Showing posts with the label blogging about blogging

Writing About Writing vol 16

“Just talk it out…”      That seems like a simple enough instruction to follow, right? Well let me explain something.   I am a middle child by birth order, a creative weirdo by nature and a bit of a misunderstood outcast due to both of the above. …   I also talk about writing like underground rappers talk about rapping.   It is something I enjoy and I am good at.      You know what I DON’T do a lot and never became particularly good at?   Talking! This isn’t to say I am inarticulate or lack vocabulary, I am just used to “sit down and shut up” as a parenting technique that I tend to silently watch a room until I need to talk.      Unless I am excited. When I am excited, unless the audience is similarly interested in what I am yammering on about then I fully expect to feel the “sit down and shut up” vibe I was raised on.   The only difference is nobody better put their hands on me, lest there will be an expensive lesson taught. The same can be said for topics that I am par

Writing About Writing Vol 12

“The Elements” Back on September 1 , I explained – err, shared Will Smith’s explanation of – the relationship of talent and skill. Those are not the elements I intend to speak on this month. February 5 th was my, unbeknownst to either of you, official end to my holiday malaise.  I had been thinking and brainstorming on shit I would write when I sat down and put myself to it, but had not typed a damn thing in weeks.  The last place I had left off in the moment was my ongoing beef with Santa Claus . That morning, I sat down at work after dropping the princess off at school, and I started typing.  Pt II was born in less than an hour.  A little later, III was real.  As of when you read this, I am done through at LEAST part VI and have plans for the series. Focusing still on that same week, I wrote my Hotep Wednesday post THE morning it was to be posted.  I wrote The Bakery later on that afternoon at the end of my lunch break.  Friday morning, I wrote the two most recent Ma

Writing About Writing, Vol 11

     Sometimes you don’t know what the fuck you want to write, you just know you want to write when you sit down to do so. My trick when I find myself in this spot?  A key word or phrase… What do I mean? Come back to August and September with me. Work Spouse : ALL I knew I wanted to include in that story was the “Pennsylvania into her Virginia” line and had been thinking about it for THREE WEEKS before the scribe. Quaaludes : I was talking about The Get Down with someone the day before I wrote this story and the only thing I could think of was “boogie oogie Disco Biscuits.” I wrapped ENTIRE stories around getting those words/phrases into the mix.      Sometimes, that is about all the spark you should need.  A “why” to your “what.”  Having one goal to write toward is what it took to get you typing, the real fun is making it JUST there. To me, that is the fun part; sitting down with NOTHING to go on and remembering some silly shit that happened in a text

Writing About Writing, Vol 10

Be a "Volume Shooter"… This guy, he was a volume shooter: What does that even mean? A lot of people saw Kobe Bryant as a ballhog of sorts.  What people were missing is that sometimes overachieving will come from an outpouring of effort.  Putting up a ton of points on a bunch of shots might be the easiest way to it.      If you write, then write .  Every time your smartphone comes out, your notes app should be available within two taps of your screen.  MS Word (or whatever word processing application you use) should be on your frequently-used or shortcutted on your computers. EVERYTHING can be written about.  Writing should be a constant process.      Stick to it, stick to it constantly.  Throw a million things at the wall in hopes that a thousand stick, and fine tune the whole FUCK out of that thousand.  Write until you're tired, but not until you're burnt out. You will write some things you hate.  You will write some STUPID, bitter or

Writing about Writing, Vol 9

     Today’s theme: Don’t Overthink it. As simple a concept as this may seem to be, it is DIFFICULT in a creative process that is constant to actually do.  The work done toward constant improvement is more in constant practice and willing acceptance of what comes back.  But that is a concept we have already dabbled in, so no need to repeat ourselves.      This is more about trusting yourself and your instincts.  You sat down to write, let that bitch fly!  What I mean by this is that your first gut feeling is usually the best.  Back over the summer, while I was in and out of vacation and away from both my home AND work computers, I was in a pinch to get things up and I kind of felt my work suffered some for it.  I would never let anyone know this shit as it is happening, but as I sit and type this, I see EXACTLY why that was. I was too obsessed with things like word count and a multitude of other shit that really didn’t matter that I neglected my time-honored approach of “

Writing About Writing Vol 8

     “Stick and Move.” Every day I have been near a desktop computer for about the last 16 months, I make a point of opening my blog dashboard and looking around.  I make sure of the traffic numbers, I look at comments that might have found themselves in the Moderation Queue, I look back over previous posts and make small changes I may have missed on the way through the first time. Most importantly, I open my drafts queue.  In it there is usually one to three posts I am actively working on, one I am purposely never posting and FIVE I can best describe as a “false start.”      My archive goes like this: 2009 – 204 posts.  I was new and excited. 2010 – 178 posts.  I was still into what I was doing but busy in the real world. 2011 – 110 posts.  Ava showed up in July and my time was strained. 2012 – 35 posts I was slowly being dragged somewhere I wound up not liking. 2013 – 8 posts…  see above, I was actually there now. 2014 – Took a whole YEAR off and apparently started

Writing about Writing Vol. 7

Short post today y’all… “Fearlessness”      Not everything is for everybody.  Don’t let fear of catching a brick keep you from trying .  Some days, you will do something and present it to the world and at the end of the day, the only hits you’ll register are the ones that came when you visited the post to share it…  In your head you will hear the cartoon “whomp whomp whomp…” Fuck that, you stand learn more from having it happen than you EVER will from pussing out to avoid it.      Don’t be afraid to be the only one laughing.  Of course, when you find yourself in that position you should be working on what got you there to stop it.  Do. NOT. Shy. from being taken there from time to time. Don’t get comfortable BEING in that spot, by no means am I suggesting that being unfunny is a desirable place to reside.      Back to the leading thought.  You can NOT please everyone.  More importantly, you shouldn’t try to.  Do what works for you and let the chips fall where th

Writing about Writing Vol. 6

“Controlled Chaos”      Ask me where anything in my house is, I will take you right to it.  You’d never know that to SEE it though.  It looks like some slapdash assemblage of stuff, but it really does make sense when I can explain it. My creative process is quite similar…      Imagine you sit down at your computer every morning, open FIVE instances of MS Word, then come back to each every time an idea strikes you, and scribble some notes on it.  Now imagine if you will you could somehow do this without having to necessarily sit down to the computer and type these things out. I do this shit in my head. Back in late July/early August, I had an idea for True Story© that I had been actively working on for a couple of weeks.  That idea is STILL in my drafts box.  I cut my grass one Monday and thought up, from start to finish, the Marlon story .  I went out into the yard with the first story in my mind and repeated lines to it as I worked on my grass, but the Cheaters/Marlon/d

Writing about Writing Vol. 5

Two words that it took me a 3-years-plus hiatus to learn the importance of were “support system.” Surround people who have something invested in your passion.  No, not (necessarily) a financial investment, but someone who cares that you care.  They can know their lane and understand that to mean to stand aside and let you be busy at it, they can accept an active role if one is to be had, an advisory role if one is solicited or if nothing else, someone to pat you on the back and tell you you’re doing a good job when you’ve done one in their opinion. My mother : NEVER has she ever thought I was funny, and she has never been shy about telling me so.  More frequently, of late she has been letting me know at Sunday dinner that I am doing a wonderful job of getting her laughs out of her. Hotep Wednesdays are her favorite. My sisters :  Avid readers, the both of them.  One is mostly non-respondent to everything on the planet until there is an actual affront or something to be c

Writing About Writing Vol 4

“Voice” As I learned – or, more accurately, willed myself – to write, I used to hear/read things about “voice” in writing. As I look back over my old writing, I think I understand more clearly what was meant by "voice." [ Phlip note : I HATE some of my old work] What I have observed over the past year or so, though, I have watched my work evolve.  What started as a 150-300 word blurb on my FaceBook wall has grown to an every-Thursday event that both of you VERY much look forward to. The growth has come with some evolution in my presentation and not just with the addition of a leading picture to each of the posts.  I had to learn to structure them physically to help each reader make their own adventure of it. What does that even mean? It means that I use indentation to start certain paragraphs, and not in others.  The indentation is to begin a new though, the lack of it means I have not finished that last idea yet but need the separation that simply putt

Writing About Writing Vol 3

     Now that I have my muse, motivation and most importantly the support I need to do this, I am BEATING on my craft. At home, I have someone I can bounce my ideas off of and instead of being met with indifference to even wanting to do it, I get feedback. Sometimes it is “ehh...  I don’t know if I like that,” or "you're moving to quick to close the story out" or even just “you’re moving too fast, chill and perhaps let me read before you publish” when I make rookie mistakes that I normally don't but even those are better than turning and walking away.  What is most important is that I am being engaged in what I love to do. It also motivates me to CONSTANTLY perfect my creative process.  I have often spoken about seeding scribes with ideas that I will use later.  Another thing I do is conceptualize and repeat things to myself until I can get back to a computer to type them out. Support for my craft: the love of my life knows I have short term memory issu

Special Coverage... True Story©: The Process

True Story©, The process…                 I have been asked – well, once – just where in the hell I come up with my story-a-week presentation. It is REALLY quite funny, actually. Well first thing's first, it was never actually supposed to become a "thing," so much as me being silly in a FB post back in September, which grew to "Phlip, you should do this every week!" which grew to "Phlip you need a blog," which became "wait, I have a blog!"  and voila, I was out of retirement. Now that we have established how this became a thing, back to business... I generally go about my every day just looking at the world as only I can see it and wait for SOMETHING that happens that I can wrap a story around.  Then it becomes a multi-part process. 1 – Wait for something interesting, funny, bombastic or otherwise outstanding to happen.  It doesn’t even have to happen to ME, it just has to happen for me to see or hear.  This is where being