|The author, Dane F. Baylis|
(If these seem to be a bit repetitive just think of them as as those fliers, cards, and notes that pile up on bulletin boards. I'll take down anything that no longer applies, but while they're pertinent...)
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 seven 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.
2. I have never done this before so I'm still figuring out my proverbial butt from a hole in the ground. What I am proposing is a poetry contest. Before you get to crazy, I am initially aiming this at the Southern California area. Perhaps later I can expand my reach but I'm still trying to get the ins and outs figured and would appreciate suggestions from anyone who has done this, or anything remotely similar, before.
Feel free to contact me about either of these announcements at the e-mail address listed at the bottom of the post.
BEATING THE PRESSURE
The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, and ZZ Top all sang about it...and maybe the clue to handling it is to not take it that seriously. Kind'a like..."Yada, yada, yada! Can't hit me!"
Been buzzing right along now for several months with all the assorted activities and endeavors that I will not be quite so gauche as to list, yet again. It's almost enough to bring gray matter to a boil and make long periods under the influence almost mandatory. I imagine I could throw another monkey in the wrench-works, but I just finished one and haven't found anything as appealing to replace it...Yet.
There it is. Yes, I am a type AAA personality. If someone else isn't flogging me to take on more, meet another deadline, start another project...Well I'll have to take on that job, too! After all, what would writing be like without ALL the stress and strain we can possibly heap on?
Whoa. Really? Uh...I DON'T THINK SO! See, that's one of the reasons this is supposed to be enjoyable...because it is, well, enjoyable. If it starts getting too similar to work (You remember that, the place where they tell you what to do and how much.), we might as well cash it in and opt out for the security thing. So, even though this is a job, as well as play time in pajama city, does it have to be an aggravating son-of-a-bitch?
Of course not, and what's one of the first ways to reduce the aggro quotient? Well, there really isn't much in the world you REALLY have control of...I don't care if you're Barrack Obama, even he has to deal with, "Shit Happens!". What's the way out?
How about the one thing you do control...Don't you dare kick that dog! ... I'm talking about YOU, Melvin! Look, even if you're one of those individuals wandering around the world with all those initials behind your moniker...(Had a hard time deciding what to actually do with your life, Hey Gladys?)... you aren't as indispensable as you think. So let go. Loosen the fingers and ease back on the throttle a hair. Take a deep, honest look at this writerly thing and realize that, unless you're doing a truth tale on holy scripture (Pick one...Go ahead, they're all eligible.), it isn't that serious.
That's what keeps yours truly sliding along. Oh, I was the most important literary figure in existence at one time...then I had a good laugh and got over me. Guess what? In that one act came the greatest bit of relief you might imagine. I am no longer held to what I think the world wants to read. I'm accountable to one critic...ME, and I'm on sabbatical from that job until I get a frigging raise.
So, lighten up, most good authors get there by the dint of hard work, good connections, and a healthy dose of "Where the hell did that come from?". Sure, you can beat your head against the wall in between times, but the only thing you're going to learn from that is, it feels so good when you stop. Go take a walk...I'd go with you but I'm sitting here in an orthopedic brace at the moment.
In the meantime, the in between time...live, love, write.
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Dane F. Baylis