The Persistant Quitter

So I read something simply astounding today. I simply couldn’t find words to express the emotions it evoked within me. I was devastated by its intensity.

Then the most absurd thing happened. Reading this stunning article left me with the overwhelming desire to stop writing. Forever. Never try again. Simply quit. Again. It really is what I’m best at after all; the single action and reaction I’ve practiced and perfected my entire life.

I read this inexplicably beautiful work about language and place and loss, and then I saw that it had been sent into the world on the same day as my most recent blog post, with its tiny writing sample, and my mind shuddered for a moment then screamed, “Stop right now! Oh my lord, you are embarrassing yourself!” And I cried, because I’m splendidly well suited to that reaction as well.

Then I became stubborn. Obstinate. Tenacious.

Yes, my writing was silly and rather pointless in comparison, lacking in every way the mastery that made the article I’d just read something that will leave an imprint within me that I’ll never shake. Of course it was. Of course my work is rough, and kind of crap, and at this point really unfit for sharing about with other literate beings. I’ve wrote stories from the very first moment I was sufficiently able to read and hold a #2 pencil, but I quit completely in 2005 when I decided that if I couldn’t write something publishable, something profitable, then it was a pointless exercise in self indulgence and a waste of time I should instead be spending “adulting around the island, adult, adult, adult.”

So after 9 years I started over. I was scared, and rusty, and completely directionless with it, but I sat there and gave myself permission to write terribly. This attempt lasted three months. At which point I allowed life to cajole me into giving up, again. Over and over I come back to the belief  that because what I’m doing isn’t lyrical, or epic in scope, or heart wrenching, or whatever the fuck I’m hung up on, that I must stop. That I’m delusional when I begin to hope that writing is a calling of which I’m worthy.

I started over again in January anyhow, with the timed free writes and the prompts and a project I’d probably be ashamed of if my grandmother ever read the stories. And its garbage. Truly awful – with cliches, astonishing grammatical errors, and my continued abuse and overuse of poor little commas. But how will it ever improve, ever grow, ever learn or develop if I keep quitting? Why do I expect such greatness from a skill I’ve consistently abandoned every time I start to feel ridiculous and foolish?

So my writing is young, and rubbish, and will likely never encompass topics as noble and venerable as those encompassed in the article I read today, but its mine. And writing, badly, hurts just a little less than not writing at all, which is a pain I can no longer handle. So I’m writing. I’ll keep on writing. Writing the things that appeal to me, the threads I find that pull me away into the wild, and I’ll bring back those stories, and if they’re never anything more then something I share with my framily, then that’s fine.

It’s all fine.

Published in: on February 28, 2015 at 11:54 am  Comments (4)  
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A recent Writing Prompt from my deck of StoryWorld cards; The Queen, utilizing the prompt from the back of the card “What does she write in her book?”

For anyone not already used to the way I post these prompts – I upload exactly what I wrote while the timer was running and the only editing I’ve done was to fix obvious spelling and grammatical errors.

++ The tarot of the day had disturbed her greatly. Dutifully she wrote the spread into the Royal Book of Divination as she’s always done – a quick sketch of the images that had appeared before her while deep in trance after the reading, and a notation of the cards she’d pulled from her deck. A brutal killing had played out in her vision, a minor noble from the countries Northern border was brought down by heavy boulders pushed from the peak of the mountain by men with the heads of goats and who hissed like snakes when they spoke. The same noble’s only child, a spinster daughter, was then drugged and forced onto the marriage bed by the goat men with a pretty youth who smelled of death. Finally she had seen her own daughter, barely into womanhood, seduced by the goats and taken years too young by another beautiful man who reeked of rot and decay.

++ She penned all of these sights into the divination grimoire, and wept carefully, keeping all tear drops far away from the countries most precious book.

++ Finishing hurriedly, she flipped back three weeks in the grimoire, to the vision she’d had upon suddenly waking from sleep in the dead of the night and felt driven to record in the Royal Book of Divination, despite the vision coming to her unprompted. It too had disturbed her with its imagery of unrelenting slaughter followed by joyous celebration. Now it gave her an immense hope.

++ The sketch showed the heart theme of the vision; a giant pile of mutilated goats, their tongues lolling out of dead mouths, each one the head of a viper with poisoned fangs. The scent of death had hung heavy in the air above a second pile of pretty young men with their genitals torn off. And between the piles of ravaged bodies was a woman. Covered in the blood of these enemies she held a Book of Death Spells before her and a Staff of Life behind her. She herself was terrifyingly built, with the wings of a vulture and the triple face of the goddess of birth, life, and death, and about her hung an aura of righteous vengeance.

++ Shaela, the Witch Queen of __________, now knew that this fierce figure would be the Protectress that stood between her land and the desecration that would soon begin.

Published in: on February 27, 2015 at 6:15 am  Leave a Comment  
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Word o’ the Week – Empirical

Word of the Week


Empirical is an adjective that describes a study or technique that relies upon observation and physical evidence as opposed to theory. It comes from Latin empiricus, “a physician guided by experience.”

The most common use of empirical in writing for the general reader is in the expressions “empirical evidence” and “empirical study.”

It had become empirically evident that most of the people who surrounded her on a daily basis were severely compassion deficient.

Published in: on February 24, 2015 at 6:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Before we begin, a question…

I have recently done some not really all that serious soul searching about this blog. I’ve started and stopped using it several times now, and framily members have posed many good questions I needed to consider in order to make an eventual decision in regards to continuing forth in the world of creative writing blogging.

++ Question #1 was more of a statement, with no prelude, and no obvious ties to this blog, that was put to me by my bestest pal. She said, “Stop giving your work away for free!” Now that’s a serious allegation she made right there and at first my answer was a daft “Uhhh…what? What does that mean? What work?” But I kept pondering the possible meanings and decided it could pertain to this blog, since I post actual samples of my writing, and I am just putting them out there into the world where anyone could commandeer them if they weren’t too shy about plagiarism. But these are just tiny nibblets of writing, and usually I feel pretty confident that I’m not going to do anything more with them in a serious way, so hopefully I won’t recognize one down the line in a book or a movie and think “Well damn…”

++ Question #2 was about whether or not I felt like the blog made me more creative, or encouraged me to create more often. And no, it does not. Hence the long long breaks between short bursts of posting. No, what the blog is meant to do is provide my framily a convenient place to say “Hooray You! We knew you didn’t completely suck and are happy to tell you through this impersonal medium that we like what ya did there. Now go do that some more.” Seriously, I’ve nearly no confidence in my abilities with this. And since I’m mostly praise driven – the point of this is to get as much warm and snuggley approval as I can possibly wring from the interwebs.

++ Question #3 “Do you enjoy writing it?” I do as soon as someone comments on a post. Instant gratification at its best! I also enjoy that some of these small writings, which would be sad abandoned dust bunnies in the back of a musty writing folder in my library otherwise, have a place to go and say “Hey! I existed!”

++ Question #4 asked my intuition to speak up and have a say in the matter to which she said, “No. Stop. Stop right there. Don’t come any closer!” Seriously, there was no opinion on that front other than the depressing sense of a creature too long ignored to feel comfortable speaking in clear sentences or forming strong opinions. I haven’t listened most of my life; I doubt she’d believe me if I said I was going to start consulting with her now.

++ Other half formed thoughts on the matter centered around daydream topics like how the blog would be good future marketing if I ever became a published author, or how I could theoretically utilize the blog as some measuring device for building self discipline, and other similar musings. Eventually I came to the final decision that I would in fact give this another go, and I’ve made the bold move of setting a posting schedule. I’m not revealing what that is right now, on the not so off chance that it all falls to shit and I don’t follow through.

++Yup. That’s right, I’m leaving myself an out. Tada!

Published in: on February 21, 2015 at 6:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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