MonkeyChoke’s Writing Room
|# 03 Dec, 2013 10:21|
I want to learn to write, and like every other skill I’ve set my eyes on, I’m going to approach it with the Japanese notion of ‘kaizen' (incremental improvement)
I’m going to try to be open with the process; I’m new to this compared to someone like, Daniele for example. So I’m going to make a lot of mistakes, it could be slow, and sometimes tiresome - but if I treat it like any other discipline in my life, I’m confident I’ll get there in time. The road is the end itself, not just a means to it.
Hopefully you’ll see the hurdles coming and see how I transverse them best I can - picking up knowledge where I can, both from my own mistakes and others’.
Feel free to post your own writing, talk about ideas you have, specific details, writing processes, etc.
To start us of here’s a short piece I’ve been working on this morning, it’s about attachment, so I’m wary of coming off as overly esoteric, when in reality it’s a valid problem to consider.
PS: For anyone curious as to what my process is; I’m taking my uncle’s advice, who has been a writer for the best part of 30 years; ‘Just write.'
|# 06 Dec, 2013 00:13|
Here’s a piece I’m about to go edit….I’ve changed my stance on a few things. Namely, I can make it much simpler, seeming as it’s ‘for beginners’. Plus I feel like I should explain some basic concepts a bit more. Also, I feel like I can me the piece flow better….it reads a little clunky/jumpy to me.
A Beginner's Guide to Meditation
|# 06 Dec, 2013 02:58|
Good for you, just doing it! You have a very readable style. Keep it up!
To add further “proof” that abdominal breathing (or yoga breathing) is the natural way, animals breathe this way unless they are stressed. First the abdomen expands and then the chest, smooth like an ocean swell. :-) Those that are stressed breathe w their chest, and later, when under general anesthesia, their breathing goes back to what I call yoga breathing. (Oddly, the effect of ketamine keeps the lungs full in a resting state with only a quick exhale and re-inhale).
|# 08 Dec, 2013 04:40|
||Sorry I didn't read your pieces as I'm about to go to bed but I thought of book that might interest you on your endeavor. The war of Art. I have to read yet myself but I just recently finished the Joe Rogan podcast with the author as a guest and it sounded very good. Look it up and hopefully it will help get your creative juices flowing.|
|# 13 Dec, 2013 01:48|
Monkeychoke, who is your audience? Your writing has a very “academic” vibe. Is that what you're going for? Or do you want a broader audience?
If you want to be more accessible, maybe try the following:
- Shorter sentences occasionally…like 3 or 4 words that go straight to the point.
- Stories, well told. Don't just assume I know about the Inquisition, relate to me a specific, bloody tale that really highlights your point.
- Add personal stories. Who are you and why the hell should I care about what your saying? Not your life story, but an anecdote that makes you accessible and real.
Does any of that help? I should add: I'm reading and writing from my phone so it's hard to double check what you wrote while I'm typing (or I'd try and be more specific!). Also, I'm not a writer, myself, but have spent lots of time critiquing various types of art, so that's where I'm coming from.
Good job just picking up the metaphorical pen and keep it up!
|# 15 Dec, 2013 10:14|
Thanks for the feedback pal. I’ll try play around with those tips and see how it goes.
I’m not writing for any particular audience at the moment - just writing and seeing where it goes. I suppose I should probably decide on that, although it seems like unnecessary pigeon-holing.
I’m careful about adding personal stories. Here’s one to explain why ha; I first started writing in the midst of a manic episode and all of my writing was completely saturated by personal details to the point where it was incoherent. So now I’m in a mania-hangover of sorts and avoiding personal details. I’ll slowly try to trickle some personal details on top if you think it needs that.
Thanks again for taking the time to write feedback.
|# 08 Jan, 2014 15:39|
Hey again…started to write back to you a while back and then guess what happened? The holidays happened. Oy. Just coming out of the fog now…
Anyway. I agree with you that writing too much for a specific audience would be a creativity stifler. “Hmmm…what would the 25 - 38 year old middle class male demographic want to hear next?” Not gonna get you anywhere. Ultimately what you're trying to do, though, is write with the most authentic voice possible. Everyone is attracted to honesty, right?
So maybe instead of pinpointing an audience, it's more about not limiting your audience. So, if you, for example, write with a lot of crazy-big words and obscure historical references, you're really just talking to a community that already knows about your subject matter. If you want to be available to a wider audience, how do you explain your thought to the guy next to you at the bar? Or the date you're trying to chat up? Or a kid you're trying to teach? Thinking of writing as communicating helps me get out of my own head. It makes me focus less on vocabulary and sentence structure and more on just explaining my ideas with the maximum amount of clarity.
As for writing about yourself…I hear ya. Personal story: ( ) I have had several people in my life who have driven me insane because the only subject they ever talk about is themselves. A conversation, to these people, is just waiting for you to take a breath so they leap in and can give you another personal anecdote. Ugh. As a result, I tend to do like you, go so far the opposite direction as to become perhaps overly private. But, again with the writing as communication thing, how much would you trust somebody that keeps his/her personal life completely hidden?
Since we have one Mr. Bolelli in common, let me use and example from some of his writing. Have you read Create Your Own Religion? I'm reading it now and I highly recommend it. Anyway, in the 3rd chapter (“Intangibles: God&rdquo he's been talking about God in a fairly abstract manner, then suddenly transitions to an experience he had while writing that chapter, talking about feeling a presence outside of himself (it's page 47 if you have the book and want to look up exactly what I'm talking about). I remember being really impressed when I read that thinking, man, if this guy's going to open the door this far, sharing such a specific story that he KNOWS will make some of his readers think he's crazy, I'm gonna pay attention to what he has to say. In this case, the use of a personal story was able to strengthen the bond between reader and writer.
Ironically, as I'm sitting here writing this to you about being more authentic and opening yourself up to your reader, I'm just about to have to take a dose of my own medicine. I need to write some descriptions of the stuff I make for my online shop and, while I love the shit out of my own work, I fun-king HATE having to chat it up. It feels so disingenuous, but you gotta do it or who else will care about what you make? I guess like all things Taoist, this writing stuff is about balancing the sharing of your personal voice without allowing the ego to drown out your message. It's something I need to work on…
Best of luck as you continue your struggle with writing…and wish me luck as I tackle my own mosters!
|# 10 Aug, 2014 23:48|
I've never been much of a writer. If I were to start writing, it would probably go in nonsense nowhere circles because I just want to have fun. Why bother writing if it doesn't bring you enjoyment. Who cares if it amuses only you.
The one and only paper I have ever written in school for a grade and liked it was for a creative writing class. I titled it “How to be a Dickhole” which was somewhat directed to the TA who would be reading it. I named the narrator of the writing Brock Li since my TA's name was Brock (it's okay I'm ethnically Chinese too.)
Nowadays I leave unphilosophical questions provoking essay like responses in trail register journals (I'm on the Appalachian trail) by pondering aloud the meaning of what it is to be chilly like free willy. Does it mean rock out with your cock out or something deeper? Like some kind of allegory for enslaving intelligent beings in Seaworld with some kind of cold pun attached?
Not all those who wander constantly quote.