|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 four 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.
DOWN TIME, THE SPACE WHERE NOTHING HAS TO BE IMPORTANT
Hold On A Minutes While I Remember Why I'm Doing This.
I'm running a little behind today. Not because I've had so much that just HAD to get done, but because there were things that wanted to be done. I've reached that place in life where I wake up at the most ridiculously early hours when I'd rather spend entire mornings luxuriating in the depths of slumber. So, weekend or no, I was up making coffee at six thirty and catching my daily dose of the mayhem that constitutes broadcast news.
As I have to fit in my creative activities around a day job and a very active calendar of academic and social engagements, I have to be fairly efficient and disciplined when it comes to my writing. I could very well declare Saturday and Sunday as writing blitz days, but my output is of such a steady, considered nature, that I really don't see any necessity to put extra strain in the game. Therein lies much of the secret to how it is I manage to toddle along with as many projects, classes, and commitments as I do without tearing the little that's left of my hair out (Please reference the picture at the top left. Yes, Mary Ellen, my forehead extends all the way to the back of my head!).
Discipline is the first key to success in this game. It isn't about word or page count, but the ability to say, between this time and that, I will have my ass in the chair and my fingers on the keys. I will try my best to get down something of merit and craft but I will not wonder or worry about it. The art will happen! It always does, and, if what goes down now is a rough sketch, that's okay. Every masterpiece ever painted started with concept drawings and studies. The greatest of sculpture has begun as a doodle of an idea. Poetic odes and epics see their first moments as phrases or single words.
I have the habit of straying from linear creation and wandering off into the thickets and dark woods of imagination. My characters will do things that, at first blush, may not seem appropriate or in keeping with my concept, but then, not everything I do is what you might expect at a given moment. I eventually hammer out the wrinkles and piece together a vehicle that carries them down the route the story finally follows.
As a good friend, Alan Streppinis, once said, "Studley, do anything long enough and someone will be fool enough to call you a master." Thus has been my philosophy in all this. If not today, sometime down the road. Perhaps while I live. It's really no great matter, because the truth of it is, I don't do this for anyone but me, and there lies true freedom.
Meanwhile...live, love, write.
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Dane F. Baylis