All posts tagged: Writing

Inspiration

You don’t need inspiration. Being creatively stimulated is… well, it is necessary. But some people believe they should wait for inspiration before they begin writing. Inspiration needs to be stoked, prodded, and probed. It should not be your muse. Inspiration should be your therapist. Go to it for answers or, at least, for a sounding board. If you find yourself waiting for inspiration, then you should stop waiting and begin your search. Provoke your creativity. Work–that’s right work–at being inspired. Otherwise, you will always be at the mercy of inspiration. This can’t be because you will feel like you don’t want to write. And you have to write. Inspiration is beside the point. Don’t let it have power over you. A writer should always be able to sit down and put words on a page. Think of it as breaking a wild horse. Tame your inspiration and bring it under control. Then, go galloping through the fields. The point is that inspiration should be something you ride into the sunset. Don’t let it ride you. …

Murakami

The interplay between mood and tone is what always brings me back to Haruki Murakami. I can see how some might complain that it makes his books too similar. But I don’t see a whole lot of people complaining about his writing. I admire the fact that the work carries a similar attitude throughout his extensive bibliography. I have to imagine that a body of work that shows consistency and growth would be an author’s dream. I came to Murakami like most—through Norwegian Wood. Since then, I’ve read just about everything else. I think A Wild Sheep Chase is my second favorite work he’s produced. (That may be, in part, because of what I know about how it was written.) My favorite book by Haruki Murakami is What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. I’ve actually only listened to it on audiobook, but I’ve probably heard to it a dozen times because, for a time, I played it repeatedly while jogging. The book details Murakami’s journey as a marathon runner. But it includes some reflections on his …

Flash

Writing flash fiction was one of the ways I trained myself to write a book. I made a few attempts at writing a full-length novel just over ten years ago and failed on multiple occasions. The problem was I hadn’t fully prepared myself to write a book. First off, I hadn’t created an outline. Secondly, I didn’t know my characters. I just knew that I wanted to write a book, so I dove right in. I don’t necessarily think this was a mistake. The alternative may have been to continually talk about wanting to write a novel without actually sitting down and doing it. Instead, I envisioned the first scene, had a general idea of where I was going and proceeded to fail miserably. A couple of years after my first attempts, I encountered flash fiction and sat down to write a novel-length work of microfiction. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was the perfect training for writing novels. I got to the point where I could write about 1,000 words (or …

Full-time

I can vividly recall the moment I decided I wanted to become a writer. I was sitting in a tan corduroy chair inside a cramped college dorm room. I was rereading Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. It was at that moment that I realized I saw the world just as Huxley did. And I thought this might mean I should write novels, too. Of course, at the time, I was also very interested in photography and film and understanding that a degree in Creative Writing might not pay any bills, I ultimately decided to study Mass Communications. It took me some time to come back around to writing books, but ever since then, I’ve wanted to write full time. Even then, I understood writing novels would most likely mean writing other things in support of that endeavor. But the reality is I’m not entirely sure I want to write articles for a magazine like Cat Fancy just to say that I’m a full-time writer. (I’m allergic to cats.) At times, I fear this means …

Books

I sometimes prefer to read a physical book over the digital version on an e-reader. But sometimes I don’t and I’m just fine with an ebook. So, the question I’ve had recently is whether or not a collection of physical books is necessary. At present, I have a collection of works by Michael Crichton, Anthony Bourdain, Haruki Murakami, and a few by Aldous Huxley. I also have a smattering of books by other authors. But I tend to return those others to my local bookstore for store credit. Earlier this year, I had my heart set on an Everyman’s Library set for display on my bookcase. For the most part, this collection would have included books I’ve read and want to read again. But there were also several others I was planning to read. At this point, it’s hard for me to foresee what I’m going to want. It might be made more apparent when I land in a home… with a library. Either way, I know I’ll continue to want some books in my …

Social Media

I have mixed feelings when it comes to social media. I’m not interested in most of the tweets or posts that appear on the various platforms. There are exceptions, but for the most part, I think it’s a waste of time, and I find myself perusing social media sites only when I’m too brain dead to do anything else. So, maybe it’s not a total waste of time. It plays the part of a numbing agent. When it comes down to it, the notion that a writer should create a social media platform before publishing a book seems a little bit absurd. Some people create a social media platform based on a blog, but I’m not particularly interested in any of those. (That may sound hypocritical since this is a blog, but I’m primarily writing this for me. If other people take notice, that’s great, but that’s not necessarily the aim.) I tend to pay more attention to the social media accounts of individuals who’ve already written books (primarily the ones I’ve read) or of …

Filmmaker

For most of my twenties, I actively pursued film directing as a vocation. I wrote several full-length screenplays. And I wrote and directed a number of short films that debuted in festivals. One of those shorts was even promoted on an IFC program titled Media Lab Shorts Uploaded. But after one particularly disastrous shoot, in which the film I was working on wasn’t even finished, I began to think I’d left my true vocation behind. I wanted to be a novelist, and that seemed to be showing in the stress I felt on set as well as an increasing lackluster when it came to corralling actors. Before that shoot, I bought a Krasnogorsk-3 so I could try shooting 16mm film. It was shipped in via eBay from Ukraine. And it’s the same camera I believed was used by undergraduates at USC film school. That camera is still sitting on my bookshelf. And I’ve kept it there over the past decade for good reason. My dream of becoming a filmmaker is bound up inside of it. …

Huxley

All writers are inspired–at one point or another–to write. But I’m not at all sure many of them can recall the exact moment when they definitively decided to become a writer. (On the other hand, maybe every writer does.) I was in college, sitting in a tan corduroy armchair reading a paperback copy of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. There was an oversized “Devil’s Haircut” poster on the wall behind me and forest green, low pile carpet under my feet. It was past time for a good vacuuming. It was my second reading of that book; the first had come in high school. I was a fan of it in the tenth grade, but by the time I got to college, I’d decided I needed to reread it. From Brave New World, I went on to Brave New World Revisited. This reading led to Island, The Doors of Perception, and Heaven and Hell. However, it was the caste system (Alphas, Betas, Deltas, etc.) described in Huxley’s seminal work that gave me my eureka moment. I …