The villains who’ve ravaged your sanity and triggered your questioning of your core creative nature, pummel you into uninspired oblivion. You sit in your chair behind glazed eyes. The bad eyes. Not the good eyes where you’re intricately involved in silent conversations with your characters. Not the good eyes where you’re staring at a tree but developing a world. Not the good eyes where your mind and heart race to catch up with your wild-horse imagination running pall mall into chaos.
No. The glazed eyes where you question everything you do. The bad eyes where you cannot force your fingers to stroke the keyboard. The bad eyes where you run projected conversations in your mind with those who would do you ill. The bad eyes where your heart races out of fear. Anger. Frustration. Then depression follows like a sugar crash after too many bowls of ice cream.
We allow our minds to rule us. Plain and simple. My take on this is that highly creative people become so accustomed to accessing their imagination that they allow their life to be controlled by inner voices without exerting control. I should speak for myself. I’ve come to realize one of the major blocks to my creativity are these projected conversations in my mind which I seem to allow to go on and on and on until acted upon by some external interruption. This is not healthy.
Would you like to hear what’s worse? Here goes – POSITIVE projected internal conversations are just as harmful as the negative. Believe it! I discovered this after one of my exes’ horrendous, aggressive, agitating emails. I read the words and the usual projected conversation blossomed like a mushroom cloud in my mind. I willed myself to sleep, but at 3:00 am I awoke to a heated conversation between she and I. My emotions ran ahead of the cloud which was still rising as though I had not slept a wink, rocketing into the stratosphere.
Fortunately I have been disciplining myself to get out of these useless, stressful monologues and allow them to pass me by. As I diverted the conversation out of my mind, I noted the tenseness in my jaw and hips. I noted my clinched fingers and tightened face. I noted my accelerated heartbeat.
I love realizing this stuff! I quickly settled down. I rid myself of the useless conversation which was never going to happen. I replaced the negativity with a wonderful waltz with a tall, lithe blond-haired woman. We floated across the floor. My inner smile could not have been brighter. We paused mid-floor. Our faces drew near to each other in slow-motion passion. The imminent kiss mere nanoseconds from bliss.
I awoke again with a start. I awoke to a clenched jaw. Tightened hips. Accelerated heartbeat. Clinched fingers and a tightened face. OMG! Epiphany! I realized I was projecting a scenario. A conversation in dance. The same physiological responses I’d experienced with the negative scenario repeated themselves in the positive realm. This owns serious ramifications about how I run my mind and by proxy, my life.
Projecting conversations, good or bad, yield the same stresses. So much of writing, for me, becomes a pressure release valve. An escape from the assault of the world which would have me join it in its abject insanities. Hell, I’ve been living in the realm of insanity for decades. I’ve always labeled this morass of stress as the fuel for my writing.
Truly, the stress does fuel my creative drive. I’ve discovered, thanks to a decent relationship, the ability to fuel my writing from a positive perspective. I simply did not recognize the stress levels the positive relationship dumped on me. I get it. This is my issue. I need to adjust how I deal with stress. I need to recognize that positivity may deliver the same unhealthy stresses.
On the upside, I’ve noted that I have trained myself to dive into creative-mode nearly at will. I know and trust that as soon as my fingers find the keys, they will fly along with my creativity. I do not require these lifelong stressors in order to dive into passion. When writing dialogue, I am “projecting conversations which will never happen in real life” between my characters. Just as in my internal projected conversations in “real life” which deliver stress.
Again, fortunately, I own the ability to access my emotions freely. I believe whole-heartedly that writing from emotional passion is a benefit to the manuscript. I simply no longer wish to “live” projected conversations throughout my day. I can do without that kind of constant stress.
The key for me comes down to two major items. 1) quick realization of the narrative happening in my mind and consciously jettisoning the projected conversation to the universe. This should be easy but I’ve discovered I’m already deep into a conversation in my head before I even notice. I’m getting quicker at discovering the insanity and regaining control of my mind, my health, and my life. 2) Writing. The simple act of writing allows me to play in the land of projected conversations and life scenarios. My imagination may go crazy. In effect, I am able to vent this internal narrative malady. I free my life up and I feed the projection issue to my voracious-appetite-imagination.
One of my action steps becomes making sure I do what I am presently doing – keying. You will receive this after the fact. I will have packed away the laptop, driven off from Starbucks, and nestled into a quick edit at home before striking the “Publish” button. I’ve vented well! When I do not allow myself “venting time” aka “writing time,” I invite the conversations to happen in my daily life more frequently. I sure would have loved to have known this a long time ago!
I am therefore writing myself sane. I will not allow these stressors to agitate my life and bring undesired trouble to my mind and body. I’m finding my incentive to write heightened dramatically. One thing I’ve learned in my decades of writing, if I’m struggling with something, someone else is as well. If you’re not, then I suppose this post was not for you, eh? For those who can relate. practice dumping those unproductive, destructive narratives in your mind throughout your day. Save them for your creative monster – the good monster who eats up all the bad shit going on and cranks out incredible work.
I’m feeling more sane already. And remember, in an insane society, the sane man will appear insane. Get out of the crazy-life-internal-narrative which is only making you more crazy. Write yourself sane! 🙂
It’s not What’s Stopping You but Who…
Writers. You’re one, correct? Oh, you want to be a writer.
Oh, you want to be an author. My twelve-year-old daughter wrote this quote on my whiteboard: “Don’t be a writer, be writing.” – William Faulkner.
Isn’t it funny, or lame, that the one thing you struggle with most as a writer is the actual writing? This topic gets discussed often. Why? Because people like you (and me) struggle to write. The most maddening aspect of this writing conundrum reveals itself as your own personal problem. Who else other than you could possibly be the problem?
Oooh. There’s an open door for all your excuses. All your diversions. Distractions. Responsibilities.
I’m not sorry to inform you that your issue is truly you.
Julia Cameron’s book, “The Artist’s Way” is as relevant today as it was in its auspicious beginning. Creative people need to “recover” as Ms. Cameron states. We own so much baggage and negativity, we lose our connection to ourselves. If you can truly say you are in tune with yourself, there may not be much for you here.
I work with the many people who desire to write a book, a good, satisfying, bucket-list book, but they struggle to get started, write the middle, or finish. The issues all remain related to one specific topic – you. You don’t write because of issues within yourself.
Don’t get all upset with me. Truth is the truth. Truth is not bad. Truth like “the issue being you” stands as “identification of the problem.” Knowing you have an issue and knowing that you are the root of your issue could set yourself on a path of rediscovery. Writing serves as one of the most therapeutic, cathartic exercises humans may endeavor. I believe in writing as a major tool in my sanity. I have not written myself sane as yet, but I am on the path of discovery.
Note that I did not say, “…path of rediscovery.” In truth, I am on the “rediscovery” path as well at this point in time. My “discovery” path and “rediscovery” path coincide with each other like some roads. In Daytona Beach, Florida, we have routes 17 and 92 which travel along the same pavement for a while until they split off. I am both rediscovering myself and I am discovering my new self as well.
You may do the same. Do you feel unmotivated? Do you know you crave to write the Great American Novel (or any other nation for that matter), or the next awesome self-help book, or the next incredible memoir? Why aren’t you doing it?
Ahhh. As the comedy troupe Monty Python once stated in a skit, “That’s the nub of the gist, isn’t it?” Why aren’t you writing?
The answer I’d like to hear from you is, “I’m driven to find out why I’m not writing.” No one will solve this for you. This is work you must accomplish on your own.
Help is available, though. This aspect of troubleshooting your writing woes is my specialty. I’ve helped over 100 people get their books written and that number is going to explode in the coming months and years.
Do you want to get started? Do you really? Show me. Go for a 20-minute walk. I don’t care what the weather is. I don’t care whether you feel like it or not. Go walk.
Do it now.
When you get back, write what you saw along the way. Also, write what you felt about your walk. What you felt about what you saw. What smells came across your nostrils. What sounds did you hear?
Go on. Get to it.
For extra credit, write what you came across in the comment section of this blog. I will answer your comment.
Now. Go walk. Then write.
Go on now. Get oughta here!
Where to Write
Writing can become a fickle endeavor. You must get to know yourself, your likes, your dislikes, and often the answers will surprise you. “Book Whisperer Writing Tips” will be a series of short videos addressing things you may take for granted or not give enough attention in your writing trek. Today’s subject touches on where you choose to write. Don’t lock yourself into one writing location. Explore. Learn about yourself!
Heart-wrenching, touching, beautiful, sad, healthy, amazing, words cannot describe this post with adequate accuracy. My hope is that many people connect with Jorja’s writing and in turn, connect with those people they miss…
Write through grief
For years, even as a young girl, I have written letters through struggles or problems that were weighing heavy on my heart. Letters that would contain words I could never say or understand, questions of why I was suffering.
First let me start off with…
My Momma Died. There, I wrote it, it stings, hurts tremendously but it also feels like I released some of my pain…
Those were the first words I wrote after she passed. I was struggling with “being in the moment” with my writing. I had so much to say but couldn’t write it. So I asked myself why?
“MY MOMMA DIED!” Screamed at me. So I wrote it. Was I being too harsh with myself? Probably. BUT on a lighter note, I came up for a breath. I wrote. Let me start by saying my Momma and I made a deal to…
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I wrote the following piece on the subject of fear this morning.
Because fear debilitates me far too often. As I’ve mentioned before, I know for a fact that when something holds me back, it’s holding others as well. Too many very talented writers get held back by the simple specter of fear. I am one of those authors. I hope this post will at least get those who struggle with fear to begin to take back their lives and live more in the present which is where life truly is for us. Not the past. Not the future. The present.
Thoughts on Fear
Let’s talk a bit about fear. I’ve heard mountains about it. How to defeat fear. How to overcome fear. What fear is. The fight or flight thing (which I wrote about in this post because I don’t agree with extreme dual absolutes). I do loathe the acronym False Evidence Appearing Real. IF that statement stood true all the time I might be forced to reevaluate my position, but the acronym is patently false.
Fear feels hard-wired into my psyche. Fear rises up and dwells just underneath my conscious mind at times. Other times, I see fear in my imagination. I taste fear in my clenched jaw and tensed shoulders. I smell fear in my sweat. I touch fear in my mind’s eye. I hear the drumbeat of fear in my head all too often.
No doubt in my book that the only weapon against fear stands as courage. A global remedy identification of “courage” does no more good than the above acronym when dealing with fear, however. Fear creeps in while we’re not looking. Fear becomes ingrained in certain recurring situations which may differ in huge ways from person to person. The only trigger to disarm fear I’ve found somewhat effective is recognition.
Often, at least in my case, I’m already in full-blown-fear-mode before I realize I’m tensed up and bracing for battle. Recognition at least allows me the cognitive ability to ‘choose’ to override. To my mind and experience, this ‘choice’ becomes the birthplace of courage. Stepping back from the fear, which manifests itself in your brain and most often remains limited to the confines of your brain, allows you choice. The stepback and examination allow courage to enter into the picture.
Especially in recurring situational fear, practicing releasing your clenched teeth, relaxing your shoulder muscles and jaw, and clearly examining where your fear stems from may help the choice of courage to become rote or automatic. I still do not believe the fear is vanquished in this situation. Possibly it’s just me in this viewpoint, but I doubt it. The fear remains but you now have an automatic override. The more you employ courage as an automatic choice, the less apparent the fear.
For example, in my life, as in many others, I hold an abject fear of public speaking. I joined Toastmasters. I began speaking in front of the group. I had to overcome my fear and make a choice to embrace courage. After a while, I looked more closely at the fear. I stepped back. I realized I would never truly be rid of this fear. Eventually, I developed a love of public speaking. The fear remains. More latent, not as debilitating, but it remains. After five years of emceeing a monthly event, and numerous speeches and presentations to people I do not know, I’ve learned to enjoy public speaking despite that underlying fear.
For my money and my thought-drain, the most damaging aspect of fear lies in our projection of future events or results connected to the roots of our fear. What I’ve discovered, not only through my own experience but in speaking with others on this topic, is that most often, most being by far the massive majority of the time, the internal projection-scenarios we apply regarding the fear turn out to be completely false. Untrue. Unwarranted. Often ridiculous. Also quite often, a completely different outcome more on the positive side of life occurs when we make the choice of courage.
Yes. I agree fear holds most of us back in some manner. Yes, I believe fear squelches if not permanently destroys potential greatness in many of us if not most. Yes, I believe fear to be something to deal with. Cute acronyms and a just-deal-with-it hunk of advice do nothing for me. I need something more tangible. More powerful. More concrete. More accessible.
The single most powerful tool I’ve discovered in my life without a doubt is…The Power of NOW! Clarity. Clear thinking. Clear internal vision. The only mechanism I’ve discovered which works is brushing aside the monkey mind which chatters and screams and alarms is to focus on the moment in front of you.
Fear lives and breeds at an alarming rate in our projections of future events. If I were so damned good at projecting what would happen in the future, there would be countless decisions I would never have made. Projecting has merit in planning a course for your life, but those plans never truly pan out perfectly as planned. In fact, I believe that when we actually come close on planning something well, this act may hinder us in the future by making us overconfident in our ability to ‘see’ future projections as accurate.That’s a post for another day.
The most effective tool I possess in my mental and emotional arsenal against fear is to step away from that crazy, manic cacophony of voices in my mind and focus on the moment now. What decision(s) must I make NOW to settle my emotions and move forward with a level of confidence and courage. We completely lose this ability when we worry and project.
This focus on NOW and gaining a level of clarity does not come easy. Why? Because we must stop and make the choice to get there. Most of our lives we spend running around like manic bugs. We bounce our futures around like bumper cars gone wild. Focus and clarity. NOW. Fear breeds in our chaotic mind. Fear diminishes when we step away and achieve clear thought. By the way, our insane technologies that have us going completely wacko? They acerbate the situation. Have you seen social media lately. The hate? The fear? The lies? The stupidity? Much of what’s wrong and messed up with humanity is on full display minute by minute online. Hint – your answers do not lie there.
I’m not saying you’ll come out with perfect answers. I am saying you will find more peace and ability to access your strengths. Joy and happiness live in the NOW. Too much pain lives in the past. Too much inaccuracy and debilitation live in the projection of our future. Wiser folk than I have pointed out NOW and clarity as the place to be in most everything we do.
Work on your fear. Get into NOW moments. Make the choice of courage. Move forward on your life’s journey. Do great things. They truly become a choice rather than a ‘projected dream’ when you give yourself the opportunity. My ramblings this Christmas Eve…
An Accident of Survival
I didn’t mean to live this long. I never really intend(ed) to expire either. We live much of our lives impervious to death and its lurking presence. Think about it. Nearly everything in our lives is designed to distract us from our mortality. Our work, our entertainments, our over-busy lives. We’re constantly on the move, on the run, using technology, vegging, vacationing, working, loving, hating, and the list goes on and on and on. This is not to say we’re completely insulated by the prospect of death. I’ve been on that doorstep three times.
In 1990 I nearly bled to death. In 1999 my surgeon told me another two hours and I would have died of peritonitis. A nasty car wreck in 2005. Today, I began ruminating on this subject. Not that I’ve not been here before, but this time I put together a montage in my mind of people I’ve outlived both years-wise and personally in my life era.
Anne Frank died at 16 years old. She was an aspiring writer. A damn good one at that. Amazing stuff she wrote in extreme circumstances which I do not suffer under today. Hmmm. Ritchie Valens died at 17. His star was rising. He had a whole life of potential ahead of him. I’ve lived with a life of potential ahead of me and I still own it. I should think about getting rid of that potential and make something of it…
Buddy Holly died with Valens. Ditto last statement. I play basketball nearly every day. Well, at least I work out on the court for an hour each day. Reggie Lewis died in his prime at 27. A key member of the Boston Celtics who had lost Len Bias just a few years earlier. Hmmm. I’m still playing…they’re not…
Jim Croce(30), Andy Gibb(30), Karen Carpenter(32), Stevie Ray Vaughn(35), and this list could go on for quite a while. Talk about people who would have stepped up and out and added something awesome to this world…John Lennon(40)…ok I won’t go on with the singers… I love music. I even compose music and write lyrics… hmmm.
Abe Lincoln(56). Now, isn’t that a kick in the butt? I’ve lived longer than Abraham Lincoln. Never thought about that much until now. He had a vision. He had a purpose. He desired to impact his world. I have a vision. I have a purpose. I have a desire to impact my world…hmmm
Many of my friends, Herm, Humberto, Jim, and a host of others are gone. People I never dreamed would not be here in this life sharing time if not presence together in my life. We were all supposed to be together in my heart and mind. Even though our paths stretched out in various directions, we were supposed to get back together at reunions, on Facebook, by email or phone. They were supposed to be here.
I find my three brushes with death curious. I realize I’m in the Twilight Zone of accidental survival. By all counts, my 1999 episode in surgery should have been the end. I fought going to the hospital like a balking mule. The ambulance ride is still fairly vivid in my mind mainly because the pain was so very intense. The events before, during, and after the surgery have taken on a new and different meaning and perspective. It was a complete accident that I live.
Ok, I don’t REALLY believe that, but the idea contains an element of truth. None of three incidents saw me heroically coming to my own rescue. In all three I was down and out. I did redirect my life after the 1999 peritonitis incident. These words are the product of that redirect. I took on writing full time.
That’s a lie. The intention was “full time.” The reality was half-assed. No, seriously, I took on writing with intense fervor and I pursued writing with all diligence of intention, yet I never really placed what I wanted to do with words in any “real” context. I’m a good writer. A very good writer. An award-winning author. Five times over.
And I still do not apply myself like I know I can. I still don’t reach for galaxies and nebulas (forget just simple stars) like I know I can. I still don’t take the extreme risks like I know I should.
Or do I? Each of the people I listed above who died before they completed their “missions” in life, would have loved to get more years, days, even minutes, I’m sure. They lost them as we all will. This concept, this line of thinking is nothing new. I’ve read many people who write about “live like there’s no tomorrow” and all that. I presume we all get to a place where we realize we will never accomplish everything we desire to accomplish in life and we do one of two things.
We quit and give ourselves over to apathy, sitcoms, and whiling away the hours waiting for it all to end.
We redouble our efforts. We prioritize our goals. We reach into our life experience. We step into something larger than ourselves. We step back into our dreams. We search out the mechanisms which will make things work in the right direction. We continue to collect our mangled selves from the dirt and dust we’ve fallen to for the gazillionth time.
And hopefully, if we work our minds and hearts well, we rediscover our peace of solitude, our thrill of vision, our passion for accomplishment, and our dogged determination to never surrender, never give up, always pick ourselves up no matter the severity of the blow that struck us down, and we rise each day with purpose. Action. Motivation.
I am an accident of survival. I can bail out of that thought process or I can believe there’s a reason. Some reprieve granted thrice over through no effort on my part. I sense I’m here for some reason. Each time I help another person claim authorship, each time I hand them their first copy of their book and they break down in tears of joy and accomplishment, I feel it. Each time I help motivate an author to strive for their dreams and their passion and they go for it, I feel it. Each time an author accomplishes their bucket list item and dies (yes, its happened in a most profound way… another story for another time…), I feel it.
Annelies Marie Frank wrote these amazing, semi-prophetic words – “When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived! But, and that’s a big question, will I ever be able to write something great?” Semi-prophetic in that her diary ended up being that “something great.”
I would like to speak for all writers, but I will keep the focus solely on me so as to speak in total truth. I write because I have to. I write because I know within me there is something bigger than myself. Within my heart and soul and mind roils words and concepts which may impact my world. Whether its posthumous or not is irrelevant. The bottom line is this – I know I have not come close to writing my best. My opus. My holy grail if you will. I know that writing remains trapped behind self-confidence and self-esteem issues which cloud my path and generate fears.
Do you struggle like this? Is this something your life reflects in its own special set of circumstances? Just because we don’t have a clearcut path does not mean we cannot make one. In fact, I’m in favor of not following the well-worn trails. I’d rather forge somewhere new. Something different. Something tantalizing. Something real as opposed to the cloak-and-dagger crap spit out today full of illusion and hollow meaning.
We need to say nice things to ourselves because individually, we truly stand as the only one listening. The voices in our head tell us many things, many if not most being negative. We need to change that dynamic. We need to self-talk confidence and positivity in the face of daunting tasks and fears and failures. Like someone said, (was it Edison?) each failure is just one more way that doesn’t work! Each failure is a lesson to learn.
Let’s not allow our lives to bleed out into the diffuse and murky darkness of time. Let’s not be accidental survivors over and over without recognizing each survival delivers another opportunity knocking on your life’s legacy door. Let’s not continue our internal voice set on negative. Say nice things to yourself. Build your legacies and your dreams into reality. Overcome the survival mentality and soar into the essence of life’s gift – we’re still here and we may still move forward.
Words for myself this 19th day of December, 2017. Hopefully, they work for you as well…
Number 13 Dream
This morning while struggling with that ‘do-I-get-up-and-write-so-as-to-accomplish-something-or-do-I-chase-sleep-feeling,’ I glance at myself with a different eye. I question whether or not I am a fraud. I teach people how to pull their books out of their heads/hearts and onto the page. This is what I do for a living, yet I’ve not produced a finished, published book in years.
Yes, I’ve finished a number of manuscripts. Six full length books as a matter of fact. I have not compiled and edited them though. They simply gather digital dust in the electronic membranes of my computers’ software containment devices. They’re stacking up like a runaway game of Tetris.
I then imagine me, walking away from the accusation of fraud. The vision of me stands quite clear. I know what I am doing. I know what I look like. Hey, I lay nestled in some sort of dream state, ok? Knowing what you look like is important – as I soon find out.
I walk away. Away from writing. Away from pressure. Away from questions. Away from accusations. Away from fear. Away from uncertainty.
People followed me. Lots of people. I note them clearly. They follow each serpentine zig and zag I produce. I want them to leave me alone. I note where writing resides. This may sound strange, and I assure you I do no drugs nor do I drink. I know my writing path involves walking back toward me.
Two me’s? So I continue to avoid me (the me where writing power resides) with my evasive walking. The people following me are likely book characters. The people appear quite focused. They dance in tune with my every step.
They hang on my directional changes as though they are part of me (the one running away). Thousands of characters are hinted at in my vision. Hundreds are present in my mind. It is as though they know before I do where my feet will land. Every single footfall which changes direction in any manner, they follow in perfect sync. There is no delay. No degradation of movement. Simply a flowing dance of walking away from myself and not knowing where to go and not knowing how to get there with all these characters in tow.
My characters do not herd me, yet I know that any single one of them will point back to me, the narrator, the one with which you are communing at this very moment. Then comes the odd observation, as if all this were not odd enough, which hits me like a feather bomb.
I am female. The me running away that is.
Black straight hair which falls past my shoulders and cradles a thin, attractive face. A lean, feminine body which knows how to walk. Isn’t it amazing how some women can walk and ooze that feminine mystique with no effort? They defy the law of conservation of energy or some such scientific law. You know the one where every motion requires energy of some sort. Some women can exude that womanly energy in their walks and mannerisms without one iota of energy spent.
In this muse-driven moment of contemplation of my writing demise and prerequisite plunge into the abyss of under-accomplishment, I recognize my femininity. I cease running away and walk directly back to me.
Looking at this now, I see the complexities wrapped up in the narrative I’m attempting to describe. No, I’m not a woman trapped in a man’s body. If I were, I’d be totally lesbian. So I would be a woman trapped in a man’s body craving other women. That’s too screwed up to even address.
No, the truth is, I have the ability to access my emotional side at any point in time and any circumstance. This is what makes me a good writer. I can access the softer, more beautiful side of who I am in an instant. Without effort. Without apology.
Another thing I draw from this experience is that I recognize epiphany and I often do not capitalize on the experience. All writers know to keep a pen and paper handy or some sort of writing device. My laptop was on the floor beside me when I woke. It slept as I craved to do, simply there at my disposal. Hence, I used my favorite writing tool.
Here’s the big take away. That beautiful raven-haired-me stops directly in front of my face, as if to say, “So, what the hell is it going to be? Are you going to lie there and grab another hour or two of forgettable sleep punctuated by a couple trips to the bathroom, or are you going to dance with me?”
She’s not quite so eloquent in her accusing stare. More like, “Motherfucker, if you back down again and opt for the easy way out of this, you injure us both.”
I do not wish to hurt her. Hell, I don’t wish to hurt anyone. And I recognize I no longer desire to hurt myself.
She just stands there. I half-heartedly agree to write. I show no movement toward my computer. After all, it’s cold here in Utah at oh-dark-thirty. My daughter keeps her A/C at 65 to make sure it stays cold, even in winter. My dark-haired self says nary a word.
Even though I say she speaks, her communication does not contain words. Those blue eyes and that raven hair and that knowledge of who I am says everything. She knows me better than I know myself.
My laziness exposed, I reach over and lift the laptop to its namesake. I’ve been writing this post while lying on my back with my knees upright and the urge to pee driving me to key faster. I’ve been marveling at my gender change in this dream. I’m marveling at the characters’ connection to her/me. I know that time is not real yet the measurement of time does denote something.
I see her now only as a movie reel scene. She drives my fingers and helps me along in this writing. We are in concert and she is happy with me once again. She knows and notes with sadness that I will shortly get up to pee. She knows I may not return to the narrative for a while.
Yet, as we key this, she whispers to me that her life is meaningless, without point or purpose, if I continue to choose to reject her. She needs me to live. She desires to live. She not only wants to live, she cries from neglect.
Her minion characters, the ones who drive her as mad as they do me, all morph into something beautiful, something ethereal, something mesmerizing, when she and I play. I lose her. I lose the better part of me when I turn her down.
She owns many descriptors. She’s my muse. She embodies my empathy. She’s everything I want in a woman and have not been able to find. She promises she’s that caring, loving tough girl who will find a way.
“Find a way where or out of what?” I ask her. She says it does not matter. Anything. She defines my creativity. My muse. My life. That part of me which silent-screams for me to step into life and make something happen. That part of me far too neglected, although with the volume of written material I’ve produced in my life so far, many would say I’m doing it. I’m successful.
Well, world, I am not, unless I continue to take up letters and form words which form concepts and storylines and do as Ray Bradbury told us all – to find joy within our writing selves and from that joy, impact our world.
I know this writing may read as insanity. In a way I suppose this written creation sounds crazy. It’s been said that writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. I believe that to be an unfair accusation or observation. Writing is not like schizophrenia as much as it’s like Sybil and the many voices in one’s head.
Oops. She’s tapping me on the shoulder now, realing me in. Yes, I misspelled “realing” on purpose. She’s bringing me back to the real world. She’s telling me there’s no need to explain further. Those who will read with an open mind will get it. Those who will mock won’t.
None of what other people think changes her hand in mine. The seal-the-deal-girlfriend who strolls my path to harmony. The lover who goes ecstatically wild when someone suggests I go fuck myself.
She laughed at that last line and is begging me not to explain it to those slow of wit and depth. She’s as crazy as I want to be. A loon who loves laughter and pain and sorrow and joy because all make up the fabric of life and writing. She wrote that, not me.
She smiles at me a loving smile. The smile where someone truly appreciates your acknowledgment. She kisses me on my inner cheek. She loves me.
And I love her.
Write! Yes, I’m speaking to you – the reader! Dammit, stop screwing around and dodging your muse. I don’t care if your muse is male, female, Andromedan, alien, animal. Write. Connect with who you are. Write real. Write true. Write without apology. Let the naysayers come. They’re all stuck in their private hells of not knowing what connection to creativity can mean to your life.
We know the truth. We are a couple who fight over storylines and characters and concepts. We also walk hand in hand for our lifetime. We will be the lovers on the page. We will be the ones who not only enjoy deeply that passionate kiss, we will in fact achieve simultaneous orgasm when we complete a work worthy of our intellect and imagination. We even pillow talk afterward about what is next on our horizon.
“We need to end this one,” she’s urging at this point. I don’t wish to let go. She’s right of course. Seems she always is. I don’t mind that …much…
Inking Your Soul
Your book. Your blog post. Your story. Your life.
There exist uncountable reasons and ideas to write. There exist innumerable debilitating explanations as to why we don’t write. In the end, either motivation and inspiration win out, either we give ourselves permission to accomplish our desire, or we distract ourselves with life.
When I consult with aspiring writers, whether seasoned or no, I bring a somewhat counter-culture view of creativity and how to access the wealth residing within ourselves. I spent many thousands of dollars listening to talking heads at conferences who invariably would state something to the effect of, “This is how you _______.”
Fill in the blank. “Write a book. Write poetry. Organize your thoughts. Learn the craft of writing. Etc.”
On the surface, these appear as noble topics. Someone truly desires to help others write. I do not doubt a good number of their intentions. Some, more than I care to think, stood as pompous asses spewing their drivel because no one knew better than they. Of course, I’m certain some might say the same of me.
What I’ve discovered is this. There are over 7.5 billion people on this planet. If each of us sat behind our pen, computer, whatever, and wrote a book, there would then exist 7.5 billion different ways to get the book done. No two would approach every single aspect in precisely the same way.
Yes, we could assemble similarities together to form groups like the write-every-day group or the write-when-the-muse-grabs-you-by-the-throat group or how about one I’m a member of, the I-write-because-I-have-no-choice group.
Diversity. The linchpin of new, fresh work. Homogenization and repetition. The scourge and death knell to creativity and revitalization.
Our very pay structure in writing does more to squash creativity and new ideas than anything else I’ve observed. The money-paying beast desires to bring in more money and tracks trends. Do you know how many variations of the movie Ground Hog Day are out there? It’s shocking how they’ve pillaged the idea and made almost exact replicas of the movie simply to generate more income.
I do not wish to rant today on the squelching of creativity, but I feel it’s important to at least mention to you aspiring writers out there in the world to look around you. Wake up. See how we’re herded. Go counter-culture if you can. Bring us fresh ideas and new material.
Each day our eyes lift from their slumber, each day we stir our consciousness awake, presents a new opportunity to express our truth. Our vision. Our passion. Our soul.
Will you compromise your truth, vision, passion, soul, simply because someone else would not agree with you?
Then why write? This industry is likely one of the absolute toughest in which to make a living. If you must bastardize your talents along the way just to make a buck, why bother? Step into some other line of work.
Today springs upon you, at this moment, the opportunity for ideas to germinate. Passions to arouse. Fantastical dreams and hard truths and wrenching pains and farcical comedies and delicious joys simply await your head, your heart, your soul to express them in print. I urge you, do not dilute your visions for the sake of others. Rather explode your ideas, not as nuclear bombs but universe shattering bombs. Go big or go home. Gift your imagination with the respect it is due by delivering your words without apology to the page.
Make new worlds on your pages. Help usher in a new renaissance to replace what our pathetic money machine chucks out containing the same drivel in slightly different packages like literary water torture. The bottom line will always stand for me – will you tell me a story, or your truth, preferably both, with passion, fervor, and a commitment to own the words you ink. Will you stand that brave?
You own every faculty you need to write your truth. Even in fiction. The only question, truly – “Will you dare to step into your destiny as a writer?”
Please do not write what others tell you to write. Write your book. Ink your soul to the page. Fiction or nonfiction, it does not matter. Bring your life to the writing. Bring life to the writing.
It’s a new day. Ink your soul…impact your world.
Overcoming Writing Fear
I’ve come to disagree with the “fight or flight” model of reaction to fear. There’s an insidious aspect to life which this scenario overlooks. The third option stands true with respect to work-related fears, relationship fears, violence fears, and yes, even writing fears.
Call this option what you will – hunkering down, ostrich syndrome, paralyzation – the bottom line is, if you’re not running or fighting, you qualify for this category.
There are times when this tactic may be beneficial, like gambling on playing dead in a terrorist attack or passively allowing an opportunity to pass you by in order to gain a better opportunity down the line or melting into the woodwork to avoid a fight so you may hopefully escape the situation.
The inherent problem here is that this ploy is always high risk, low return. Hunkering down most often will kill any momentum you may have attained and tends to leave you in a position of weakness and subjugation. This writing is not solely from observation but far too much experience as well.
I examined my potential today and find it so far off the charts I am stunned. This is at once thrilling and disappointing.
Here’s where this relates to writing a book. Our natures appear to be trained to the ostrich mentality. We will defer working on our books for far too many reasons, most of which root in fear.
I’m not talking procrastination. The person playing dead is not procrastinating. The person shutting down in an abusive relationship in order to avoid trouble is not procrastinating. I’m talking fear-based motivation, not laziness.
Action always wins the day. Action will almost always be your best answer. Either fight or flee. You must make either of these two positions a “choice.” The ostrich approach almost qualifies as an absence of choice – an apathy. This position does not require high-level decision-making power.
Your percentages of success tend to be much improved if you fight or flee. That’s my opinion and experience. It’s far too easy in life to do nothing, to allow apathy to rule.
Do you aspire to write a book? I’m telling you true, action wins. Action gets you the touchdown. The finish line. The buzzer-beater. This is why we have coaches in sports.
We have coaches in writing books because accomplishing the task will always require action. You need to stay motivated. You need a game plan. You need to fight. You don’t need to lay down and play possum.
My passion lies in helping people write their books. That’s my joy, my happy place. That’s where I am in motion best. If this makes sense to you and you need help getting your manuscript written, contact me. We’ll overcome your fears and objections which hold you back, and we’ll get that book written.
Want some help? Here’s a link to my book: Go Write and You Won’t Go Wrong – Write Your Book in 30 Days!