Bradbury’s death yesterday affected me on a deep level that is hard to put into words. His work resonated with me through both educational aspects and what I know to be excellent writing; great characterization, social commentary with preaching, and word conservation. The news of his passing is like a telescope into my past, a reminder of what matters, and an example of what ripples effect Work has on people. In this case, the public. In your case or mine — who knows?
But there is something to be said for his commentary about joy in writing, how he never “worked” because he loved it so, so much. Brainpickings.org (a site I highly recommend by the way) chose some really great Bradbury quotes. This line in particular is a gem: “The joy of writing has propelled me from day to day and year to year.”
So how do we get to joy? For me, it’s by cutting, because when I’m unhappy with my work I know it’s not anyone else’s fault but mine. Some of these things I have to manage and sometimes it does takes a week or two to snap out of it. I’m pretty good about righting myself back to center. Believe me when I say that none of the bullshit matters. More than anyone, for reasons I cannot say publicly, I know that there is nothing more important to one’s own creativity as the UNCONDITIONAL LOVE of Self — wherever you can find it. I get that through the freedom of DO and CHOICE.
To be free, to truly find “the” purest connection to my Work, I have found the following to be very (wholly) diseased:
* Talking more about writing than actually writing
* Being jealous of other writers
* Not having the proper equipment/time to write
* Wasting time on negative energy, toxic people, or self-doubt
* Worrying about the state of the publishing industry
* Internet Popularity
* Worrying about what other authors think
* Unnatural stress over bad reviews
* Not having a support group
* Writing as a pyramid scheme
* Putting your future as a writer into someone else’s hands. (YOU CAN ALWAYS WRITE, YOU JUST MAY NOT EARN THE MONEY YOU NEED WHEN YOU NEED IT.)
* Believing that an editor or publisher is “out to get” writers
* Not paying attention to contract details
* Engaging in writer’s avoidance behavior
* Thinking that “because So and So said X about writing” it’s true and applicable to your own Work
* Writer’s Platform (The Work MUST come before the Marketing)
* The belief that one’s own Work as a Speshul Snoflake or Precious Baby-Jesus-Child
* The laughable idea that no other writer shares your fears or insecurity about your own Work (Trust me, babycakes, they do.)
Other faux beliefs include that:
* you’ll never be as good as “X,” that you can write better than “X,” or that you have to write like “X” <--BE YOU.
* you have control over your own mortality
* you have Time to waste, or wait
* making money off the Work makes you a bad Writer because we have to SUFFER for our ART (Otherwise it's not really Art)
* because "X" was successful writing about [genre, character, topic, etc.] you can easily replicate that success
* you DON'T HAVE TO READ
* you have to get paid a certain rate to be concerned a real writer. (Pro writers get paid, folks. That’s really the only thing that matters.)
* you DON’T HAVE ANYTHING TO LEARN
* writing about advice on how-to-write makes you a good writer
* being a douche bag won’t come back and haunt you
* there is no such thing as an -ism (sexism, racism, etc.)
* you have to have a specific writing environment
* you have the authority to look down at anyone else because YOU are CTHULHU’S GIFT to WRITING
* there is only one way to write
* your career is a linear progression of success and fame based on age or experience
* you’ll ever be popular or rich as an author
* YOU HAVE LIMITATIONS.
Mood: Watery. Very… watery.
Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: I’ll say enough when it’s actually enough. And it’s not.
Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Housework. UGH UGH UGH.
In My Ears: A fan. Because it’s going to be hot. And I’d rather be cool than hip.
Game Last Played: Battle Nations
Movie Last Viewed: Indiana Jones marathon
Latest Artistic Project: A gold bead. Yep, I made a bead.
Latest Release: “Don’t Ignore Your Dead” included in Don’t Read This Book for the Don’t Rest Your Head RPG