09 September 2009

“Alright Dorothy, your call, click your heals or get out of my shoes!”

“I’m not as good at this as I should be!”

“Why can’t I write like…”

There are always going to be innumerable frustration when you are writing. If you’re a half-descent writer then you will inevitably think that you have a lot of room for improvement. If you are past that stage, my congratulations, but know this…it won’t last forever. The lime light is only on for fifteen minutes, give or take, and eventually you will return to self-doubt and self-deprecation, if only for a little while.

“The only thing that blocks a writer is the writer.”

We’ve given these varied frustrations a name, we call them Writers Block. Here’s the hitch, Writers Block is only as powerful as you make, the catch is, we’re writers, we make words insurmountably powerful. In a way, we enable our own worst enemy.

“Alright Dorothy, your call, click your heals or get out of my shoes!”

You have two choices, wallow or overcome! Both choices will, or should, help your writing, they are conflict and conflict resolution; two aspects of writing that are never absent from a good story. How do you get there?

“You can’t find the meaning of life. You have to create it!”

It’s simple. First things first, what do you want in your life? Obviously you want to be a writer right, so drop the drama act queen bee, save it for your story, it does you no good to fondle the fire of self-pity. Next, realize this, there is only one thing in the way, it’s you!

“Backspace is the pitfall of all writers”

Be it you write a line, re-read it and IMMEDIATELY delete it, or you sit down and let your eyes glaze over as the blank screen taunts you. You are in the way! If your deleting your work, stop. If you are questioning the subtext, STOP! If you are being overly critical, STOP – save that for your Editor, believe me they will do a much better job of it than you will.

“When I’m tired, I sleep. When I’m hungry, I eat. There’s no conundrum here. If my senses are failing me, I give it a rest.”

Find some big, noise reducing headphones, turn on the music, close your eyes and just let the words fall on the paper.

I’m not kidding, this is the equivalent of tapping a rubber tree. You make one portal for your creative ideas to funnel through, your keyboard, and then let the river flow.

This is one of the most amazing experiences you can have for one simple reason, you will enjoy writing!

“Wait a second…what do you mean writing should be fun?”

Never forget this, it is your choice, you decide if writing is going to be a job. If you don’t want it to be then why are you stressing yourself out? This is an art, and like all art it is best to observe. So, reel-up your imagination, let the images play out and type. Do look, don’t analyze, just tell me what you see.

As a reader, that’s what I want. I want to see the wonderful worlds you create, I want them to be so real that I use them to escape from the pangs and atrocities of everyday reality. So give me an unadulterated sample. Let me buy a ride through your imagination. That’s what you expect of your readers, and equally so, that’s what you should expect from yourself.

06 September 2009


- A word to writers.
Ryan J. Van Seters

If anyone other than a writer had written the cliché “The pen is mightier than the sword.” then every writer could take solace in their own heroic literary endeavors. Unfortunately, a writer did write that, so we have to search for inspiration all the more.
Let me pose a question. Why are we so confounded with whether or not we are; able to write, skilled at storytelling, knowledgeable in literary theory, understanding of grammar and syntax, et cetera.
There is a simple truth in writing, it is the honest interpretation of life, real or imaginary, as invented or seen through eyes of an individual who is ‘sui generis.’ That alone is worthy of reverent introspection and, in some cases, public applause. However, to write is one thing, to put it out for the rest of the world to see, that is an entirely different thing all together.
We write because we must, because we can not beat the words from our brains, or quell the itch from our hands. Unfortunately, many of us are naive to the meaning and purpose of writing. We are so caught up in “What will land me an agent?.” or “What will the editor think of this?” SEE! Now you are too mixed up in the “business” of writing, so ask yourself, am I a businessman or a writer?
Too often do we think the medium of our trade to be Agents, Publishers, and Corporations, all the while forgetting our medium is the simple genius of the written word.
Certainly there is a time and place for the “business” of writing, but not at the beginning of your career or even story. Ask yourself this, when you hear the most recent story of a child genius creating works of art equal to that of Da Vinci, does that child, with every brush stroke, think of the commission his work will warrant? Does that child think of public masses swooning over his ability and talent. I think not, I think he paints for the simple pleasure it brings. Be it the way colors mix together, or the way the acrylic really brings out its dimensionality in certain light, or the subtle sound of horse hair pulling across a canvas surface.
Why do you write. You write because if you don’t life is empty. Your write to create fantastic worlds, and illustrious images that make a heart quicken and a breath catch in your throat. If you write for anything else, you rob yourself of the hidden euphoria our trade presents; you don’t get to see your characters come to life and take over your story, you don’t get to feel what it is like to live in a world that is so surreal that reality couldn’t contend with it.
You must, and should, as authors, understand this; the world is critical even at its best, at its worst, it can tear the dignity from your very finger-tips. I know too many writers who are so afraid of the public forum that they refuse to either submit, or write anything of substance (anything that could in some way come back to haunt them, or give some stranger the opportunity to label them a hypocrite.)
You need to turn the looking glass around. Life is full of struggle, as writers, we interpret that struggle – even if it is the feeling of hearing a thousand book critics say your writing is crap. Think about it, even criticism requires some emotion, which means you did your part, you made someone get emotionally invested in your words.
Anyone can learn grammar, spelling, syntax, structure and on and on, but not everyone is a writer. If, at any point while reading this your heart perhaps skipped a beat or sped up, then relax, you’re a writer…so write dammit!