By reading my blog you give me the opportunity to do the work I love to do, that is talk about life and its various aspects.
I know, wandering around is one of the things I do best, so I thank you for respecting my voice while I do it.
I’m a seeker, and I figure that you, being here, must be one too.
They say we didn’t come into this life with a manual on how to live it, but what if in our wanderings, we find one.
My stolen manifesto, "Find something to wonder about, and invite others to wonder with you," is from
Auston Kleon’s book, Steal Like an Artist,
nobody told you about being creative.
That man is
across his small book, free yesterday on
Amazon Prime, and I read it before lunch.
“You don’t need to be a genius, you just need
to be yourself,” he wrote.
I slapped my
head and declared, “Thank you, God,”
(Thank you Auston
Kleon. I don’t know if God had anything to do with that statement.)
I know I
have bounced all over the place with subjects—metaphysics, the spiritual path, life
blog, travel, writing about writing, writing about blogging, chickens, animals,
horses, home life, family, story, Hawaii, Oregon, and California, I’ll even throw in sea life if that strikes me. And
then I hear the voice of the blogging
gurus who say to find your niche and stick with it.
“WHAT’S MY NICHE!”
Kleon says, ”You
can cut off a couple of passions and only
focus on one, but after awhile, you’ll start to feel phantom limb
I love this
leave your longings unattended.”
Yesterday I began the day deciding that I would write something about
writing for I saw that I have a few readers on my blog “The Best Damn Writer
Blogger on the Block.” (Fair to say, I’m the only one writing one, but then, I've moved, maybe I
should check my city block to see if there are any other bloggers around me..) www.bestdamnwritersblog.com/
I don’t know
how those readers found me, for nine
chances out of ten I can’t find it myself. (Maybe it’s the damn in the title, or my firewall, or the http: screws it up, something.) However, if
someone shows up, I am happy to offer them something.
Except that yesterday I had nothing to say.
Blogs are supposed to add something of value. So, where did that leave me?
With Zilch. Nada.
Kleon to the rescue, “If you try to devour the history of your discipline
all at once, you’ll choke.”
Okay, back to the beginning of the day. I figured Hemingway was a good place to start.
However, Hemingway was reluctant to talk of writing for he felt that saying too
much might inhabit his muse.
Hemingway was known for his adventurousspirit,
first and foremost he was a writer. He might have been reluctant to talk of writing, but over
the years at different times, to different people, in varied parts of the
world, he commented about it in letters and stories.
Along came Larry W. Phillips who ferreted out Hemingway's comments
regarding writing and placed them in a book called Ernest Hemingway on Writing.
“All good books are alike,” wrote Hemingway, “in that they are truer than
if they had really happened, and after you are finished reading one you will
feel that all that happened to you and afterward all belongs to you; the good
and the bad, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the
weather was.” –By-Line Earnest Hemingway pg 184.
This quote explains why my eyes cross when I hear people say, “I only read
non-fiction.” As though fiction is frivolous and they are into “serious”
Quite the opposite is true. Good fiction writers can hit you with a truth
when you don’t even know you’ve been hit.
There’s a place for both, hey, for all my touting of fiction, I have a non-fiction
book coming out May 19, 2019.
And lest I get too excited about the birthing of my baby, today I got slapped on the side of the face, for I received
three, not one, not two, but THREE rejection letters. I had figured if it takes two years for a book to come out I better get cracking.
Back to the drawing board.
And write whatever’s itching to come out.
Two secrets from Hemingway:
“The secret is that it is poetry written into prose and that is the
hardest thing to do.” --From Mary Hemingway
“Then there is the other secret. There isn’t any symbolysm (misspelled).
The sea is the sea. The old man is an old man. The boy is a boy, and the fish
is a fish. The shark are all sharks no better and no worse. All the symbolism
that people say is shit. What goes beyond is what you see beyond when you
know.” Hemingway to Bernard Berenson, 1952
I beg to differ. The Old Man and the
Sea says a lot about Hemingway—symbolism or not.
Hemingway left a lot unsaid. He wrote simply, quite against the flowery
prose of his day. His style was considered the iceberg effect, that is much was
beneath the surface.
Okay, back to Steal Like an Artist:
“We’re talking about practice, not plagiarism. Plagiarism is trying to
pass someone’s else’s work off as your own. Copying is about reverse
engineering. It’s like a mechanic taking apart a car to see how it works.”
If you steal from one author its plagiarism, but if you copy from many, it’s
reverse engineering, Gary Panter says, If you rip off a hundred people will
say, “You’re so original.”
One is copying.
One hundred is research.
I believe the following (from Kleon) applies not only to artists but to
anyone starting a business:
You will need:
A willingness to look stupid.
The last of 5 tips on writing by Barbara Kingsolver is: "If you are young and a smoker, quit."