Just stop thinking

I read this article about writer and writing teacher Kathryn Harrison, who offers the advice to her students “just stop thinking.”

I find this to be terrific advice. Thinking is the bane of most creative activities, and I say this as a proponent of science and learning and understanding on all fronts. Think before you create, think after you create, but while you are in the process all it does is make you second guess yourself, make you stop and wonder if you should be doing something else, or make you think what you’re doing isn’t good enough.

When being creative–making music, painting, writing, whatever–do what feels right, without thinking about why it’s right. Of course it is useful to analyse these feelings and figure out the meaning behind them–but do that afterward, when your creation is complete and your meddling brain can’t interfere with the process any longer.

I’m sure this won’t apply to everyone. There are many ways to write. But it resonated with me and I think it is a great way to look at the creative process.

Just do it. Think about it later.

Enjoy the details

Don’t rush to the end, take your time with each scene and enjoy the creative power you can have in your world.

You can say the same cheesy thing about writing as about life in general: it’s about the journey, not the destination!

Wherever you are in the story, enjoy it, put your full effort into making it beautiful, impactful, meaningful–whatever your aim.

If you find yourself bored with ‘this part’ and wanting to skip on ahead, then it probably needs to be changed, or just cut altogether.

Doctor what?

I watched the season 10 premier of Doctor Who in my local theater on Monday, and was pleasantly surprised at my lack of confusion, irritation and boredom.

The previous two seasons have been plagued by lazy writing leading to rushed, confusing, overly-manipulative plot-lines. So I was expecting to do a lot of sighing and woling (saying what out loud). Instead, I got an episode that had more character details and development, more attention paid to the plot actually making any kind of sense, and more importantly the characters decisions making sense–and thus was a lot more entertaining.

Pearl Mackie is great as the new companion, and a refreshing change from the same old same old of the past I-don’t-know-how-many seasons. I’m not just talking about diversity, though that is refreshing also, but the dynamic of the doctor and companion is also is fresh with Mackie’s character.

Instead of the companion as a sassy know it all that takes the doctor down to size on a regular basis by being a strong independent person that he underestimates and is amazed by and who seems to have some kind of super powers herself just by always doing the exactly right thing at the exactly right time– the Bill character seems like a normal, regular person, who is confused by what is going on and doing her best to absorb it all. She has down to earth understandings of confusing things, which is very charming. Her relation to the doctor is more like a granddaughter to an eccentric but caring grandfather, instead of the oh so tiring disapproving mother to naughty child.

The line from Bill–“I can’t just call you ‘the doctor’, can I? Doctor what?” hopefully signifies that we won’t be getting just the expected from her!

This is the most entertaining Doctor Who I’ve seen in a long time, and I am excited for more.

Consistency works

It happened sometime in the past few weeks, and I only just noticed it now, but:

I have now surpassed the number of views and visitors this year than I had for all of 2016. And I have nearly triple the likes I had in all of 2016. And it’s only April!

That’s what being consistent gets you! Post every day, write every day. Do whatever it is you do, every day and you’ll get better at it, build better habits, and have more success!

Write on!

Mall rats

On Easter Sunday the mall was closed. I went there with the wife for some shopping, and all the shops were gated. But the entrance to the mall itself was unlocked. People wandered up and down the lane, looking into the inaccessible shops, as if hoping one of the stores would be open. There were so many people around that at first we thought this must be the case–why else would so many people be here?

But that must have been what everyone thought. Like ants caught in a death-spiral, people kept filing into the mall, walking through it, then exiting with nothing. All because other people were already there doing it.

How many other things in life do we do for just that reason…

A ghost

Sometimes it feels like I am one… do I have any effect on anything? Can anyone hear me, see me? Will anyone read anything I write? There can be an impulse to do something crazy, absurd, drastic–just to see if anyone notices you are there. To see if anyone looks up from their phone for a moment. To see if it’s possible to leave the railway you’re rolling down and go in some unpaved direction. But can it be done? Or are we set to ride the tracks set out before us all the way to our grave?

brain cold

I’ve been sick the past couple days. Usually I don’t feel like this, but it feels like my brain is being affected. I feel slower, confused, foggy. Usually I just feel tired and achy. I wonder if the cold virus will evolve to make people stupid while they are sick. It would lead to more sneezes and coughs in other people’s faces after all…

I probably shouldn’t be writing in this state…