|The author, Dane F. Baylis|
1. I am a believer in the never ending process of learning. In that cause I would like to put out an invitation to poets living in the Ventura, California area. Wednesday nights, for the next six weeks, at 7 PM in Ventura at the Vita Art Center, 432 North Ventura Avenue, there will be an ongoing poetry workshop. This is a great opportunity to sharpen your craft and gather with other writers in the pursuit of excellence.
WRITING SHOULD BE DONE IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT.
This is not a punishment! (Isn't that what we all say?)
If this isn't a punishment, why am I proposing it? For the best of reasons. You're in front of that keyboard to accomplish a job! Yes, if you admit the truth, it isn't all the suffering and agonizing you make it sound like to your significant other. As a matter of fact, if you're writing what YOU want to write and not what you THINK you're supposed to write, then ninety-five percent of the time it's probably a real kick. Hell, I get a boot out of composing this blog more frequently than that.
But, in order to really concentrate on the job at hand, you need to have an environment with as few distractions as possible. That includes that simpering, new age recording of rain forest sounds you bought for mood. There's no getting in the mood for writing! It's the Jedi thing again, as Yoda says, "TRY? NO TRY! THERE IS ONLY DO!" Mood's for later, in the restaraunt, when you're trying to make up for all those hours locked away from kith and kin.
Okay, so the mood sounds, music, lighting...GONE! Got a window. Isn't it convenient that you placed your desk so all you have to do is lean over a little and you can see the splendid weather, and that park across the way, and maybe your friends outside...CLOSE THE DAMNED BLINDS! NOW! No, I'm not kidding. Unless your only view is the wall across the alley, the window is off limits.
Next, turn off the radio and the TV. I generally see about fifteen minutes of news in the morning, while I'm eating my breakfast. That's all I need to reassure myself that we haven't blown the planet to a cinder and I might still have an audience to write for. (We'll deal with who you actually do write for in another installment.) The glass teat is deceptive. While you're busy suckling at all that mayhem and mindlessness, it's busy sucking your creativity right out through your eyes. So, as of now, banish your tellie to the realm of unwriterly juju. Hey, while you're at it...the radio gets to keep the TV company in the quiet corner. Writing is an internal exercise. It is a constant journey through your own imagination, emotions and soul. In order to do that justice it needs to be as full time as you can make it. So, remember this: Writer's don't watch TV. They read. When they're not writing or reading, they're slumped in a chair snoring. Period.
What's the point of all this sensory deprivation? When you shut out the rest of the world, you can stop worrying about what the hell they might think and get down to having some fun with what you're thinking. This is where you can slip away to that land where you unravel the clues to a crime, or have wild, screaming, monkey sex with the most responsive partner you can imagine, or back the car THROUGH the garage door in a moment of joyful liberation. With no distractions, no punishments, and no possibility of an audience's disapproval, you are free to explore the most outlandish premise to its fullest. Isn't this why you started down this road?
Okay, we've made a start. Got a phone in the writing room? Oh, no you don't! No questions, unplug the bastard and get it gone! No video games, no Parcheesi, no solitaire. No damned nothing! (Yes, I know that was a double negative. This is coming from MY writing room...So my rules! See how that works? Fun, huh?)
Oh, if anybody asks you what it's REALLY like to be a writer? You can still tell them about that five percent of the time when you're not having more fun than they do with their clothes off. After all, you don't want them all thinking they should be doing this, too.You absolutely do not need every wanna-be knucklehead competing for your agent's attention and dropping your name as an entry card. Let them figure it out on their own!
Meanwhile...You! Cell number 217! Live, love, write, write, write!!!!
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Dane F. Baylis