Shut Up and Be Creative

photo-creativity

Stop ranting on Twitter.

Stop getting caught up in a whirlwind of rage.

Stop getting offended by every word.

GO CREATE.

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You Never Know Who’s Watching

When I started posting my artwork online at Behance, I didn’t get much response over it. A few friends looked it over, some had some nice comments for me, and it garnered a few appreciations from the community. But for the most part, nobody encouraged me to keep going. People aren’t generally wired for that. Most of us go about our daily lives looking for ways to encourage ourselves and enrich our lives. This isn’t selfishness. It just is how we keep ourselves going in life. If you were to only focus on others, you’d neglect yourself.

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Our World Now

So we filled our cups to the brim with hatred. And we cast ignorance upon you if you didn’t agree. And with any misstep we wouldn’t bury you, but you felt six feet under. We’d take your job, your reputation, and – if an apology was granted – your soul as well. And you would be the cautionary tale that we would spin cycle in our 24 hour news coverage. And the pundits would bemoan your mistake, and assassinate your character, and impugn your very existence. Because we were right, and we always would be. And you would be wrong, and you would be evil, a relic of an ancient past full of pagan ritual and superstition.

Day 09 – NaNoWriMo “Idea Storm”

Total Word Count: 1,668.

I didn’t get a lot done yesterday. I didn’t get a bunch of words typed up. I didn’t write out characters. I didn’t outline my story.

But I talked with some people. I bounced my ideas off them, and, in return, I got a lot of amazing new character depth points and story plots. I got so much inspiration from my friends that I think my story could now become a large novel instead of some short stories. It allowed me to make my ideas better than they were before. (I was also able to write down some of them since I’m likely to forget.)

Keep this in mind during your writings: you may be able to generate more ideas by sharing with some trusted people. You may get a feel for what your audience wants/needs from your work. These idea incubators might ask questions you hadn’t thought of before. Those questions might also create new ideas or take you in a direction you weren’t looking.

So ask around. Gather some new ideas. Use the ones you like!

Assuming

I make assumptions. I connect things together, regardless of the validity of such connection. Like when I was a boy, I try to put the circle peg in the round hole. But sometimes, I try to put the square peg in the round hole; just to see. Really, that’s how I learn.

I used to make assumptions in my mind, and that would be it. But I’m bolder now. I’m bolder now because I found that when I speak my assumptions into the air, someone inevitably comes to contradict me.

People like to contradict. Correction: people like to be right. I like to be correct too, but I also like to learn. And when someone is contradicting me, they may feel better about being correct, but I feel even better than them. Because I learned something.

Writing is an exercise in assumption. When I write characters that differ from myself, I’m making assumptions. I’m guessing about how a character will make decisions, love others, talk to his boss, etc.

I also learn when people around me correct my writing. I learn something new about humanity, and – as an added benefit – something new about my characters and story. When I allow someone to make an observation, my view of the bigger picture gets just a little bit clearer, and I’m thankful for it.

But sometimes you’re wrong, and it’s painful to listen to your drivel.

Blocked

If there is a muse, then there must surely be demonic forces that act as staunch forces against creativity. Whereas the muse comes with serendipitous gifts of ideation, the demons are there to muddy the water and steal. These waters are where confidence goes to be run through the mud.

Who are you to think you can share the naked truth and people would pay you to do it?

Or something like that. It is not as if the words won’t flow. But there’s a dam, and the words are just behind it. I feel vaguely aware that some sort of inspiration lies behind it, but I’m stuck here in the mud where the waters once were. And the voices just swirl around me.

The time of the author is over. Like most creative professions, the money has moved on and unless you are King, Patterson or the next Tolkien, you may as well **** off and try your hand at a ‘real’ vocation.

But the words are back there. The awareness makes it all the more painful. The words are there, and they could be good. Great. Fantastic even. But the voices are over here, and they say the words are shit. And what’s here is real. Even if I could get over the dam – or open it up somehow – I would be left with a bunch of words and people would nod nicely at them and reject me with an ever-so-soft kindness. The type of kindness that numbs the heart. The patronizing kindly tone of a disappointed parent.

So I stay away from the dam. Walk away in the opposite direction even. The words are there, but maybe they just don’t matter anymore. They’ll never pay for my daughter’s braces, offset the mortgage on my small (aging) house, or even see the light of day through the cracks of the massive mountain of other words piled into a cultural heap all around us.

I look at the dam from the distance. I stare at the icon holding my word processor’s ancient tomb. I could open it, but all I’d find were embalmed remains.