Journey of 1000 Miles

Personal Thought

In my humble opinion there are two kinds of people in the world. There are those that read and those that write. One cannot survive without the other.

The more we can encourage and challenge our opposite, the better we become.

Journey of 1000 Miles

Imaginarium

Think about what it takes to be a writer. We are the unsung heroes of entertainment. Movies are what people strive their works to become, but should they? Each reader takes a new interpretation, a unique twist or an interesting angle on how they read your words. Their minds are allowed to dive in and out of the creative ocean you created. Writers give a premise, a template and a dialog. Readers are in charge of cinematography, casting and even freelance as an editor while they make little side notes of how they would do it or improve it or want to see it.

How many people have read you work? Think of how many different versions of your story might be floating around in someone’s thinker. Do you give them more areas open to interpretation or do you explain every scene, each detail and feature?

Writers, we are the dreamers of dreams and the magicians brave enough to cast their spells upon the paper for everyone to enjoy and judge. Be proud. We each have a place we take our minds when we read or write, a place all our own. I’ve given mine a name, what’s yours?

Journey of 1000 Miles

Oh, You Muth Have a Lot of Beeths

No, it’s not misspelled. Say it out loud to yourself. That’s right, we are resurfacing a recent topic of bees. In this setting, you now have bee stings all in your mouth, causing your tongue to swell and now you have a lisp. Why is that? You opened the suitcase full of bees and like the godless creature they are, they have stung you, taking away your voice. I told you not to, but you had to peek in there. Well, that’s okay. In future posts, I shall be referring to bees as the necessary little bastards that they are. They are the thoughts making us question ourselves, the critics who judge our work, and the non-fans who give it value.

At some point, in any profession or waypoint in our lives, we will begin to let self-doubt take hold. The question, is it good enough will never equate to am I good enough so never allow those two items to mix. It’s like crossing the streams from Ghostbusters. There will always come a time when you look down at the things you’ve created and want to crumple them up and throw them away. You may even look for that one opinion saying it’s crap, just so you can feel vindicated. Whereas it might seem bad, criticism is necessary. Like letting your child make mistakes to learn from, we have to accept the good and the bad.

If you can name one writer that everyone loves, please tell me. Everyone will dislike someone’s everything at some point. Sorry to pop your bubble of 100% awesomeness, but it’s true. As writers and authors, we are gardening constantly. We till the dirt of our imagination to plant a seed that hopefully grows into a blossoming idea and one day a story. Those that don’t are mulched up into the imaginarium earth again to fertilize the next crop. There will be weeds that spring up along the way, it happens. Weeds are the comments or actions by yourself or others sucking the life out of your thoughts, hoping you’ll stop and let them germinate. Don’t allow them to take root around your ideas. Pull those suckers out and move on.

Now, you know what happens when your garden begins to bud and the flowers start to bloom? Yes, those unholy flying savages, bees come into the picture. The trick (so I’ve been expressively told) is to remain calm and let them work. They will fly from blossom to blossom and help your garden of ideas grow. If you panic or run or stupidly attack them, they will retaliate and sting you. Let them do their thing so they can leave.

To clarify, I am speaking of opinion, not self-doubt. That is far different. So, when I tell you not to open the suitcase full of bees, it’s because someone put a swarm of those little assholes in a suitcase. Leave them there. Bees around your garden are different. They are the critics (professionally and unprofessionally) that come along to show you what kind of audience your work does not appeal to, what you could do differently or better. They voice their opinion and believe it or not, that helps. It’s still a voice, giving you notice and that will cause someone else to see what they’re talking about and give their opinion and so on.

The more your garden grows, the more bees you’ll have and need. So, while you looked in the suitcase like an idiot, you can stroll by someone else’s garden and take notice with your swollen tongue and say, “Oh, you have loth of flowerth, you muth have a lot of beeth.”

And if you’re curious about the first bee story and don’t want to click too much, here’s your lazy button < click here >

Journey of 1000 Miles

Expectation vs. Reality

Dreams are a monumental part of the human spirit. No, not the REM type dreams, but those that rest somewhere deep inside that tell us in hushed whispers what we were meant to do in order to be happy. For me, creativity is always something that brings me peace. It helps channel the beauty I see as well as the tragedy that occurs. It gives me an indirect voice to my opinion at times without stamping it as my own. I can relieve frustration (nothing like killing off a character) and it allows me to play God when I feel I have no control.

During my early years, I was an avid movie watcher (still am actually). I took ideas from what I’d seen and channel it through my own dialog or spin it into a new story. The older I got, the more I enjoyed the random thoughts and knew I could make one awesome-sauce story out of it. I sat down and wrote about 30 pages and was feeling on top of the world. Then the gas in my imaginarium (definition below) tank ran dry.

The fumes that sputtered out made no connective sense and it was a literal struggle to make anything productive happen. My expectation was that it was easy, the reality was that without a map to guide me, my path led me in an infinite amount of directions. It was a long journey of starting and stopping before I finally reached the age of decision.

For myself, I had been thinking, talking and hoping to become an author since before I graduated high school. Circumstances and timing had me putting those dreams on hold up until the last couple of years.

I was sitting in my car one day, watching the stop light change colors from one block to the next and I couldn’t realize where my life was at. I wasn’t unhappy, I was just not fully myself. I looked at all the aspects of my life at the time and wondered what was missing. I had a decent job, a loving wife, a wonderful daughter, my health and I wasn’t destitute. So, what was it?

It took a few days to really see the missing piece of me that had not made it into the puzzle. I was a writer, I was not an author. As I see it, we are all writers. We each have a story to tell. Whether it’s short, an audio book, a novel or a biography; we all are capable of relating to one another through those experiences, fictitious or not.

Authors, in my opinion, don’t have to be published. What they have to be is dedicated. They have to sit at a computer or typewriter or pad of paper and transcribe their thoughts until a story is present. Then they have to edit the shit out of that. They have to get help, be shown what’s good, what sucks and what can make it great.

I was a writer, jotting down ideas from one month to the next. I was doing it as a hobby, telling others about how I was trying to write a book but literally the chain was off the spoke. I had been spinning in place for so long that the momentum to take my ideas anywhere was fading. It was the age of decision. I was getting too complacent with where I was and it started to make me subconsciously unhappy. I like my job and the people I work with, but if you were to ask me if this is where I see myself upon retirement, “hopefully not” would be the answer.

I had to make a choice. Either pursue or surrender.

I know that I am meant for different things and I realize over the last year that I had been giving a lot of explanations, excuses and justifications when I simply needed to do it. And whether I actually get picked up by a literary agent and a publishing house or wind up self-publishing, getting my story out there is what I truly care about. If I break even with sales vs my expenses, I’d be a happy cat.

My expectations growing up had me thinking that writing was easy. You think of a book, you write it, someone publishes it and you make your living. That, much like any career in the world, was where I first went wrong. Not believing in myself and just going along with where life was taking me was my next false step.

The reality is that dreams are wonderful and motivating, but make no mistake, they’re still work. Nothing in this world is easy and we can all attest to that. If anyone’s reality exceeds their expectations then they are either setting the bar extremely low or they are some pretty fortuitous bastards.

If you have a passion, do it. Don’t wonder about it, do it. If you’re good or persistent enough, it will happen. If you don’t get famous enough or rich enough, guess what? It’s not a passion. Simply doing it should make you happy.

Leave comments, let me know what your calling in life is.

 

imaginarium (n)

  • i·mag·i·nar·i·um [i màjjə naree əm]
    1 . made up word that is the place where I get all of my creative ideas from
    2. the well for creative thought