Once you get rolling on a good bit of writing, you don’t want to stop. After all, the more you create, the better your end product will be, right? However, you might just be what the Japanese call a manuke, or fool. This is a person without the awareness of ma — a philosophy that cherishes the space between things. In order to writer better, writers must harness the power of ma.
Target Fixation is a Trap for Writers
As writers, we’re constantly pushing ourselves to get those words on the page. To finish the job. We work ceaselessly for months on end, pursuing the elusive goal of a completed novel. This is target fixation and it’s a phenomenon associated with bike racing and driving that can lead to disaster. Chasing after word counts and pages may accomplish the goal of having a completed manuscript, but is it any good? As it turns out, target fixation is a trap many writers fall victim to.
Weapons for Writers: Compassionate Water
Writer and comic book creator, Alan Moore, has a unique view on writing. He thinks writers should equip themselves with four weapons before trekking into literary battle. Previous posts covered the first two weapons, the sword of discernment and the pentacle of earthly knowledge. His third weapon related to the Tarot suit of cups and the core element of water. He encourages everyone to take up these weapons for writers and fully immerse themselves in the mindset and emotions of their characters, even if those characters are vile and depraved.
The Four Weapons of Art: How to Understand the Physical World
Can you weaponize your writing? Perhaps sharpen your skills as a painter or musician? And what exactly are we combating in this metaphorical artistic battle? Writer and comic genius, Alan Moore, relates his creative process to making magic. And the same advice given to magicians can work equally well for writers and artists. He calls these the four weapons of art and relates them to the four suits of the Tarot deck. We’ll focus on the first weapon, Earth, and how it helps the artist understand the physical world.
The Most Important Tool for a Writer is You
Alan Moore, known for his multifaceted comic book characters, dishes out an important nugget of advice to anyone who wants to take up the pen — In order to become a better writer, you first need to be a better person. You, yourself, are the most important tool as a writer.
Why We Need to Waste Time to Be More Creative
We’re told to hustle, grind, and maximize every moment. We’re like soldiers in a battle, preoccupied with objectives rather than why the fight is happening. Perhaps we’re missing something important by rushing all the time? Maybe we need to waste time.
The Care and Feeding of Your Muse (How to Cultivate your Creative Side)
We all yearn for that flash of inspiration that pilots us through the next difficult chapter or short story. Yet our Muse is not the kind of creature to clock in at a regular schedule. Nor will it perform on an empty stomach. The care and feeding of your muse is essential if you want to cultivate your creative side.
Your Brain is Built to Forget
Memory aids and brain boosts are available by the truckload. Apps advertise how to retain more and keep your brain fit. However, it turns out that your brain is built to forget. In fact, the natural state of many animals is to forget.
Make Creative Mistakes and Seek Your Own True North
We learn early in life that the results are more important than the process. But the reverse is more correct.
Use Layers in Your Writing to Meld Spontaneity and Planning
Often us writers want to create a perfect chapter right out of the gate. But this just isn’t practical.