Why You Should Write with the Door Closed

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Something’s wrong with me. For the past few weeks, I can’t seem to write anything; substantial or not. Stories form in my mind as a clear, still image, which means that the best I can get out of my head right now are single, mostly trivial, scenes.

Not good. To create a complete, compelling story, I need at least a vision of an important key-scene.

There’s another thing. What I do right now is worry too much about the end results; what readers or other writers might think when they saw my work. Completely ridiculous, of course, because by doing that I prevent myself from having any work to show in the first place.

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The Georges Say Cut the Crap and Write Better

In his 1946 essay, George Orwell warned us that inflated prose can muddy our writing so badly its meaning becomes vague. Pretentious diction, it seems, serves no other purpose than to make the writer appear more important and knowledgeable.

The writer either has a meaning and cannot express it, or he inadvertently says something else, or he is almost indifferent as to whether his words mean anything or not. This mixture of vagueness and sheer incompetence is the most marked characteristic of modern English prose, and especially of any kind of political writing.

Another George, the legendary George Carlin, didn’t need a lengthy essay to express the same concern. Filled with Carlin’s typical charm and wit, this hilarious performance is guaranteed to both educate and entertain:

As a final note, considering the current state of humanity, I think we could use more people like both Georges.

That is all.

Writers: 5 Remedies for Inferiority Complex

Now we know that Voldemort is actually a teenage girl, it’s time to face a harsher truth: so are writers.

Maybe I’m generalizing. Maybe I’m the only writer who has mood swings like a teenage girl in puberty. Sometimes I believe my writing is better than many published contemporary authors. Most of the time, however, I doubt I will ever measure up against them. Continue reading

Writing Is Meditation

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Today I had an epiphany. Not the religious kind, more like a Joycean one. You see, I like to meditate. When I do, I don’t see lights or saints. I merely observe my breath as it goes in and out. Sounds simple, right? Well, many people think writing is simple. Sometimes, maybe. Most of the time though, it’s hard. This morning I was writing after a meditation session, when I remembered something a fellow meditator once shared:

A student went to his meditation teacher and said, “My meditation is horrible! I feel so distracted, or my legs ache, or I’m constantly falling asleep. It’s just horrible!”

“It will pass,” the teacher said.

A week later, the student came back to his teacher. “My meditation is wonderful! I feel so aware, so peaceful, so alive! It’s just wonderful!”

“It will pass,” the teacher said.

This is an example of anicca, which basically means: Nothing lasts forever. I believe it applies to writing as much as to anything else. Continue reading