Portrait of a Writer

I began writing in my most vulnerable years. I was dumb and arrogant, as most teenagers seem to be, and I did my best to pour greatness into every sentence I wrote. But I was also lying to myself, writing about what I didn’t know, pretending to know, and I got caught and people could see that I wasn’t willing to let them in – I was building this wall to protect my true self from anyone who would be searching for it behind my words. There was nothing that belonged to me in the stories I wrote.

There’s this poem by a Romanian poet, Mihai Eminescu. It’s called To My Critics, and the last verses go like this:

It is easy to write verses

Out of nothing but the word.

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TMM: the muse needs time

Time. The world’s most valuable commodity. Not only that, but you can trade it for anything else.

The muse also needs it. The more time you spend doing the work, the better you become. It is a rule of nature.

But sometimes people get caught in this romantic thinking. Art is about inspiration, about some sort of poetry, not just work etic. They discard the craft part of art…

But truth is, the muse demands you sit at your desk and do the work. That you set aside a certain number of hours each day and get stuff that.

It’s the one rule you cannot bend or break.

Don’t water this down.

Don’t be seduced into thinking that art is inherently different than any other kind of work.

TMM: 13 Writing Tips from Chuck Palahniuk

Rules, advice, tips and tricks. They are all important to any creative individual. The guideline. The cardboard box. There to show you what keeps other individuals inspired and motivated and hungry. Also there to let you know that some rules can be bent or broken or ignored.

Here you can find 13 Writing Tips from the author of Fight Club.

TMM: Words and ideas

No matter what happens in my life, there’s one thing I believe in with all my heart: words can shape the world. I believe in the right words said at the right time, I believe in reading someone’s words and deciding a different outcome for yourself.
That’s one of the reasons I write. That maybe once in a while my words offer someone comfort or hope or inspire them to strive for more. I write for someone half a world away to feel less lonely in their thoughts and feelings. Continue reading

TMM: The Bartleby Syndrome

A term coined by Enrique Vila-Matas and used in his book, Bartleby and co., inspired by one of Herman Melville’s characters, the Bartlebly Syndrome is used to describe authors who hate their works. Vila-Matas believes that the rejection of one’s own work is similar to an epidemic these days, some writer’s dream of perfection inhibiting them from writing, or only conjure up the will-power to write one or two books and then quit, or maybe even start working on a book and then they get stuck. Continue reading