Monday, February 25, 2013
I'm doing something this week that's never been part of my vocabulary: Creating writer's deprivation. The physical act of stopping a writing process. The 2nd draft of Scrambled Eggs is brilliantly running smoothly. Paragraph structure, sentence tightening and reader focus inside a Twitter and Face Book generation are locked solidly in place. Why stop? For a week! In the business of Radio, it's extremely easy for an on-air talent to locate crutches, habits, formats of presentation that seem unique and fresh but to a listener...it's a delivery that gets in the way of their enjoyment. Writing is no different. Patterns that make the writer say , "Wow" whip from out of no place only to be spotted in nearly every place. Being aware of my writing style reintroduces me to thirty plus years of Radio aircheck sessions with Program Directors trained to keep true to a listeners reasons for tuning in and out. Especially in what's called a PPM market versus the old fashioned diary rating system. Every seven second break counts in Radio. So should every page in a book. If a Radio listeners needs aren't being met why are writer's putting so much focus on the final scenes of their books? Julia Cameron from The Artist Way gets credit for bringing me to the forefront of deprivation. In her book The Vein Of Gold she trains the creative mind to become physically aware of where they get their high, rush or fix. Grocery store chains with massive amounts of magazines near the checkout counter. Stop looking at the covers for a week and watch your life change. Deprivation can also be a dangerous game. The writer inside demands attention. If I can't feed him he'll locate a new addiction. I'm ok with that. Gene Simmons of KISS loved the idea that Peter Criss and Ace Frehley wanted to stretch out and do solo projects. It introduces the Artist to newer ideas and a fresh scent of passion that's always available to come back to the origin. Do I fear my writer locating a different story? Not at all! I have so many book ideas living and breathing in my head that he'll jump into any puddle of mud to find his next outlet. I treat my writing self like a partner. For "us" to work there has to respect. I've spotted some crutches being used and the decision is deprivation. Keeping the writer's heart and eye fine tuned is a process not a project. Inspiration to a writer is better than sex. Influencing your writer to take chances is better than make up sex. The final page of your book being written is like stepping onto a cloud marked: Welcome to Heaven. I've recently tapped into a brilliant book for writers called Why We Write. Gish Jen's Wisdom for Writers: Writing is ridiculous if you're doing it for money. Do it for a deeper satisfaction. Readers are always interested in what's going on in other parts of the world. Gish Jen believes writers should challenge themselves to write with an international viewpoint. Keep your stories away from becoming lectures. It's something much deeper.
Posted by Arroe at 5:03 AM
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
I talk about daily journalizing so much Preacher's accuse me of studying the wrong book. To which I reply, "Journaling connects you to the voice or voices that could physically be the sounds God makes." Whipping through my journal would be extremely boring because its where the writer in me goes when having to explain why scenes in my new book Scrambled Eggs have to be rewritten or a conversation between characters brought me to my knees in tears. Author Sue Grafton plays the same journaling game. Rather than trying to overpower writers block put value and interest in what might have headed off your creative path. Journaling helps you pinpoint a fork in the road. According to Sue, taking the time to slip a few thoughts from your system of decisions is a great way to measure progress while having a future place to study when other writing projects hit the same mountain. A couple of days ago I pulled up my ink stains from Christmas day 2012. I was frustrated with my decision to "Ferment" draft one. That's what I call separating the writer from the other writer's wanting to lend a helping hand. The original idea was down on paper. I didn't need his ego to get injured during the second draft...so I "Ferment" the project. Going back two months reintroduced me to the critic and the writer. Seeing both points of view helped me two months down road in February 2013. I ripped from the script four pages of handwritten ideas and didn't feel guilty. Did it make me less caring? Not so! The writer understands my 51/49 rule. There's always going to be a 51% chance I'll be rewriting to make the story bigger, better and less poetic for the common no frills e-book reader. For Sue, daily journaling helps fine tune characters in her books while repeating the storyline over and over. To a writer, knowing where you're going makes you less of a critic and more of a creative. The picture displayed is a page from my daily writing. Julia Cameron says, "Display your art so that you can learn to ignore criticism." How many people do you know who aren't afraid to write in their journals then say, "Get what you want just don't ask me to respell the words. Writing instruments don't come with spell check."
Posted by Arroe at 8:26 AM
Monday, February 18, 2013
Author James Frey takes writing beyond the limits of being serious. Serious writers write. They write exactly how they were taught. They write in the morning at the same time. Write because writing is a job or an over consuming hobby. James Frey's "Greater" vow is to change presentation through being labeled one of the biggest of the best of our present time. Not because he was able to sell billions of books but his writing style opened the door and influenced generations that followed. From the pages of Meredith Maran's book Why We Write; James' shares his Wisdom For Writers: "True art comes with no rules. It doesn't have to be fiction or nonfiction. You didn't have to go to certain school or have an MFA. Either you can write or you can't. Arroe's response: It takes years of loyalty to develop self acceptance without having to sell out with a shape or style that's been made popular for the moment. My past two books have come with one heaping pile of rules: Do not edit my book to make it look like anything else on the shelf. The way I write is my accent. Please respect it the same way you would respect a southern man or woman in Charleston, SC Although his interview in Why We Write is raw, ego driven and systematically too sharp for today's modern signing parties; James gently explains, "Thanks to e-books, publishers aren't necessary anymore. If you want to publish a book, do it yourself. Arroe's response: Independence from book publishers is a brilliant idea until the writer realizes the number of family and friends required to promote, promote and promote. Teaming up with Social Networks is a great way to expose your writing. If what you want to do in writing is to make a bunch of money. Like Radio...I believe those momentous glorified moments of living comfortable are over. Write for the passion of it. The business of writing still has to be an outside the creative circle project. Trust knowing you are going to get injured.
Posted by Arroe at 8:04 AM
Friday, February 15, 2013
First drafts should "never" feature too much thinking. It's like going to the dentist, "Open your mind and say aw." I had a blast mixing up words and sentence structure in my new book Scrambled Eggs. Without rules there can't and won't be judgment. A publisher once said to me, "Your job is to write. Editors make it right." Famed artist Peter Max shared with me his desire to photograph process. It showcases personal growth and or movement without having to rely on memory. This photograph doesn't tell my writer inside that we've been stuck on this page for nearly two weeks. It says to the creator inside, "I can't wait to read what your imagination has brought to the story." John Hancock from WBT radio describes a radio stations format is nothing more than a net. When the calls aren't coming in the jock on the air falls into to the safety of the format. Writing is no different. The first draft of Scrambled Eggs was handwritten because of my personal enjoyment for writing. Some people still like holding books versus digital e-books. Writing with ink onto paper my fingertips handpicked is a gift to the inner being of my writing self. Getting it to the computer only seems stalled if what you're measuring is the size of an ego hell bent on the idea that better ideas don't come after the project is complete.
Posted by Arroe at 7:58 AM
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
For any writer. No matter the style. Making words bend to suit your writing accent can be a chore. Fueling the fire is knowing a sentence won't work until the precise word has been lifted from darkness and firmly planted in the fields of your current writing process. Author Isabel Allende's wisdom for writers is to scratch your head until it comes to you. Use a thesaurus. Find that word! Arroe: I feel guilty when an hour flies beside my writing window and barely three paragraphs have faded from the background. I'm not a perfectionist! While writing my new book Scrambled Eggs it's imperative to keep readers connected to the background. Life is moving too fast in 2013 and outside in the real world DVR's and IPods have turned us into quick fixes. Find me entertainment! How and when do you know when a book is going somewhere? Isabel believes it's when your story begins to pick up rhythm. Your characters are shaping up, you can hear their voices while doing things you didn't plan. Arroe: A snide careless remark will fall from my character's imperfections and instantly I want to fight with the computer flat screen. Rather than waste time and energy I use ***'s to signal my writing self to revisit the comment tomorrow. One final wisdom for writers from Isabel is the physical act of making sure how you write your story doesn't fall into what she calls kitchen friendship. Sharing a conversation with someone in the food maker is filled with mistakes and repetition. Avoid literature. Your story should feel like a conversation not a lecture. Arroe: In Radio...kitchen talk is the very reason why listeners rush toward other stations. Why should anyone seeking great music invest their time in listening to commercials if what's being shared has nothing to do with their life and style? Your book is no different. Don't practice reading with a friend. It opens your writing time for conversation you won't be able to escape. Become aware of when moments like this...with me now...are lectures or way too far out there mumbles and bumbles fresh from Momma's kitchen. Read more inside the pages of Why We Write from Meredith Maran
Posted by Arroe at 1:34 PM
Friday, February 8, 2013
I'm often accused of wearing my passion for creativity on my sleeves. Which is an outsiders way of saying, "You deserve to get injured." The greatest thing about being a writer is having the opportunity to secretly be a writer. The world doesn't have to know you put pen to paper or roughed up your fingerprints on horridly designed computer keyboards. The more you write the easier it is to breathe. The more you write the farther you see. The more you write the more control you have over completely gone insane quirky people that fail to realize their awkwardness in your life will soon be featured on your pages. I've been pissed off at God for making me a writer. I want sleep at night not gift my imagination to just enough rest to figure out a scene. I want to watch a great Nicholas Sparks movie not study his habits and connections with a viewing audience! Today I threw my writing to the side. I was out of control angry because someone inside the real career gave my creativity away promising there would be more at no charge. I slammed my lead characters into a realm of silence. I turned my back on the purpose of there being a soon to be book called Scrambled Eggs. I turned off John Lennon. How dare I assume I had the right to be so punishing to something that wants nothing more out of life than to create. I don't have multiple personalities. I have characters inside unwritten books waiting impatiently to be given names and a face. Then I was pushed into a pool of thoughts called Why We Write.
Posted by Arroe at 2:47 PM
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
I was recently asked if being a writer classified me as being legally insane. My reply was, "Absolutely and proud of it." The writer gets away with a lot of bad behavior. At times he can be playfully poetic or masterfully creative by way of selling cars to an invisible ant walking across a 200 degree burning desert floor. The writer also has a foul mouth. By displaying only part of this photograph I personally feel you aren't getting the full shot of what being a writer is or how to live in the mind, body and soul of a writer. Because the writer took evil hits against me, it was believed to have been too personal and non-writer's would find reason to offer more judgment.
Posted by Arroe at 6:35 AM
Friday, February 1, 2013
My good friend Jonathan has been on the move for nearly a year with a creative idea that's jumped out and away from his daily requirements. He's entered the walls of modern Broadcasting taking the most difficult path; he purchased Radio advertising to sell his vision to massive amounts of listeners that have begun to follow. Those 60 seconds paid for time have evolved into multitudes of influential musical features on 1065.com. Over the past few weeks the origin of his dream sprouted green leaves. Currently buried in the process of formats and programming Jonathan's working with producers and directors designing a weekly two hour Radio show that'll include some of the most raw upfront verbal deliveries and interviews once put into play by microphone junkies and speaker performers that blanketed the air well before the birth of compact discs and MP3 players. While away from those now controlling the destination Jonathan spent time with me asking questions. You know me... I deal 150% with Radio Reality. I'm not gonna waste an ounce of lung generated smoke to blow up your butt. Hit this business head on and not if but when the wins become spins you've already thought of a backup plan. I was completely fascinated with the idea of him purchasing a writing instrument. He was serious about getting thoughts out of that skull onto paper. I told him the first and best way to weave and wave your way through Radio Politics is to get to know who the performer is. Interview yourself two or three times a week. The doubter, the one holding fear, the impossible and the too shy team up to ask, "Who, what, where and why?" These pictures are shots of my daily writing. The interviewer is questioning my current project; a book called Scrambled Eggs.
Posted by Arroe at 4:46 AM