here, there, everywhere… on the outside, looking inside
self identity: writer, poet, screenwriter, storyteller, novelist, mystery writer, visual artist, audio artist, film maker, photographer, musician, lyricist, composer, artist, polymath, animal behaviorist, amateur psychologist, editor, illustrator, animal whisperer, professional psychotherapy client: an emotional, psychological, physical and spiritual confessional. an adventure “down the rabbit hole.” every session is an excursion in astonishment and exploration, mining the depths of the soul and ripping out the demons. exorcising the harm within the wounded child.
student: psychology: bipolar disorder, depression, personalities, hypomania, shame, emotions: anger, joy, laughter, love, jealousy, passion, fear, rage, pain. attachment, suicide, grief, introversion, highly sensitive persons, addiction, sleep disorders, childhood sexual abuse, physical abuse, separation anxiety, transference, trauma, detachment, countertransference, repression, guilt, agoraphobia, panic disorder, anxiety disorder, obsessive/compulsive disorder, racing thoughts, neurosis, psychosis, hallucinations, grandiosity.
student: screenwriting, film making, film editing, sound editing, creative writing, painting
personal identity: lesbian, free thinker, reader, animal lover, empath, listener, dreamer, imaginative, cinephile, anglophile, advocate for art, telekinetic, spiritual humanist, survivor of life, political progressive, progressive thinker, open minded, defend beliefs, defend justice, fight injustice, humorist, philosopher
passions: writing, films, music, books, reading, photography, art, theatre: plays, musicals, opera
write: poetry, screenplays, novels, short stories, blog posts, essays, editorial opinions, comments, song lyrics, tweets.
love techno: laptop computer, kindle touch, walkman mp3, hdtv, cell phones, dvr.
love: animals, s/o, friends, nature, trees, flowers, plants, water: lakes, rivers, streams, waterfalls, oceans, beaches, ponds, seas, creeks, rain
love communicating: texting, email, chatting, blogging, comments, twitter, facebook, tumblr, wordpress, debating, talking
phase two of “about” is to take on my greatest passion which is “writing.” i was told today by my psychotherpist that i am addicted. get this, what it is i am addicted to. my laptop computer. i cannot stay away from her. it’s a compulsion. i need to write. when you hear the words: “just one more thing, that’s all i have to do, then i will be finished.”
if a recorder were turned on just prior to dinner or when it’s time to leave for an appointment or time to go up to bed, that sentence would be uttered numerous times and dinner would be cold; i’d be late for my appointment or totally get the time wrong and think i had to leave at a certain time when actually the time i thought i had to leave was the time of the appointment. i did that, yes i did.
going to bed can turn into 3 to 4 hours later. when i am editing, i have a compulsive need to tweek every minutae. what i present has to be perfect but it never is. my eyes always miss something. how many times do i hit edit? also, i compulsively hit save .draft. i may be partially superstitious but mostly i am afraid my computer will crash at any moment, without warning of course.
my laptop is new and yet has crashed three times where it went totally weird on me. the screen started snowing and there was a loud buzz until windows flashed somethine across the screen for me to read. but, of course, no one can read that quickly. so, you’re never exactly sure what just happened.
so, i am suppose to spend less time with my computer. it can’t be done. it sits next to me on the end table and wants to be picked up and turned on. and there is so much that i need to do on her. so many projects.
too many projects, my therapist thinks. she wants me to make lists. i hate making lists.
so, back to my passion for writing. i came across a list (this list i do not hate. actually, i don’t entirely hate lists, just ones that make demands on your time to do projects that you know you do not want to do) of professional authors who each had a point to make about writing. with some editing by me, i honed down the list and hopefully made it more concise. the authors offered up a gem of wisdom they learned through their own experiences with writing. the list follows.
Writing Tips from Professional Writers
Inspiring, informative, amusing, entertaining wisdom and quotes from top writers in all genres.
Ernest Hemingway: Use short sentences and short first paragraphs. words he lived by.
Mark Twain: Substitute “damn” every time you want to use the word “very.” your editor would delete the “damn,” and leave the writing as it should be.
Anton Chekhov: Show, don’t tell. “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
Ray Bradbury: Learn to take criticism well and discount empty praise, or “accept rejection and reject acceptance.”
George Orwell: use an active voice rather than a passive one and eliminate longer words when shorter ones will work just as well.
Anais Nin: “The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.”
Maurice Sendak: Keep revising. “I never spent less than two years on the text of one of my picture books, even though each of them is approximately 380 words long. Only when the text is finished … do I begin the pictures.”
Friedrich Nietzsche: A good writer possesses not only his own spirit but also the spirit of his friends.
Name Withheld Due to Lack of Innocence: “Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it.”
Stephen King: “Read a lot and write a lot.” Reading and understanding different styles is integral to finding your own style.
John Grisham: Keep your day job. find your career outside of writing. Experience life, suffering, and love to be able to write effectively.
Oscar Wilde: “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh. Otherwise they’ll kill you.”
John Steinbeck: “I’ve always tried out material on my dogs first.” Make sure that above all, you are happy with your work…and see if the dogs stay awake.
Flannery O’Connor: Sometimes you need to stir the emotions to be heard. “I am not afraid that the book will be controversial, I’m afraid it will not be controversial.”
Isaac Asimov: Use humor effectively.” Jokes of the proper kind, properly told, can do more to enlighten questions of politics, philosophy, and literature than any number of dull arguments.”
Lillian Hellman: Trust your instincts. “If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don’t listen to writers talking about writing or themselves.”
Doris Lessing: “I don’t know much about creative writing programs. But they’re not telling the truth if they don’t teach, one, that writing is hard work, and, two, that you have to give up a great deal of life, your personal life, to be a writer.”
William Faulkner: “A writer needs three things, experience, observation, and imagination, any two of which, at times any one of which, can supply the lack of the others.”
Margaret Atwood: Don’t be afraid of failure. “A ratio of failures is built into the process of writing. The wastebasket has evolved for a reason.”
Richard Bach: Never stop trying. “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”
Isabel Allende: Follow your passion, despite the obstacles. “I couldn’t write a novel sitting in a car but I could write short stories. The advantage to this is because with a short story you write fragments. In a couple of weeks you have a story and then you do some more. If you really want to do something you do it in the most awkward circumstances, of course.”
Kurt Vonnegut: “Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water” and “Every sentence must do one of two things–reveal character or advance the action.”
Roald Dahl: “…above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
Louis L’Amour: “A plot is nothing but a normal human situation that keeps arising again and again….normal human emotions–envy, ambition, rivalry, love, hate, greed, and so on.”
John Irving: Know the story. knowing the basic outline of the entire story before you begin writing the first paragraph.
F. Scott Fitzgerald: “Writers aren’t exactly people…they’re a whole lot of people trying to be one person.”
Jack Kerouac: ‘know yourself and write for yourself with abandonment.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Write about what you know. “If a man writes a book, let him set down only what he knows. I have guesses enough of my own.”
Leo Tolstoy: “Drama, instead of telling us the whole of a man’s life, must place him in such a situation, tie such a knot, that when it is untied, the whole man is visible.”
Katherine Anne Porter: “If I didn’t know the ending of a story, I wouldn’t begin. I always write my last line, my last paragraph, my last page first.
W. Somerset Maugham: Make your own rules. “There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”
Vladimir Nabokov: The careful construction of details can make all the difference in your writing. “Caress the detail, the divine detail.”
E.L. Doctorow: “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
Creativity during Writer’s Block
Annie Dillard: “Writing sentences is difficult whatever their subject. It is no less difficult to write sentences in a recipe than sentences in Moby Dick.
Alice Walker: Recommend meditation for writing, as well as life.you might as well write Moby Dick.” No matter what, write.
William Wordsworth: Write with passion. “Fill your paper with the breathing’s of your heart.”
John Cheever: Looking inwards and learning from yourself provides great material for writing. “The need to write comes from the need to make sense of one’s life and discover one’s usefulness.”
Francis Bacon: Always carry something to write on. “A man would do well to carry a pencil in his pocket and write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought are commonly the most valuable and should be secured, they seldom return.”
Jack London: “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” Sometimes you need to actively seek your sources of inspiration.
Maya Angelou: Follow your instincts and do what you feel you must. “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.
Virginia Woolf: “Arrange whatever pieces come your way.” Sometimes you have to recognize what you have and make the best of it.
Charles Dickens: Play with your ideas, talk with them, and coax them into a fully-formed creation. “An idea, like a ghost, must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself.”
Truman Capote: Editing is as important as the writing. “I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald: “Cut out all those exclamation marks. An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own joke.
”Toni Morrison: Remember that writing is always about communication. “in the writing world, expand articulation, rather than close it.”
EB White: Just write. “I admire anybody who has the guts to write anything at all.”
Samuel Johnson: Keep your writing interesting. “The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar and familiar things new.”
Oscar Wilde: Be unpredictable. “consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.”
Inspiring, informative, amusing, entertaining wisdom and quotes.
Robert Frost: Poetry offers many levels for readers. Capitalize on all you can. “A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom.”
Salman Rushdie: “A poet`s work is to name the unnamable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it going to sleep.”
sometimes i fear writing. when faced with the prospect of having to open up the insides of my brain, gut and soul, it is rather daunting. do i doubt my muse? not really. i doubt myself. i feel i am not at all who i think and feel i am. there is fear, not every time i approach the challenge, but there is fear that fear will beat me down and crush the creative spirit right out of me. what do i have to say about this comes from a fortune cookie, really.
“fear is just excitement in need of an attitude adjustment.” ~fortune cookie 11.26.10~
WH Auden: Anticipate and recognize ideas. “All works of art are commissioned in the sense that no artist can create one by a simple act of will but must wait until what he believes to be a good idea for a work comes to him.”
TS Eliot: Seek life experience. “Any poet, if he is to survive beyond his 25th year, must alter; he must seek new literary influences; he will have different emotions to express.”
Henry David Thoreau: Understand the power of each word. “A written word is the choicest of relics. It is something at once more intimate with us and more universal than any other work of art.”
Paul Valery: Keep revising. “A poem is never finished, only abandoned.”
Plato: Don’t just rely on the beauty of the words: make a statement. “Poetry comes nearer to vital truth than history.”
Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Remember the importance of each word used in each poem. “I wish our clever young poets would remember my homely definitions of prose and poetry; that is, prose = words in their best order; –poetry = the best words in the best order.”
Robert Graves: Write poetry because you want to, not because you expect to earn a living. “There’s no money in poetry, but then there’s no poetry in money either.”
Lillian Hellman: “If I had to give young writers advice, I’d say, don’t listen to writers talking about writing.”
Percy Bysshe Shelley: Think about the obvious in new ways. “Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar.”