Don’t Write One Sentence. Write Two.

naked lunch

You guys, I had writer’s block and then I wrote a sentence. I don’t have writer’s block anymore hurray except I only wrote one sentence and now I feel like hitting my head on kitchen-cabinet doors until I get amnesia and forget that I ever started writing anything.

Maybe it isn’t the blank page that does you in. It’s the many many MANY blank pages. Many. I have to write HOW many pages to finish a complete thought? Why don’t readers just buy my sentence! I WROTE A SENTENCE. IT’S A GOOD SENTENCE.

The problem is, if it’s such a good sentence, everyone will want to read more sentences about the idea or the character or the historical event or the moral outrage that you talked about in your one sentence. Readers will want many many many pages, in fact. This is all my fault. I started it by writing a sentence. A curse upon the blank pages of this pitiless world. Maybe I should go invent a new knickknack or something. It’ll give me a thing to do. A thing that isn’t writing on blank pages. Continue reading

Beginnings are more interesting than middles or endings.

Every so often someone on the editorial side of the press laments the scarcity of movies or books that star elderly people. This comes to mind as I see a review of Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru (English title: My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU), one of the more popular anime series to come out of Japan’s Spring 2013 television season.

Imagine that the title of the series were My Golden Years Romantic Comedy SNAFU. Continue reading

ME: Writing prompts suck. They never give me ideas for what to write.

ME: Why is that? I mean, a prompt isn’t supposed to drop an idea down a chute just because you looked at the photo or read the sample opening line or whatever. It’s just supposed to give you something to build on.

ME: But I can never build on them.

ME: If the prompt is an illustration of a sunlit forest, and all you think when you see it is “wow, that’s a lot of green,” then write about something green.

ME: A lot of prompts are really weird.

ME: If the prompt is an illustration of koalas debating marriage equality in a sunlit forest, and all you think when you see it is “wow, that’s a lot of green,” then write about something green.

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haiku

Haikus, oh my God. The last refuge of the writer’s block patient. When pulling one hundred words out of your head for a drabble feels like picking individual atoms out of a rock, start counting syllables. You only need seventeen syllables. You only need to finish a piece of writing, finish a piece of writing, and then you can wave it at Arthur Schopenhauer. You are WRONG, Schopenhauer! Life is wonderful! I wrote today!

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Goma kashi and kuro goma kashi– little sesame-seed candies from Japan. If you ever get bored with all the snacks in your home country (I acknowledge that is probably a very big if), the last thing you should do is swear off snacks. Go to a world market or grocery for immigrants. There will be so many new flavors to try that you will wonder how you got stuck with such a poor education.

Just as a warning- this is an allegory. Thought I would let you know ahead of time.

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It can be hard to feel creative. Few skills are more valued these days than are storytelling, innovative thinking, inventive problem solving, yada yada. I stare at an image-macro template and can’t think of anything funny for Grumpy Cat to say.

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