ThoughtsOfAnEnglishMajor

My thoughts on life.

Archive for the category “Laziness”

My Imaginary Friends Are Mute

I have some tragic news to tell my handful of followers. It is something that has haunted me for months now…writer’s block. (Dun Dun Dun)(Camera quickly zooms in on a woman who is unknown to the audience sporting a confused and scared face.)

Yes I have fallen, yet again, to the monster that lives in my blank word document; it seems to be a recurring theme for me. This pattern of having a month of strong ideas, creative characters, interesting and diverse scenes to only be pushed aside by two months of nothingness is starting to get old. I mean, seriously, you would think that creating a piece of fictional magic that envelops the reader in the world of the author would be easy, right?

Since November, I have wanted to write a novel. One that would incorporate a character going through immense changes of self-discovery, treacherous emotional warfare, experimental love, and finally a huge cathartic release of the soul. However, it is much easier for me to describe the type of book I want to create rather than the book itself. I have had at least twenty of thirty complete story ideas and have written pages upon pages of dialogue, scene, and character descriptions only to be left wanting more.

I think I have built up too high of an expectation. I have created this idea that there is an American classic sitting somewhere in my head, and that it is my job to get it out. However, nothing I write is living up to my own harsh critiques. As a result, my entire creative process has tuckered out from exhaustion like my ten year old dog that has hip dysplasia.

Hopefully, by the summer’s end, I will have more of a focus, more of a vision, as what this book will involve, and I can begin my writing and kill this writer’s block.

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Poetry: Friend or Foe?

Language is power.

This semester I am taking a creative writing course that is divided into two sections: fiction and poetry. In the beginning of the year, the class had to write short stories, develop characters, create tone through adjectives. In this second half we are writing in stanzas, keeping rhythm, and focusing on the ambiguity behind the idea. In a week from now I have to turn in a poem that will be critiqued by the class in front of me. Oh, did I mention that I am not allowed to speak during the critique?

My relationship with poetry could be compared to the relationship between a cat and a dog. Poetry always barks at me, threatening me with its rhyme scheme, feet, stanzas; it scares me. It is a world full of ambiguity, raw ideas, and great analogies that can sometimes span half of a page. Meanwhile, I am the cowering cat, stuck in the corner, with its back arched and hairs on edge. I hiss at its presence. In short, it’s not for me.

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.  ~Ray Bradbury

I am a guy who likes making ideas come to life in the reader’s mind. I am a guy who likes facts, occasionally mystery, but mostly the broad range of reactions a person can have to a single event, to a fact. I love constructing places with their grand arches or luminous ceilings. I enjoy creating full, round characters who have personalities so their own that even as I write I don’t know what they will do.  I like being able to envision an entire world based on a single character and how they react to that world.

Poetry is not exactly my cup of tea. Don’t get me wrong, I believe poetry can have all those things listed in the above paragraph. However, I find that I cannot be as open in my creativity when I am thinking about if this word stays within the pentameter or whether my stanzas have a visual flow.  If I am being really honest, it’s simply because I am too lazy. If a story pops into my mind, the world seems to create itself. I just happen to be the first witness. I really cannot take credit because for me it comes natural.

Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn’t wait to get to work in the morning:  I wanted to know what I was going to say.  ~Sharon O’Brien

As a youth, I would spend hours in my room playing by myself. I do have siblings: a sister eight years older and two brothers about ten years younger. Due to that gap in ages, I was raised as an only child. Meaning all those things you did with your sibling I did by myself like riding a bike, playing in the sandbox, going to the playground, messing around in mud, but most importantly, playing pretend. That ability to foster an entire world just to entertain yourself comes in handy when you have to choose hair color, height, or building size.

I will end this post with my pathetic attempt at poetry:

Tossed like the ocean, battered and broken.

My thoughts only matter when they are spoken.

I’m not a lyricist or a great poet,

but I will admit it; I will own it.

Wish me luck next week!!

Spring Break

There is a girl in a bikini passed out in the sand. The sun is beating down on hundreds of drunk faces. Two guys with beer bellies, the size of the kegs they are drinking out of, are screaming at the top of their lungs yelling, “2012 BABY!!”. There is a couple separated from the group due to the fact that their tongues are half way down the throats of the other. The cool water is providing a release from the sun’s intensity. There is that one girl with sunglasses that could be used as an umbrella dancing in a circle by herself. And lastly, there is the juice-head guy that wants to pick up anything that he thinks could demonstrate his sheer, mindless, power. This is Spring Break.

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”- Anne Bradstreet

Spring Break, for many, is a time of wild parties, flowing alcohol, random hook-ups, and many lies to parents. It is, arguably, the biggest cathartic release of the year excluding New Years Eve and President’s Day. I know that in my circle of friends alone that a very large percentage are currently sitting on a beach, walk the streets of New York, touring Beijing, catching lobsters in Maine, gazing at the great landscape of Montana, or catching the trolley/train thing that’s in San Francisco. Spring Break means fun. Spring Break means vacation.

I want to describe another scene now. This scene is not nearly as glamorous and may scare young children. Viewer discretion is advised…

The flash of light through a window wakes the man. A breakfast consisting of burnt toast and poorly mixed chocolate milk awaits him. His day is full of heat, sweat, lack of water. Instead of lounging in the pool with a beer, or shot of tequila, he is on top of his garage roof cutting branches of trees that endanger the power lines. He has to kill rabbits with a pencil he sharpened just to have lunch. His calloused hands aren’t soothed by lotion. He goes to bed early and wakes equally early. This is Spring Break.

The second scene presented has been an accurate, slightly stretched, retelling of my first college Spring Break. No, it hasn’t been pretty. It hasn’t been the ideal break that many students dream of as the week approaches. However, it is good. Spending time with family, getting more than 4 hours of sleep a night, lounging in my recliner, and eating home-made meals has been an oasis from the college dorm living. I cannot be more thankful for how much I have been blessed in my life. So I raise my glass (that is full of kool-aid), and take a drink for everything in my life. Cheers to freakin’ weekend.

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I Deserve A Break

Um..I think I am just going to write this blog later. I can always work out tomorrow. I could probably wait a couple of days before I NEED to start studying for the exam. I deserve a break. These thoughts, or thoughts like them, run through my head all day now that I am on my own. Procrastination is something I think many people struggle with in their day-to-day lives. So much so, I am pretty sure the American Medical Association declared it a disease(Don’t quote me on that). Whether or not it is a medical issue, doesn’t seem to dampen our moans and groans when it hits us in the face; when it cause us to stop everything we’re doing.

“Procrastination is something best put off until tomorrow.” ~Gerald Vaughan

So what are the symptoms of this silent killer, you ask? At first you are extremely motivated, in fact, you would never know that some evil was lurking around the corner. However, once you are content with actually doing the work it is too late for it is nothing but a lie that your body believes. Second, while starting the project, you start thinking about how long it will take to actually finish the task in its entirety. After working very hard for thirty minutes, you decide that you should reward yourself for putting your name at the top of the page and remembering the date without looking it up. So, the social networking sites grab your attention and hold it for ransom. Two and half hours later, once you’ve found out Theresa’s baby’s name, the type of tattoo Jimmy got, and the color that your aunt chose to paint her living room; you can move to picking out the “right” song to help you work faster. As if  John Legend is really going to help you solve the Calculus problems. And so, the cycle will continue and continue until there seems to be no hope.

Children, you can stop crying. Random woman in the street, you can stop screaming. Mob, holding pitch forks and fire, you can get back to other mob things because I found out the secret thing preventing the procrastination monster from making you another victim in its path to world domination. The trick is to fight fire with fire. Although, water with water would work too. We need to procrastinate procrastination.

Whether you or I like it or not, we are nothing more than our minds and our will power. So if procrastination takes our will power, our aimless minds are left there to fend for themselves. So procrastinate procrastination by allotting the same amount of time you would normally visit the social sites, watch T.V., trim your fingernails, or whatever else you would do. However, do it all at once after you’ve accomplished your task instead of taking “breaks” throughout. That way you still get want you want, and I find it relaxes you right before bed which translates to more sleep.  It also helps when you’re not stressing about all the things you failed to do because you were to busy looking at what J. Lo was doing on her Wednesday afternoon.

I am no doctor, but I believe this tip will help you; I can say this because I have applied this trick to my life. Although, I am writing this blog at 4:30 in the morning instead of doing a Biology lab due later in the day. After all, I do deserve a break.

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”~C.G. Jung

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