Thursday, October 2, 2008

a writer's prayer

Posting on a blog is like sending out a prayer to God, it may never get answered and even if it does it'll probably be in an unexpected and obscure way. This is my petition to the great WWW...

Oh mighty Internets, Repository of all of human knowledge, almost Omniscient One. Have mercy on thy lowly addictee. I seek to be an implausibly exceptional writer. A veritable impossibility, I know, which is why I want to do it.

That hallowed and holy writer who some have accused of hackery, one Stephen King, has laid out the sacred rules of writing: write a lot and read a lot. I can barely bring myself to do either.

What is this magic of reading that people often describe. Any fictitious collection of words(including this one) unless accompanied by pictures is enough to make my eyes glaze over and send me into a catatonic stupor. Perhaps I lack imagination, but reading fiction is work to me. Give me history, biography, or pop science, but the world of made up BS is lost on me. I can not suspend my disbelief long enough to become involved with the characters.

Oh Exalted One pour out thy collective wisdom on thy misguided servant. How do I care? Why do others care? Do they construct imaginary images out of the author's material. I for one prefer not to BYO pictures if it is all the same to thee. Abstraction is far more satisfying, but if the expenditure of precious mental energy is required as a sacrifice to attain my lofty goal, so shall it be for thee.

Oh mighty Internets hear my prayer! And if it's not to much to ask, stop spamming me. Amen


Anonymous said...

Mr Tenuous-Connections

I would not normally presume to offer advice to another writer, but I was moved by your dilemma and sincerity in soliciting advice from the WWW. If I understand right, you want to read & write fiction, yet are currently unable to focus on anybody else’s creations long enough to suspend disbelief and empathize with the characters and enjoy the writing (pls correct me if I’m wrong ).

There is a duality in nature – light vs dark, male female, mind heart, logic emotion, rationality vs creativity. My view is that non-fiction generally is tailored to the mind, whereas fiction is generally tailored to the heart. Some people are more “thinkers” and some are more “emotionally-oriented” (I would use the word “feelers” but some people have bad connotations of that word). In order to enjoy fiction, I think you need to connect with your emotional side and temporarily disconnect your brain. As to your reference to creating mental images while reading fiction yes I do that, it’s the best part, you can envision things how you want them to be regardless of what the author originally intended, its like magic.

For myself, I love fiction & use it as an escape. I like fantasy-sci fi or books that evoke memories, emotions & ideas. When I was young the make believe worlds I read about had a much stronger pull on me than the harsh realities of life. They say when you read something as a child it becomes a part of you as an adult.

But in the end, its your choice, if you really can’t shut off your logical “left-brain” enough to enjoy fiction – my advice would be to look at being a factual writer – biographies, history & the like.


lorenhops said...

The Honourable Net has spoken. Peace upon it. Thank you for your response Internets aka anonymous aka PK. Your assessment of my dilemma is mostly correct. Enjoying writing for writing's sake isn't too much of a problem for me (depending on my mood), I appreciate the imaginative use of language as much as the next sesquipedalian lover, in fact I'm the type of anomalous character that would probably actually enjoy reading Ulysses (although I've never tried). But yes, I often have trouble following a standard fictional (written) narrative.

This is where you seem to have me totally figured out with your Ying Yang explanation. Admittedly my inner terrain is made up of a mostly barren emotional waste land interspersed with pockets of creative bankruptcy, I truly do struggle to connect with characters that are conjured up by the written word alone and imagining entire worlds seems far more challenging than watching the movie adaption.

In any event, I thank you again for your input. I'm not ready just yet to abandon my made up worlds entirely, but to make them real --in the imaginary sphere -- it looks as though I may need to be a lot more willing to visit the lands that others have created. I will experiment with this for a while. Damn it, this is going to be harder (and maybe, hopefully more rewarding) than I thought.

PK said...

How do you feel about fiction books based on true events or real people?

I've never heard of Ulysses, but it sounds interesting (I just looked it up on wikipedia). It says James Joyce created the 'streams of consciousness' writing technique.

I like your gratitude post, according to Masaru Emoto, gratitude is the strongest positive emotion a person can have ("Messages from water"), even more powerful than love.

lorenhops said...

Well in that case, thank you again. I should probably practice gratitude more often then.

As for fictional accounts of real people, I've never really read any, but at this point I haven't really read anything much other than comics. There is a large catalogue of alternate history literature and I guess it might be a good bridge from the real to the fictional for me. Cool blog by the way.