Week 18 Recap

After week 15, I took moved took a few weeks for the holidays and another just to recap the prepare for the new year. So instead of just returning as if I hadn’t taken a break, I started last week with an introductory post, “I’m Back“. In it, I talked about my comfort level that I had developed in the previous months. That comfort has allowed me to become more liberal with my own personal styles in blogging that I had subconsciously been neglecting since I started. It was not until my time off and reading other blogs that I noticed that your style and content is what brings appeal to your writing. It sounds elementary, but when have never wrote to consistently engage an audience, it takes a lot of getting used to; a lot of adjustments.

On Wednesday, January 14th in “Complimenting Arts, I covered how it may be to an artist’s advantage to have another craft that could compliment and strengthen the primary choice of expression. Most artists develop that supplemental craft early in practice as I believe it comes naturally. For example: a singer who dances, or a painter who sculpts, or maybe even a poetic architect. The reason I advocate this is because I know personally that sometimes one medium of expression does not always fulfill all that is felt. Sometimes a painting or photograph shows all that needs to be said and more. On the other hand, a photograph or painting can be to open to interpretation and the words of a writer are needed to direct what the eyes are seeing. I’m not saying that it is a necessity to do anything more than what you enjoy, but I do believe that it will strengthen the quality of any person’s creativity.

Friday, January 16th, I wrote about the negative effects of writing rituals. I know people, myself included, who have to do there work the same way, every time, under the same conditions. Now the good thing is that you will rarely have a problem with consistency; the bad things is that your work will probably start to show those same stagnant patterns. How can something new come from the same environments. And how can the same environments provoke a new mode of thinking, or creativity? Sometimes you have to do things differently to get new results. No one ever wants to become synonymous with predictable, or repetitive, or the dreadful BOOORIIIING! I suggest that if you don’t want produce predictable, don’t be predictable. I suggested a really good interview that I thought would provide some good advice as well.

Well, I apologize for another late Recap. If things go as planned, I should be able to produce another post tonight. I’m looking forward to the upcoming weeks with my new perspectives on style, complimenting arts and refusing comfortable habits. These should come in handy (especially next month) in getting my point-of-view across. I want it to be very clear going forward the my perspective does not imply correct perspective, as I will probably be more direct and more opinionated. I believe that if you feel a certain way about anything, you should be able to explain why… and that may be interpreted that what one is saying is fact. I am always open to new ideas or conflicting thoughts. I also try to be very careful of what I do say; the only thing worse than a know-it-all is a know-it-all that is wrong and unwilling to listen. An uncle told me a few weeks ago, “Make your words short and sweet, because you may have to eat them.” I laughed, but took it to heart.

As always, try to show compassion through an open perspective in order to spread a little love.

Writing Rituals (or Restraints)

After I get home from work and before doing anything else, I go to the same chair at the dining table. I place my bag in the same spot next to the chair; laptop in the same spot on the table; then notebook on the righthand side; pen next to the notebook, and headphones to the left of the laptop.

After the setup, I then take care of whatever household things I have to do before writing; Whether it be cleaning or errands or whatever the case may be. I have to setup everything the same way, everyday to be in the zone. To make matters even worse, once I do sit down to write, I do so with my phone added to the left side — and on the right, a pile of Planter’s peanuts on a half-folded paper towel and a beverage. It’s a system — a ritual — that must be in place in order to accomplish that night’s task.

It’s also a load of crap.

How have I brainwashed myself into thinking that I need everything to be the same before I can accomplish anything? How have peanuts — PEANUTSbecome a necessity in a writing routine? (Now just because there isn’t any legitimacy to the issue, doesn’t mean I’m giving the peanuts up… I like them… especially when I’m writing.) The issue isn’t the peanuts though; the issue is the fact that if I run out of peanuts before writing, I will halt my work to go to the store and buy more. That’s ridiculous!

After reading an interview of South African writer, Vuyelwa Maluleke, I promised myself that I would break from the rituals. The interview was conducted by a Geosi Gyasi. This is was the altering part of the interview for me:

“Geosi Gyasi: When do you often write?

Vuyelwa Maluleke: At night, on my floor. But I’m trying to not fix conditions to my writing just so I don’t feel like that is the only time I can write. So the other day, I sat in a coffee shop, and wrote there, early in the morning and something came of it which was surprising and fruitful.”

No one wants to be mundane. However, working on a mundane routine could easily cause mundane results. It is so easy to sit in a familiar place where the distractions are low. You tell yourself that you will get so much more done that way. That may be true, but at what cost? Sometimes a different scenery is good for the imagination and creativity boost. If I sit in the same place surrounded by the same things every time, I could equate that with sitting in an all white room with no windows. Since everything is familiar, it all becomes invisible in a way. I don’t trust my imagination to produce its best thoughts in a room where everything looks the same, smells the same, and feels the same day in and day out; you have to change things up a bit.

Sneezing, laughing, yawning, things dropping, dessert and coffee smells, and uncomfortable temperatures — GEEZ! Take me back to my own dining room table with my peanuts!

I have to get past that though. I could take advantage of so much more time, because I’m not always in that spot. I’m not alone though. I’m not the only crazy writer, and I know I’m not the worst case either. At least I’ll admit it; the first step to recovery. I have to learn to tame my thoughts and focus on the task at hand. Now if I try writing outside of my, maybe three, familiar elements, I will end up with a bunch of notes, scribbles and random paragraphs — at best. I have to, can do and will do better in removing those imaginary restrictions. The liberation is a necessity, because no one wants to be mundane.

Before coming across the article in the Flipboard app, I had never heard of Gyasi or Maluleke. Since then I have followed Geosi Gyasi, who provides excellent interviews from writers around the world. They provide great and realistic insight to amateurs, that I feel would be extremely useful if taken to heart. Vuyelwa Maluleke writes very passionate and heartfelt stories and poetry that has a unique style that I have found very enjoyable. If you get the time, look into both of them; really good stuff.

And if you were wondering… I’m at the dining room table now… The next post will be written elsewhere though.