The Writing Life

Discussion of Joseph Campbell's work with an emphasis on the personal creative impulse as well as the sociological role of the artist in today's global community.

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Post by Vissi » Mon Nov 10, 2008 7:05 am

Hello desertcat,

Welcome to the Conversations of a Higher Order and to this conversation! I hope you'll enjoy your participation in the community expressed here.
desertcat wrote: Anyone else use alternative forms of creativity to get the writing to flow?
I think we've briefly discussed, on earlier pages, works that aid in the periods when creativity seems stymied. I don't know if you can find any of these books in your location but I've personal found Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones and Julie Cameron's The Artist's Way to be good aids to unblock the flow. Also, John Steinbeck's letters to his friend and editor, Pascal Covici, entitled Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters is a wonderful look into a brilliant author's fiction writing process. I'm glad to learn your own way is starting to clear for works to come into being. What are you working on currently?

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Post by Aunty Proton » Mon Nov 10, 2008 3:42 pm

I've been recently re-reading Stephen King's On Writing.

I've kind of run out of juice myself with regards to writing lately, but I've noticed over the years that I do that. I started writing again in 1999 and wrote furiously for about 3 1/2 years, then couldn't write for about 3 years. Then I wrote my Zulu-5 stuff and Telaon and finished The Fall of Avalon, and now the well's run dry again. I do other things during the downtime. On the last downtime I started my podcast, now I'm about to start a magazine.

Also trying to decide if I should try to get Telaon published by the traditional publishing establishment or just stick with New Media. It's YA science-fiction, so it might find some interest given the popularity of YA right now.


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Post by Clemsy » Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:54 pm

Hey Aunty Proton!

I encourage your YA focus. I'd love to see more SF for the younger reader.

Question: When you're not working on a project, do you do any other writing? Journaling, for instance?

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Post by Aunty Proton » Mon Nov 10, 2008 7:49 pm

Heh. The YA thing is actually not intentional on my part. I always think I'm writing normal adult sci-fi, yet somehow it always to come out as YA. I don't know why this is since I usually have gay characters in my stuff and you'd think that would be unacceptable for the YA thing. Maybe it's not "adult" because I never do sex scenes? Whatever.

During the downtime I usually don't write anything of consequence. I don't journal per se. My personal blog is far too erratic for that and it's not diary-like in the least. I might try to start stuff, but these attempts never seem to go anywhere and usually get abandoned. I have gone back later and finished some of these, Telaon and The Fall of Avalon being the most prominent examples. Otherwise, no. That's the curse of being an "intuitive" writer. When it works, it works in spades. When it doesn't, you stand there in the middle of the street waiting for the Truck of the Muses to hit you. :shock:


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Post by Andreas » Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:03 am

Hey everyone,

So I have been searching the forums to find some clues for writing and found this thread and I know it is an old one but I would like to thank everyone for all the great advice that has been offered here. It is very insipiring.

There are many difficulties in understanding the technical elements of writing but what I find most difficult of all is a sense of reason to continue writing, a sense of confidence, a sense of trusting my intuition. I think I have a story to tell but everytime I try to write it just gets too confusing and tiresome. I want to plan my stories but at the same time I am too afraid that they will get infected with cliches which is often the case.

My problem is that everytime I try to write a story I can almost see how this has been done already, how I am just immitating and maybe copying, unconsiously, other stories or same motifs and themes. Why does it feel that what I do is not unique or original?

Sometimes there are so many ideas so many concepts that I get lost in a sea of confusion. I just cant find the rythm in the story, cant pin down the main argument.

So I was wondering if anyone has any advice to offer on this or how I should approach it.
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Post by Cindy B. » Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:36 am

My initial thought, Andreas--you're overthinking it. :wink: For your first draft, anyway, just tell your story however it comes, that is, let your creative and unconscious juices flow without worry or thought about any other thing. This is where your originality lies. Later you can can tweak it and revise. To start, all you need to have in mind is some sense of a basic beginning, middle, end, and your unconscious will fill in the rest. Your first draft will never look like your eventual finished product, and at this stage, technique, writing mechanics, whatever might have come before from others don't matter--just getting out your story matters.

This helps in some way, I hope.

Cindy
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Post by Andreas » Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:27 pm

Hey,

Thanks Cindy, yes it helps. It is difficult to learn and forget. There are so many stuff stuck with me when I write from Campbell, Jung, writers, stories, movies, characters, that I go, oh my gosh... run! :D

Anyways, have a good one.
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Post by Chrissurf » Sat Apr 09, 2011 8:16 am

I like the Woody Allen maxim: "80 percent of success comes from just showing up." Writing is definitely that way.
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Post by Neoplato » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:10 am

That's kind of how it is with my job. Just motivating myself to get there is the hard part. :wink:
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Post by Ercan2121 » Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:25 am

Hello all, here's my 2 cents again;
I was amazed when an editor told
that they'll publish my story. After
all those years? I thought, because
now I was only writing for myself;
maybe only for better thinking &
witnessing what's happening around :oops:

To make a long story short, that sense of
recognition first comes from within, not
from outside.
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Post by Chrissurf » Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:25 am

I'm always shocked when i come up with an idea I think is totally original and just after I get started on it, it shows up in the book store or in the theater--someone beat me to it. My dad used to say that ideas float around in the collective unconscious like fish in a tank, but the fish can be caught many times by many different people. I've always wondered if maybe certain themes in the media, scientific breakthroughs, or even something more subtle in the meme sphere plants an idea in a writer mind. I often write from my own experience just so I don't have to worry about being derivative. There's also a thing called cryptomnesia which is when a writer recalls something they've read somewhere else without even knowing it. I believe all things and all ideas exist simultaneously outside of time--everything has already been said and done, we merely rediscover these thoughts and ideas like Michelangelo "reveals" the form inside a slab of marble.
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Post by Ercan2121 » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:32 pm

In time, I discovered that many people are aware of certain
facts that they're not at all willing to articulate and collective
unconscious is one of them. Conventional reality is often a
Cartesian point of view about life and certain facts cannot
be told in a 'linear' fashion (in terms of prose) and needless
to say, not all people are sensitive enough to develop a deeper
awareness about everything.
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Post by creekmary » Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:57 pm

I have trouble with the nuts and bolts of the business. What do I do after I have written something? How do you get it to somebody that might be interested? A friend has said my letters with stories about various true adventures are better than published things of other friends. I just don't know what to do with it after that.

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Post by Chrissurf » Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:13 pm

is it a short story or novel? First establish what genre it is, Sci Fi, Thriller, ect. then look for magazines online or in the Writer's Market book. If its a novel, 60,000-or more words, look for a writers community in your area and try to get some feedback. IF they like it, try sending it to agents. If you want, you can publish it yourself on Smashwords.com or Amazon kindle, but you have to make the cover yourself or hire someone and hire a copy editor to make sure there are no mistakes.
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Post by creekmary » Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:41 pm

Most of them are short. They are true things. i lost a LOT of them when hotmail accidently deleted a whole account of mine. My favorite I called "wood smoke". My remembrance and thoughts on the old traditional church ways, camping in primitive cabins on the country church grounds, everyone visiting each other after meals - drinking coffee, eating pie, the smell of wood cook stoves, elderlies nodding warm by the fire, babies asleep wrapped in blankets on the beds. It was my favorite and I lost it.

The one he liked and gave a surprisingly strong reaction to was my dog who saved me from indian medicine and was later killed by church deacons before I could bring him home to save him.

Life is still interesting around here though!

Susan
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