a kid. Why would you want to write about that? Well, you would be doing it for people your own age, and it’s only natural you write about something close to their hearts and minds. At this age, would you read “War and Peace”? Right.

Say 25 to 35 – a stage I prefer to call “shit-hits-the-fan”. People, it’s the best time of your life! You get to taste bitter-sweetness of the whole “I am an adult” thing, yet there is still a lot to learn. So, that’s probably what you gonna write about all this new experience you are going through – love and personal betrayals, crime, money and drugs and perhaps even about inequality.

Finally, 35 to about 90 – oh, at that stage you realise the many mistakes you have made along the way. Here you works would be all about punishment, philosophy of life and presumably, its inevitability to end in death.

90 and onward – you probably don’t care much about anything anymore. Finita la comedia.

Why would I grade it like that? Well, my dear starting writer – you can’t write about something you don’t understand from the point of experience. So, before you hit 25, you will have written aplenty – practise your penmanship, so to speak. Of course, some start earlier. Take a look at Stephen King. He had accumulated a lot of rejection slips before he finished his education. And during his college he wrote adult material, because he had written everything he could have in his early teens about teenage life. So there you go. Your first work gonna be shit, but that’s okay – nobody gonna read it anyway.  Practise some more and you will give birth to a child of long nights, a bit of marijuana and your ideas.

Be good – write something.

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Three most important literary questions

Okay, I have been bad again. Why do all these little things (work and home predominantly) take my time away from writing? I know! I’ll not go to bed and spent the whole night writing! What a great idea?!

The result: sleep deprived, eyes like coffee junkie and one short paragraph to add to my i-now-realise-gonna-be-very-short story… Don’t do that!

Right, I have three BIG problems:

  1. I can read.
    A philosopherslashwriter in me: “What an achievement!”
    In actual fact, it’s the biggest problem especially when I actually bother to find time to write. I have this aweful habit of re-reading paragraphs that I have just written. Inevitably it leads to re-writing because “there is something wrong here and there”. A waste of time.
    An office worker in me: “John will need these papers before 9.”
  2. I read little.A philoter (can’t be bothered to write philosopherslashwriter, you see) in me: “You could read too much. Even worse, you could read everything, then what?”
    I am slightly ashamed of that. There is no excuse. If you really want to write well, you ought to read as much as you can – get inspired.
    An office bum in me: “If you skiped lunch, you could start on weekly estimated net usage reports.”
  3. Why do people get uncomfortable around you on the bus the moment you utter the word “tit”? What’s wrong with you people?A philosopher and writer inside: “Cowards! A perfectly acceptable word!”
    Most importanly though, why do you get uneasy? Chill, let the abundance of silent judgement inspire you on an unexplored path of common, yet unappreciated form of social experience called AWKWARDNESS. I feed on that.
    An office go-go guy in me: “Yo, philoter! Get a fucking job!”

As usual,

be good, write something.

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Don’t be a wuss – get started!

I don’t profess to be a writer, I just am. Before recently I had been afraid of writing anything, let alone my first literary work. With an exception of an odd collection of poems and a couple of skits, I had written fuck all to get really started on the path of a published writer.

Just like any other novice writer I had been mostly afraid of getting slaughtered for my first work. Now, however, I realise just the opposite. I want you and anyone who comes across this blog to really dig into my first short story with scrupulous and constructive criticism – that’s the only way. Rip me a new literary hole, I say!

With my mind less troubled I will soon publish my first short story for all to read and enjoy. My advice is simple – do away with this unnecessary fear and write, write, write… If you want to write, then start writing! It will be shit; people will tell you that in every manner conceivable. You will cry like a pathetic little girl; you’ll not want to get out of bed; you will feel like crap. Then, you make a hard copy of your first literary achievement; staple those pages and put the pile of that smelly work in a draw. Finally, you go for a walk, come back home and start writing your next work. Do that for the rest of your life and hope that someone, at some undetermined point in time, will appreciate your work and its message. It’s worth it!

Be good – write something.

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Inadvertent research?

Hi everybody!

Your struggling ameture writer’s back. A few down-to-earth problems have kept me away from my tiny-ass keyboard, which doesn’t even have the num pad.

And although I have had no opportunity to sit down and give birth to one of those posts in recent months, I have been blessed with more passion for writing. So, here are my biggest finds for those out there wanting to become writers of any caliber.

#1 Write about the things you love!
I kid you not, but it’s the number one place in my books. It matters not as to what your heart desires, in that it’s always a great pleasure to write about things that dig your mojo.
For example, I feel like a warrior wielding his sword with so much power that at times I have to stop writing and to calm myself down. (Oh, yes, I have started working on something – more on that in my next post!)

#2 Do your research!
A few months back I watched a short video by Joanna Penn (http://jfpenn.com/budapest-research/) in which she describes her personal experinces researching a book. It has recently popped back into my head after I watched a little bit of history channel. I was not specifically searching for anything, just your typical self-education, but it gave me some images and ideas to work with if I wanted to transform them into a short story.

So, even if you are currently studying electrical engineering, it can actually be a great source for your plot ideas, once connected with real-life situations. But you’ve got to love what you write about!

Be good – write something.

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A shift towards greater consumerism

Even though technology has significantly improved lives of most writers, the coin is about to flip on all of us involved in the process – the writers, the readers and of course “the platform”.

Intuitive gadgets that are supposed to make our lives simpler are taking the power of creating away from us and thus, prompting for more consumerism and less … well, writing. How many of you have recently completed a novel on one of those iPeds or Andoids? None, right.

I know that as the time goes by writing styles change, but have you noticed that contemporary literature does not have such power as the works of great classicists. Literary fiction has become more diluted and pop fiction has engulfed us with its plain and dry approach. Of course it’s now difficult to say he is great and he isn’t – that’s for future generations to decide.

In my mind, this race for short-lived fame and quick cashish has made our minds numb.

It is very easy not to create and popular technology isn’t helping here. Demand for more literature will grow. However there are two possibilities that can occur as the result. Either more crap will appear on virtual shelves; things you don’t need to think hard about or … What’s the other option?

With lesser number of writers it is possible for lit fiction to become grander, breathing higher purpose into our minds and hearts, removing unnecessary crap that doesn’t teach us the good and the evil. Such works ought to have greater influence over our need for self-development and education.

So, bring on more tablets for people without real passion for writing to stop them actually writing!

Be good – write something.

unable2write

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Is Minimalism For Me?

I really like to carefully express my thoughts in a rather long exuberant way.

A minimalist would have been shocked by my careless use of adjectives and grotesque overuse of adverbs in that sentence above. I sometimes feel as if I can’t do without them; it’s a compulsion of bad sorts.

When reading, I like to get some directions from the author, some sort of external drive to read his story; not that it’s a tedious task for me. In most works the message is pretty clear (pop fiction) and there is no need for that, but with authors like Austin I just like to use her long descriptions as some form of guidance through the story.

However, the story becomes too restricted and you feel as an observer, not a partaker. In literary minimalism you find yourself in the midst of contextual orgasm – you get to the climax pretty quickly and there is no way of knowing when the direction is going to change. Then “boom goes the dynamite” – you are already there!

I personally am finding myself at the crossroads. I really like to carefully express my thoughts in a rather long-winded and most certainly exuberant way, but only because I don’t have a complete mastery of using minimalism to its full potential. And I know it’s powerful – just take a look at Ernest’s “Big Two-Hearted River”.

As always, be good – write something.

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Internal Inconsistency

Sometimes I feel my writing to be a bit inconsistent and not in terms of style or storyline. No, it is a simple case of attitudes. I notice that whenever I change from one scene to the next I make the point stick but it’s not so much supported by my overall position on the issue. And once again, I am not talking about the storyline or the moral of my story, that’s not what makes my writing suck big time. It’s my unfixed core attitude and still unformed core principles that get in the way of good writing.

One day I may have one particularly definitive view of the crisis, the next I happen to be looking at it from another point thus the change shows in the latter parts of a story. I pretty much hate this internal inconsistency. It really makes you think, whether writing is a stroke of genius or a load of hard work.

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The Author’s Role

A bit angry.

A bit angry.

When I started writing, I couldn’t have imagined thinking about my own role in the story currently in the works. I stopped and I looked at it from a different point of view, and as you know there are only two, that of a reader. And, now, I am not too sure as to who is writing my novel.

Who is writing your novel?

It does sound silly, doesn’t it? Of course it’s me. But who is that me person? And that question alone raises more problems than anything else I have had to deal with in my short time as a writer. I believe I have to scrap my current project because I made a crucial error from the beginning.

That mistake has cost me my first novel.

To be frank, I am a little relieved because I didn’t get to the end of my first work to realise it was crap. I had a firm idea in my head of what I wanted to say in that novel, nothing too convoluted and nothing too cheesy. But I failed to recognise the importance of the question above. And the answer isn’t as simple as it may seem at first. Since there are two of us in every writer, both fight for our brain. One is a commoner and the other is a creator. The former one sleeps, eats and poops whereas the latter transforms your ideas into words and projects them in a form of a story onto the blank pages of your word processor. I chose to be the first type. Unfortunately, for my first draft, this was an unforgiving mistake.

Discarded, cried and moved on.

Happy writing.

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