My very first concert was the New Kids on the Block. I was totally into them. I had the shirts, cups, the dolls, and pretty much everything else.
I remember I went away for a week with friends and my grandparents were in Vegas. When they came back they said, “While we were in Vegas we got the NKB’s to sign an autograph for you!”
Now. We all know they simply went to a store and picked up an autographed cup. But as a kid I totally bought it. My grandmother lied, to my face, down to the clothes they were wearing. I then ran to school and told everyone, ignoring those with obvious knowledge of my “story”. They were just haters!
It was one of the most exciting things of that year. I remember being the coolest kid ever for a total of one day when the sorry kids that believed me began asking me questions about it, I’d roll my eyes and shrug like it was my secret to keep and the NKB’s might be at my party next week too but you know…they could get busy cause they’re famous.
You might think how awful it was for my grandparents to lie to me, but I totally think it rocks.
It’s the spice of life, kids. It’s Santa on a Mid-May Wednesday.
People make up stuff or color it in all the time. Sometimes stretching the truth is fun.
Don’t think so?
Well then stop watching TV, or reading books. What many entertainers do is take a real happenstance and stretch it. Yup. Go read some blogs, “Well that scene actually happened to me…only, it wasn’t with flying elephants.”
I recently got blogged into “Why I write” by the wonderful and talented Christina Rozelle
It’s been explained pretty accurately by others already. I’m a thinker, a ponderer, always have been.
But since most every “why I write” reason has been covered, instead, I thought I’d make mine about “Why I continue to write”.
This is important for me because I’ve given up a few times. Yup. Or had GIGANTIC gaps in between.
If you think I haven’t gotten nasty rejection letters, or reviews of my work, and then packed in my quill and said what’s done-is-done about a million times, then, put on a strait-jacket, my friend, because it’s getting a little loony in here.
Some things I’ve posted about writing:
“A writer has to mitigate the doubt dumped daily on their heads.”
“Of course failure is an option…I’m a writer!”
“Writing is a vanity that can only be afforded by being damned good.”
More times than not I’m not: “damned good”, even perhaps, I have been: “peculiarly bad”. There are only a few beats on that path to writerdom that make me smile and say, “Ah, yes. Now this part I liked.”
I have to keep a barf bag handy for occasions where I read my old works. “What was I thinking!” bursts from my lips like I have self-review turrets.
I’m my worst critic.
What bothers me is the highs and lows, and how I sometimes let my writing achievements or lack-there-of affect my everyday life. I want to slap myself when it happens because it’s completely useless to stress about things that are out of my control.
Like when Elsa had those magical ice-shooting powers. (I have a toddler) The more they tried to “control” it, the more she exploded with icicles from her fingies.
The “accolade” aspect is unhelpful to us, because the art is supposed to be where I’m at already and not the other way around. It shouldn’t be a destination, but part of my journey that I scribble down along the way. Like some road poet noting characters only because they were people he wanted to remember rather than, oh this is gonna be the best seller of the century!
*uses ice magic against said thoughts*
You may not feel like writing is anything more than craft, but I aim to set a mood with my words, and this causes a lot of problems for the “craft” part. When I see wood and a hammer in my head, my word-mood turns carpenter, which might make things a bit…wooden. (sorry bad joke)
I want my prose to drop the reader from their perch straight into the storm that is my brain cells. I want them to try to beat me up after reading, or shake my hand, or pat my back whilst beating me up, or something along those lines because great art does that to me.
I usually throw a book with a great ending across the room.
Or I write a ravenous review of how I loved it but but but but, please fix me and write another!
As far as my own work, I don’t want them to say, “Nice structure.”
Pfft. Structure…? STRUCTURE! BAH! “Mittens are nice!” (Friends reference there for those of you…never mind)
I don’t want to set art up on the podium for a gold medal and then try to achieve that.
I’m not the only one who follows this logic either. Even going for gold can be a bit deceptive.
Recently, I watched gold medalist Gabriel Douglas’ documentary/reenactment of her life on Netflix. If you get the chance, see it.
Gymnastics is the epitome of discipline. There’s no one sport that forces body parts so intricately and demandingly. Your core has to be solid. You have to be able to run and lift. You yoga to remain elastic, but also stay hard as a rock. Then you have to be mentally stable, ready to compete in that moment at your peak—no full hour long game of chance or team sports going on here.
AND you also have to do all of this by the Olympic clock. You outgrow it after that clock stops ticking. Tick tock tick tock, little gymnasts all over the country are watching the calender years in advance. In some countries there are toddlers being primed. (weird countries but…)
Are you starting to feel like writing is easy compared? Good. You should.
In the documentary her coach said something epic about one of her skills. It was on the bars where she was having trouble and he said, “You are not releasing the bar and grabbing another. You are the bar. You are the skill.”
And that is so true.
I know this is a Miyagi moment, wax on-wax off. But in sports, psychology is HUGELY important.
And guess what? Writing is the same, yo.
When I competed as an equestrian, and I plan on it again, I always knew that I brought everything from my life to that point with me into the ring. In that ride, that certain movement represented my state of mind, my training, my past, and dictated my future.
The test movement was me. It was not some outside thing because I’d done it enough times correctly to know I had it in here. (taps chest) Finding it was the secret.
The test asked me questions. That was its job. Was I calm? Was I fierce? Was I nervous? Was I second guessing? Was I ready?
Art is exactly like this. Your art is you. It is not simply a distant thing floating on a tether,
YOU ALREADY HAVE IT INSIDE.
That’s kind of important.
Say it with me.
MY ART IS ALREADY INSIDE OF ME.
Down side time.
When I shred the dialogue, and when I have a para missing in rhythm, the story, characterization, descriptive….. It’s painful. Because it’s me. Because it’s my past in there, my today on those certain days. And, it dictates my future. Not specifically, no, but it’s definitely a part of the fabric of my forward momentum in life.
So why continue to write?
Because there’s good news too!
Gabby’s coach also said “Gymnastics is music”.
I wrote this almost exactly into my entire novel Gods of Anthem. The idea that life is an orchestra. You will see it spread out through an entire story, but it’s there, hidden, and the idea is a good one, I think.
Gymnastics is rhythm and flow with a final crescendo.
This is what art is to me, and why I continue to do it. Because the melody is here inside of me, and, though I make mistakes, it keeps flowing and wanting to be given shape.
My words, the novel, it has rhythm, not always accurate, but I see it there, each one I do gets better, flows more, peaks in the right spots.
But I’ve still got so many more songs to give. So much more chemistry to create.
So much more art to find.
I’m just writing until I reach the crescendo, friends.