|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 five 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.
WHAT KEEPS IT ALL GOING?
Just one of those questions that comes up over dinner. You get to thinking about all the things you're doing. All the different projects, the daily requirements and goals, others you might shuffle or suspend to help meet the timetables for the former...When, suddenly, someone points it all out to you (usually with a query as to whether you ever get concerned over burnout), and you wonder to yourself if that's a realistic possibility?
So, what does keep it going? Like an obsessed juggler, you're always looking for another "something" to get into the rotation. You look for the rhythm, the beat that will ensure your hands are where they need to be. You concentrate ever more sharply on each obligation as it reaches apogee. You never question your endurance or commitment, you just sit at the typewriter and bleed.
Maybe that's what keeps it all moving? The ability to just slip from one task to the next without questioning how or why. You keep your personae as separate as the files you keep your work in. There's the blogger, the short fiction writer, the novelist, poet, editor, and whatever else you want to throw into the mix. But what is it that drives this engine?
For me it is a simple matter of creative overdrive. I get on to an idea and, if it doesn't immolate before I can begin to formalize a train of thought, then, before I know it, I'm making notes. This is a habit I've developed simply because too many nascent possibilities disappeared into the ether of my subconscious. The downside is, once I've given any attention to them, they take on those pesky lives of their own and demand attention.
Another pitfall is an utter inability to say no. People will ask me to write a piece of fiction, or an introduction, or verse on a particular topic, and I am completely unable to say no. This isn't as much a matter of ego, as it is being absolutely flattered when another human being takes enough of a liking to my style and voice to make a personal request like that! At that point it is more than obligatory for me. I look at it as a rare opportunity, one which has been laid before me instead of something I am pursuing in the hopes that I MIGHT be noticed.
What's my point? Follow your muse. Even if it is a rare and obscenely demanding mistress. Not everything will succeed but something always does. The more time you spend exploring your own imagination and ability, the better you will become at this game. Of course, I'm not talking about a pleasant, ego driven stroll through the land of, OH WHAT A GENIUS I AM, but an honest job of work with the intent of getting out whatever your striving for in a form better than you have ever produced. Oh yeah, go outside from time to time. Even a muse needs a good airing and the occasional vacation!
Meanwhile...live, love, write.
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Dane F. Baylis