Writer’s Inventory

August 25, 2009
1. Creative writing is therapeutic. Of all the things I can say, this is what I want to talk about. Creative writing is a way to bring out all the random things that crazy kitchen inside your head is cooking. Forget what you ordered, anything that comes out in writing is what I’ll call the Chef’s Special for the day. Day? I meant, hour, minute, or just that second of WOAH I WANT TO WRITE. And in that way, it solidifies all the nonsense in your head. It brings some sort of order, or phrasing, to what seems like endless babble. You can size up inner demons, figure out what you really want to talk about, or even just play and enjoy yourself.
2. While I am not a fan of reading free writing, I totally support writing it. This is where my history in creative writing lies, and probably how I decided to bring up creative writing as therapy. Free writing can be therapeutic, get it? Also, I have spent some time writing short fiction, or flash fiction, or sudden fiction– whatever the new, hip term is. Little one page blips, a paraphrase of something longer that I just like the idea of.
Similar to sudden, short, flash fiction– parables are interesting. One of my favorite authors is Italo Calvino. I dare not claim that Calvino writes a billion parables, or even one, but he sprang to mind because I like to think that my shorter pieces reflect, in spirit, his work. I’ve only begun reading Calvino in the last year or so but I feel like his style and content is like what I aim for. Social commentary, aloof plotlines, and a rediculous reading experience. However, because this author is still new to the palatte, I ought to talk about other influences.
Advanced Writing, a high school course, pruned much of my stylistic choices. Ray Bradbury was a favorite back then, so I felt the need to write many self-referential fantasy bits. I’ve pined away in classes at North Central College studying literature, so this has probably expanded my tastes and interests in reading literature.
3. Writers are made in a factory which Barnes & Nobles currently owns. Borders would like to own it, but can’t seem to override the giant conspiracy Barnes & Nobles spread when they initially went into business. Amazon is a subleaser there, where writers are made. The writers are all robots, and carry unique programs to write for genres both new and old. The people who write these programs are marketers who constantly survey the general public. That’s what my uncle heard anyways. He’s a butcher.
(Taking the question seriously) I think writers are made, not born. Cultural forces, life experience yadda yadda yadda. It’s a lot like taking a stone and carving a statue. Only the statue is alive and feels the changes. The writer is that statue, and at the more sophisticated levels, will start to change shape and perhaps become more amorphous, like water, able to take the shape of its container. But are you born writing? No. Are you born telling stories? Not really. I think living as a social being makes this sort of thing happen.
4. Ray Bradbury is often nice. He will parade escapades and taunt misbehaves. Misbehavior. Maybe he rewards it, depending on the nature of the offense.
When Ray sits down to write, it is usually in the morning when he first wakes up with dreams spinning threads in his head. Those threads contort his fingers and produce stories no one can understand. He then goes off and eats breakfast, reads the news, and comes back to whatever-the-hell he wrote and attempts to make sense of it. He scratches his head, has lunch with his wife or a friend, and if he has an AHA moment he returns to his writing and cranks out the same novel he’s been writing for the last 2 decades.
I imagine Kurt Vonnegut was ornery. He probably watched the news, made friends, saw friends, lost his friends because he was too ornery, and would occasionally get worked up enough about something to go write about it. I bet he made himself laugh often. I think of this because of his friend and creation Kilgore Trout– who writes the most ridiculous off-hand science fiction on Earth. Late nights were a constant in his life, as well as some occasional recreation. Gardening. Looking at bugs. Things like that. I don’t imagine him having a routine. I imagine any structure in his life coming from other people; family, making dinner for family. The like. Maybe an occasional friend or publishing firm calling him to say, “Let’s go out” or “Could you write something for us?”
All speculation.
5. The purpose of the writer in contemporary society is to write stories which are fitting to his or her life/job that still have relevance to the forces at play within the author’s audience. I think this is impossible to mess up. But where things get murky is in the attention to detail that an author sometimes lacks. An easy example would be the common missuse of affect and effect, or of their and they’re. Changing possesion to action could change meaning. More grandiose examples don’t come to mind, which I feel deflates my claim. I resign.
Goodnight, see you all in class.

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August 25, 2009

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