THE FLOWERS OF SUCCESS

Hello everyone,

 

First of all, for those of you who liked The Discovery of the Skyfish, I wanted to let you know that He will be returning next Monday. I have a few ideas I wanted to run with to put those poems together, but today is for some goal setting and schedule building. It’s been nearly a year since I began writing for this blog (in fact, we are just 23 days away from the anniversary, if I have counted right), which is strictly awesome, and I will talk about that more at a later date.

However, I realized that I, as a blogger, have only sort of kept to some of the ideas I have shared throughout my blogging experience this past year. Specifically, I wanted to discuss the schedule of this blog. Over the past year, I have been carefully tracking the data that WordPress keeps for me, and recognized that Fridays are my most popular days. Whether this is because I cemented love poetry pretty much exclusively for Fridays or not is up for debate, but what I realized is that I am not making this something I can track easily. I write somewhat randomly, which is great (I mean, in the sense that I can claim I am channeling “the Muse”), but it also leaves myself and others uncertain about what the next day entails. Do you have the vaguest idea of what I write about on Mondays? I don’t. Is Tuesday going to be something you want to read? Who knows?

One of the major inspirations for me, as a consistent, five day per week blogger, was YouTube. YouTube, you ask? But aren’t they, like, the enemy of written work? Well, yes and no. The visual medium, and the ease of access to it, has pacified many people, which may be why reading is less “popular” today than fifty years ago. Who knows? What YouTube (or rather, many famous YouTubers) did do right, however, was realize people like consistency. Take a look at the vast majority of popular channels. Consistent views, everyday, because they upload new, interesting content every day. Similarly, if any of you are aware of Twitch, the popular streaming service, then you probably have a knowledge of popular streamers. Those who are the most popular stream daily (excluding a few, who are typically members of the community in other ways).

So what does all this have to do with my writing? Well, everything and nothing really. Any expressive medium is a device that is unique to each individual in the same way that all petals are unique to a flower. Both are used to present ones self to a variety of pollinators. While on the surface they may all appear the same, the slightest detail is enough to distinguish between two different individuals. Video and literary art are simply two different species of flower—one with blue petals, one with red. Both still need water to grow. Put less artfully, I’ve taken the success of posting consistently on YouTube, and applied it to my own work. With this in mind, I’ve decided to solidify my schedule a bit more, in order to make it easier for you, the reader, to have an idea of what to expect. Here it is:

 

Monday – Poem/Short Story

Tuesday – “Serious” Topic Discussion

Wednesday – Poem/Short Story

Thursday – Short story

Friday – Love Poem

 

Look at that. Even in my scheduling I have some room for randomness. I have put serious in quotes, because it’s not really supposed to just be “serious” stuff. It could be the terror of the political spectrum, it could be the puppies I saw down the street the other day. Until next time!

– Cassady

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WRITING GOOD PROSE

Hello everyone,
Monday has arrived and my mind is percolating with things to talk about. Mostly because in class we are jumping around the book The Basic Kafka, which are works by a man named Kafka, many published after his death. I am intrigued because Kafka writes pretty short stories to get across important messages. And by pretty short, I don’t just mean 10 page stories, he’ll write a quick 300 word tale about a guy and his interaction with a police officer, and you can find so much meaning in it.

So today I wanted to talk about writing, because I realize most people on here have blogs of their own that they write for creatively. Now, I’m not the greatest at executing prose myself, but I am very good at identifying the trends of good writing. I’ve talked a bit about writing poetry, now let’s talk about writing good prose. For those lost a little bit because I don’t talk about this stuff much, prose is what you find in a regular book. Think “A Game of Thrones.” Which, in fact, is a great starting point.

A Game of Thrones is a simple story made great by complex characters. What does this tell us? Well, that characters are important. Archetypes do not exist clearly, everything is “real.” This means, good characters have flaws in addition to accomplishments, not all of which are character flaws. Some can be physical attributes. Good stories have several of these characters, because it makes things unpredictable, but not in a way that makes the reader feel like they were played.

The other notable aspect of good prose is meaning and parallelism to that meaning. To continue my Game of Thrones example, the character Ned Stark begins the story as a heroic authority figure, executing a criminal despite the criminal just doing what he felt was best. This is juxtaposed at the end of the story (spoilers!) when Ned Stark is executed. This creates a “full circle” sort of feeling in the reader, where the fall from grace is completed. This can take non-circular forms, but many good novels have them.

And then there is meaning. Meaning can be done in many words or in few words. Kafka does it in few words typically, where he creates a scenario people can identify with, then intercepts the scenario with a character made to represent something. Like a policeman scoffing at a lost citizen asking for directions. Try something like this in your writing, and you may find more success. Does that sound doable? Let me know what you think!

PASSING THROUGH WRITER’S BLOCK

Hello everyone,
Today I’ve been wandering around my thoughts uncertain what to talk about. So why not talk about that? I’m sure I’m not the only person who sometimes feels caught up in their own thoughts too much. For example, I sometimes question myself when deciding a topic for the blog, because it’s one I’ve talked about a lot. Look at how often I’ve discussed politics somewhat directly. That’s quite a bit. I talk even more about gender issues.

It can be really hard to not repeat myself. Or worse, feel like I am repeating myself. I mean, I can circularly talk all day about how women are mistreated, and how that mistreatment leads to the internalization of misogyny, and how that becomes a cycle of inequality. But that becomes stagnant over time. This happens in all kinds of writing. Just a few hours ago I was trying to come up with a premise for my next love poem. Obviously I (typically) write from my own perspective. I’m a heterosexual male. So in my poetry I often glorify (or demonize) female characters. But that sometimes feels worn out. Like seriously, how many poems have you heard about a guy who loves a girl.

To over come this I do one of two things. First, I’ll try to write about something else. Something not remotely related to the subject or style. Non-fiction prose is often a good way to do this for me. I mean, it’s what I do most of the time on my blog. The second way to break your writer’s block is to write the same thing differently. For example, since I am having some trouble writing from my normal perspective of a love poem, maybe I should try a different one. Maybe I should try writing from the perspective of a heterosexual woman, or from a homosexual person. Maybe I shouldn’t write about romantic love, but another kind of love. Like the love of a sibling, or a friend.

Of course, this can be difficult. Writing from the perspective of a homosexual male can create other problems. Say my “perspective” is latently bigoted. Say some stereotype I have about homosexual males slips through unintentionally. Say I use a perspective I believe to be true, but is not completely accurate. Suddenly I may ostracize someone. Of course, this can happen from my normal perspective as well, but to me that is more understandable, because the misunderstanding of someone outside a specific in group is more comprehensible than someone making an error and trying to play it off as real. Neither are acceptable, but one is simply a lack of knowledge and can be corrected, while the other is bigoted.

Anywho, writer’s block is difficult, especially with work you plan to publish. That said, I hope these methods I have may assist you! Try one out and let me know what you think! Or if you have any ways to break through the wall, tell me so I can try them!