Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Excuse Me While I Get This

I'm trying to think of the longest stretch that I've been able to write without an interruption. I'm sure there are times that I've been lost and swimming in hours-long sessions, but it seems rare.

Mostly I just pick up the pen, put on my thoughtful expression, and the phone rings or an email alert beeps. I think that's why I have to get out of the house to write. I feel like a man on a mission and I can't come back without my words of prey.

How do you make the time to write and keep from being interrupted?

Friday, July 12, 2013

William Styron Quote

Does anyone else feel like this?

William Styron is the author of Sophie's Choice, The Confessions of Nat Turner, and Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Write For The Right Reason

There are likely as many reasons to write as there are writers. Some of us write for a living, some of us write to keep the demons at bay, and some of us write to impress someone else. 

I write because the words have to come out. Writing is it's own reward. Write for you. Be selfish. If it doesn't satisfy you, how can you expect others to appreciate it? 

What About Writing for Money?

I like what Stephen King said about doing it for the money (i've shortened the quote, but it keeps his intent):
…I never set a single word down on paper with the thought of being paid for it. I have written because it fulfilled me. I did it for the buzz. I did it for the pure joy of the thing. And if you can do it for joy, you can do it forever.
—Stephen King, On Writing pg. 249

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Dried Ink

Fountain pen with dried ink, painted in Artrage.

I wrote this for the "From the Editor" column in the second issue of The Leaky Pen:

Dried ink.

It makes me careful while holding the pen. Because some of it isn't dry.

I was standing at the counter at the bank when it first leaked. I always carry my pen in my shirt pocket and miraculously it didn't leak while in my pocket. Only when I took it out and uncapped it to endorse the check. Then I saw my fingers were stained.

It was surprising—after 12 years of using a fountain pen, this was a first. I felt betrayed. I've always felt or thought of my pen as a friend. Of course that sane part in my mind knows it's only a tool to make marks on paper, but the playful side, the muse-tickled corner remembers the sudden unexpected sentences that touched the emotions in just the right way.

Perhaps it was because I hadn't written for awhile and all that ink was just bursting to get out—with or without my help.

Now I'm afraid to trust it. I keep it in my backpack (which I always keep with me, but it's not the same).

It's a friend that done me wrong, but my best friend nonetheless.

The Leaky Pen, Vol.1 Issue 2, September 1998

Monday, July 1, 2013

Capturing Memories (Without Digital Cameras)

A Record That I Was Here.

Last weekend when I went to the Corner Bakery Cafe in Draper to write, I also took a few minutes and painted my empty plate and napkin.

When it's so easy to snap a photo and post it to Facebook and move on, picking up a pen and notebook puts the world in slo-mo, and pause even. The same thing happens when I draw and paint. For these few moments I stopped my mind from constantly grinding through all my worries and concerns and focused on the napkin on my plate, the way the light reflected off the different textures.

I stopped and observed the people around me and tried to describe them in a combination of words that was meaningful to me. Out of all the moments that will make up today, all the moments I give to others, that dribble away watching something on TV, running errands… I have these few moments that are mine. I have a record of my attempt to capture these moments in words and images.