Thursday, June 16, 2016

Easy Reading is Damn Hard Writing

Easy reading is damn hard writing.

How many times have you read a book and thought, "Wow. This author really knows how to write a story! I wish I could write like this."

From that writer's viewpoint, they are more than likely arguing with themselves about how the story should go. You know they are critiquing their work and proclaiming that they are the worst writer of all time. They, too, are staring at the page waiting for the words to magically appear fully formed and written in the most beautiful prose possible. It's not uncommon. Elizabeth Gilbert said that she has had to sweat and labour and toil with her writing process, only to catch glimpses of the creative muse.

I struggle with this process, too. There are times when I can come up with beautiful sentences in my head, but when I put them onto the computer or on paper, it comes out weird and awkward.

Writing is a long process and I don't think many people can appreciate the time spent in creating that piece of work. Anything creative takes time. And, there is always the big possibility that people will hate it. On the other hand, people might love it. It's always subject to interpretation by the person experiencing the creative work, whether it is a book, a song, or art.

I recently painted my very own version of The Kiss by Klimt. This is my own expression, and it's one that I am happy with. I'm so happy with it that I will probably to it again.

Pablo Picasso said, "Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working." You can't be sitting on your ass, watching TV, waiting for inspiration to strike. You have to get at it, even if you don't really want to. I liken it to going to kickboxing. There are a million and one ways I can talk myself out of not going to kickboxing. But, I love it when I'm doing it and I love it when I'm done.

Jack London said, "You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club." Whatever way is going to get you there, that's the way you take. If it means writing out a grocery list to start with, then do it. Yes, writing can be hard, but, it can only be as hard as you make it.

I recently published my book Just Between You and Me. It was something I started back in 2003 and it was time to get this book (and a few others I had written) out to the public. Formatting and proofing this thing was a slow process with no guarantee that I would be compensated for my efforts.  

Does it matter? Somewhat. The point is, I just want to create and to share my work with the world. If they like it, awesome. If not? Nothing I can do about it. I just want to do what I love to do. Why? Because I've worked hard for it and it makes me happy. Isn't that what it's all about?

Sunday, February 28, 2016


We all have a purpose in life whether we think we do or not.
A few years ago, I questioned my work and if I was really offering a service or helping others through my writing. If I'm 'just' writing novels, how am I helping others? How am I being of service to others?

I love writing and I feel very passionate about it; however, my passion wasn't the issue. The issue was, how was I helping others?

I wanted to provide some value to help others grow. Writing wasn't solely about me and what my heart wanted; it was also about the bigger picture.

And that's what it's about. Writing (or whatever your work is) isn't just about you. This the fallacy in life and that's what people struggle with daily: thinking that it's just about us as individuals. Separated. 

What's my purpose? Thinking that it's only about getting the golden ticket, whatever that looks like, is erroneous. 

As Stephen King says in the quote above, whatever we do, whatever our purpose, it isn't about the fame, notoriety, the chicks or the men. It isn't about living next to Steven Spielberg, Stephen King, or Stephen Amell.

It isn't about getting chummy with J.K. Rowling or Neil Gaiman.  It also isn't about proving a point to your spouse, your ex, or even to the kids who had bullied you in school 20 years ago.

It's actually about living your passion and doing what you love. It's about self-expression and creativity, and about enhancing other's lives, providing a new perspective, inspiration, and greater enlightenment while contributing to the bigger picture. It's not one or the other--it's all of the above.  

If your work is enriching your life as well as the lives of other people, you have tapped into your passion and your purpose.