Dilemmas in writing

When I was twelve, I wrote a story called “The Drypton Dilemma”. There was no dilemma writing that story.

The writing life can come up with real life dilemmas unlike the fictional ones.

Like last week’s one.

But the answer is in decision, as much as possible. Sometimes taking on too much means a writer must cut down somehow without the feeling of selling one’s self short. I know this myself. I have too many ideas of what I can do.

We know that being decisive is about being decisive. There is no middle ground, there is no relenting or going back on your vows. You go through with it. But instead of going through with many projects on the go, go through with one or two at a time.

This is indeed inspirational and a relief. When one decides on a course of action, rather than doing everything at once, there is a sense of inspiration and relief, relief that one does not have to stretch it. But one sticks to the project at hand and does the job then later on tackles the next project.

I think this concentration of focus produces energy to do the project or task. And one can do a very good job of it, something that one can be proud of. Just carry through with the vision or purpose of the project until complete.

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God even cares about this

I was going to the CD part of the department store to find a cheap CD case for myself. I would later use the case for another CD.

I would have to buy an actual CD (or album of songs) because they didn’t sell empty cases or the kind of empty cases I wanted. So the type of artist didn’t matter for my intents and purposes.

I wanted a cheap CD, so went to the bargain bin. One dollar would be best, but I could live with three dollars. Five dollars was too much. There were many five dollar CD’s which was very annoying.

While I was onto it, I looked for an artist I may like as well.

There were albums for Dads and Christmas ones and ones I thought may have seen the light of day in a CD store many moons ago. It just had that cover that would have put it at the front of the shop. Alas, it’s now selling for five dollars.

I was discouraged that I couldn’t find something cheaper than five dollars.

But when I picked an album my mother may have liked, it had the right price for my intents and purposes.

Perhaps this was the hand of God, all designed and organized for this moment.

I grabbed the CD and shot off to the counter. I got my CD case and my mother loved the wonderful collection of Christmas songs from Andrea Reiu.

I went for selfish purposes, but it all worked together for someone else as well as for me.

I wasn’t expecting to get the right priced CD for my purpose and in the process find a CD for my mother. I could have picked any CD, but someone else benefited from the one I stumbled on.

Could of worked another way. Could it be that God works in mysterious and efficient ways? I thought so. God even cared about that.

 

Doesn’t change a thing

Should a writer be a consumer is a question that has an obvious answer as I found myself more a consumer than actually writing like the guy who’s cleaning his fridge more than writing the next Oscar winner. Shame on us.

Of course writers shouldn’t be doing that.

The image of a writer is non-consumerist. They even have to write about being non-consumerist. But I found a little retail therapy just up my ally. I try so hard trying to be non-consumerist, though.

So where does this leave my writing? Or more precisely where does this leave me?

No longer a hypocrite

I can’t be a hypocrite and tell someone to avoid the latest blockbuster and tell them to watch the real and meaningful art house film on offer and praise it by default.

When one becomes a consumer, which we all become at some stage, then to tell others that they shouldn’t is no longer relevant. We are all consumers.

I’m special

And I felt it more now. I shouldn’t, but I did. And that we do, that I do, that you do, that no one else but you and no one else but me does. We are all special as consumers because we buy as unique consumers. I buy this, you buy that. But since I’m a writer it’s more of a flaw to call oneself a writer and buy those commercial, materialistic things that don’t fill the soul but make us empty. But we still are consumers.

So stop telling me that I shouldn’t buy this or that.

I’m still a writer

So, in light of this, should I write a commercial novel because I now feel what it’s like to be a consumer?

Should I write something commercial because I actually belong? Because I’ve joined the club? Because I felt it more this time, last time I didn’t feel it as much?

But that’s being as rigid as being non-consumerist. So I’ll write what I like to write. Being a consumer doesn’t change anything in my writing.

Not writing it off just yet

For a few months, I’ve been conflicted between flagging my freelance work or keeping on going submitting projects and short material.

Looking back at the event where an editor probably would have seriously considered my work, but his publication was strictly “in-house”, changed my mind.

You just never know. Hence, this “words on the way” blog is re-opened.

The short stuff is a dead end

It occurs to me, in a moment of reflection, that the many times I submitted to various publications over the last few years–the faith-based ones and the literary/fiction ones—came up fruitless.

Except a few publications would see my work, but I don’t have the resources for it. Nobody came to my aid this time.

Frankly I’m tired of trying. That means I won’t need to write about my movements in regards to writing anymore. This means this post is my last. But it does mean there are several other blogs I have started last month, where I will be writing.

So long but hello again. I am joining a monastery that has access to the internet and a laptop. There I will be a writer/blogster-writer and chant away.

The short stuff

I don’t like promoting my own work. That’s the way I am. I like doing the writing and would leave the marketing to others. So, I’ve been published in magazines, websites and newspapers that don’t require me to promote my work.

Back in the day when I was doing writing jobs, someone said to me that I should write a book. I was friendly towards such suggestions because in my mind that was what I was going to do. So I explored my fiction writing first before seeking out publishers and found out my ability at that stage.

When I got a grasp of the big picture of what is entailed in publishing I realized that I don’t like doing self-promotion. As I said, that’s how I am. If I was a professional sports player in another life, I would play the game, not promote myself.

This leaves me where a blog of mine a few years back started off. That blog was following my movements on writing short stuff, the articles, the items, the one paragraph devotions, and the short stories. In this pursuit, I may aim in vein, but writing the short stuff is who I am as a writer.

Choices

What one needs to remember, and that includes myself, is that film producers usually require “spec scripts” or scripts written with the intent of soliciting work.

That may come as a shock.

I’d sooner have my original story made for the big screen, but it does not work that way I come to find out.

What this means for the independent-minded writer is that he or she has to work for a producer if their spec script is approved of.

This means a writer writes what the producer needs as the producer has certain products they will produce. Not everyone does horror and science fiction. Not everyone is your thing, but some may be more up your ally.

This may leave any writer asking the same question: should one go ahead and write film and television scripts for that producer? These are choices one has to make.

 

Back to Dante. Yeah!

The experience of reading Dante’s Inferno made me think that the original Star Wars trilogy of books is a lighter read–for escapism and a lightness of step–compared to the heavy, hellish, grotesque imagery in Dante’s Inferno.

Having read it, I transfer my reading of Dante’s Inferno to my experience of watching the hellish Revenge of the Sith years ago.

Revenge of the Sith is not something to really enjoy like the first Star Wars trilogy. Like Inferno, it’s about a descent into hell, literally and figuratively, depending on the story.

But both make interesting points so are worth a read and a watch.

I have two translations of Dante’s Inferno. The first, which I have read, is eloquent and sometimes difficult, not an easy read. The second translation, which I am reading, is readable. The readable translation is the one I would pick over the eloquent translation because I want to follow what I am reading every step of the way. The introductions of both books are useful in their own ways.