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And Here Stand I With The Pittance Of My Lore

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Old 06-23-2017, 01:55 PM
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Default And Here Stand I With The Pittance Of My Lore


This is a reply I gave to a writer from another site who wanted to know more about how I learned to write, how I actually wrote, how I educated myself and a myriad other things.



Study the classics. Milton, Melville, Malick, Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, Homer, Moore, Faulkner, Alighieri, McCarthy, Tolstoy, Bugalkov, Joyce, Cervantes, Nietzsche, Crane, Jung, Freud, Heidegger, Camus, Kubrick, Kurosawa, Montaigne, Scorsese. There is a depth to each that taps the veins of the divine. Read their stories then read the criticisms. There are centuries worth of commentary, a testament to their inexhaustible nature. Through them, through study, through practice you will find what umbrellas the craft, the techniques and wisdom, all comes with the beauty of the opuses.

Do not abandon hope for peace and rest but do not be averse to violence. Every classic is rife with it whether it be against the body the mind the state the family the old the young the tradition the revolution. Homer recounts how Odysseus upon returning to Ithaca after twenty years slaughters the suitors of his wife and then hangs the women of the court who slandered the same by the neck and stabs them to death. The Iliad is plumbed with slaughter as would shame even the greatest sadists. Moby-Dick for all its awe and wonder details the gory business of a whale dressing. The Brothers Karamazov revolves around a parricide. Blood Meridian explores scalphunting as a Hobbesian nightmare of bellum omnium contra omnes. Tolstoy tells the battles of Austerlitz and Borodino. Violence is intrinsic to the world. Know the world, also your fellow tenants, so you can say this I am against and this for.

Melville writes:

Nevertheless the sun hides not Virginia’s Dismal Swamp, nor Rome’s accursed Campagna, nor wide Sahara, nor all the millions of miles of deserts and of griefs beneath the moon. The sun hides not the ocean, which is the dark side of this earth, and which is two thirds of this earth. So, therefore, that mortal man who hath more of joy than sorrow in him, that mortal man cannot be true- not true, or undeveloped. With books the same. The truest of all men was the Man of Sorrows, and the truest of all books is Solomon’s, and Ecclesiastes is the fine hammered steel of woe. “All is vanity.” ALL.

But even Solomon, he says, "the man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain" (I.E., even while living) "in the congregation of the dead." Give not thyself up, then, to fire, lest it invert thee, deaden thee; as for the time it did me. There is a wisdom that is woe; but there is a woe that is madness. And there is a Catskill eagle in some souls that can alike dive down into the blackest gorges, and soar out of them again and become invisible in the sunny spaces. And even if he for ever flies within the gorge, that gorge is in the mountains; so that even in his lowest swoop the mountain eagle is still higher than other birds upon the plain, even though they soar.

Read the Bible. Read the Tao. Understand the principles and values that underpin the civilization in which you are member and of which you are product. All are products of unions, do not be ashamed to say this is my father, this my mother. Jason Pierce composed Born, Never Asked. That is alas the truth of all.

Read what infuriates you. Read what you know is wrong until you can articulate exactly what is wrong and why it is wrong. If you cant prove it wrong understand then why it is right.

Dont be a messenger boy. Leave that to politicians and activists. Never try to mold a story around a message. If you have a message it will emerge of its own accord even if you cant understand it. Hayao Miyazaki recounted how he was once told:

Children have to see something incomprehensible, that they will understand later.

Yesterday I showed two Indian children Pinocchio and then My Neighbor Totoro, today Spirited Away and though they spoke not lick one of either English or Japanese they were but rapt because they understood the meaning. In the sphere of human interaction it is emotion upon which the all is predicated. However take care not to surrender to sentimentality, do not be maudlin.

Have heroes but do not be slavish. Perceive the conceits of legends. If at all possible listen to their voices. As in the eyes much can be discerned in speaking.

Forget methodology when writing, it should not be a concern for it will develop in its time according to its practice. Men are creatures of habit and the patterns will form. Do not blight your thoughts with overtheorizing. Writing of the Second World War Lee Sandlin says,

But then everything about the war was ad hoc and provisional. The British set up secret installations in country estates; Stalin had his supreme military headquarters in a commandeered Moscow subway station. Nobody cared about making the system logical, because everything only needed to happen once. Every battle was unrepeatable, every campaign was a special case. The people who were actually making the decisions in the war -- for the most part, senior staff officers and civil service workers who hid behind anonymous doors and unsigned briefing papers -- lurched from one improvisation to the next, with no sense of how much the limitless powers they were mustering were remaking the world.

Sometimes the only method of constancy is its inconstancy.

Be wary of plots. In trying to machine narrative the story is reduced to a vehicle, all its players parts. Such stories may be outwardly pretty and inwardly working but they are only veneers, circumspected by their epoch. They lack the divine pneuma that bestows both timelessness and universality.

Rare is the man who transcends his world. Never forget that. A man has lived a thousand years in his country before ever he was born.

Read everything. Even if you dont finish it. If in your perusal of all of the Romantic canon you find only one scrap worth salvaging, salvage that scrap and move on. Maintain an aura of aloofness. Retain for yourself all rights in the process of creation. Resist defensiveness in the face of advice or criticism but dont be afraid to go your own way. Kipling rhymed this to his son,

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you, if you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, but make allowance for the doubting too. Or being lied about dont deal in lies or being hated dont give way to hating and yet dont look too good nor talk too wise.

If your soul impedes your story expunge your soul of clemency. Learn to be a while soulless. But never lose your soul. Oft you must nurture malice towards the children of your mind whatever they may be. When Faulkner's daughter pleaded that he quit drinking he quipped:

Nobody remembered Shakespeare's children.

Hemingway shot himself in the head. Faulkner drank himself to death. Plath stuck her head in an oven and Socrates drank hemlock. If writers are killing themselves less these days than afore its because the subject matter is not worth killing themselves over. Tackle those subjects deadliest to yourself. The snake does not go away because you refuse to look at it but coils to strike at your heel. Do not adopt the life of a cynic, there is love in the world.

Ehrmann writes:

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Fear not the vertigo of the highest themes or to dredge characters from dung. The story of the least of men is worth telling because all men are but faces of the same man.

They watched the fire which does contain within it something of men themselves inasmuch as they are less without it and are divided from their origins and are exiles. For each fire is all fires, and the first fire and the last ever to be.

It has oft been said that man cannot find god because he will not look low enough. If the divine is not in the least it cannot be in the most.

John Donne proclaimed,

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.

Therefore never care the subject of your stories be they hideous or stupid. Nor spare them life, nor contrive their deserts. But if they should fall by their own hands let it be by their own hands without extenuation and if by the world's hands let it be without condoning or condemning.

Never be afraid to take the objects of your wantonness or fantasy, no matter whom it offends, no matter how offensive. The truth derogates us all. Upon a wall in the CIA headquarters is engraved a line from Corinthians:

And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.

Ignorance is farthest from bliss. But this is no mandate to raise your characters out of ignorance. Remember always that it is not for them that you write. Never truck with those who turn blind eyes to their own faction's lies. Theyll eat you in your quiet moments of apostasy.

Dont be offended, neither offend yourself. Speak truth to the best of your ability and knowledge. Never be ashamed to admit ignorance. All wisdom has been clawed out of nature. It is to be shared.

Proper writing is a ceaseless overcoming of the self. Those who forgo the trial are bogged down in the vapidity of the slapstick and the shock. Their sterility is contagious. There have been millions of those amateurs and like the poor we will always have them. Strive to be better. Pretension is the easiest charge of the weak but it is also a charge often true. If you are honest in your endeavors you may yet fail and you may yet be accused and the accusation may even be true but your conscience will be clean and there is no greater good than that. Admit your faults but do not wallow in them. If ever you want for villains examine yourself, there are a thousand reprobates nested in our hearts.

A book that does not contain its opposite is no book at all. Do not create caricatures. Do not save your heroes. If your villain is better let him triumph. For there are men who are triumphs of evil. Neither are there always heroes. Neither are there always villains.

Do everything. If you wish to digress a thousand pages do it. If you are inclined to muse then muse, honestly, or philosophize do so. Stand as you are and do not be too hasty in explaining yourself. Never be afraid of who you are, nor be ashamed of your convictions but abhor delusions. Sun Tzu wrote,

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

The Greeks simply said,

Gnothi Seauton.

Never be contemptful of words. For every word there is a man who has died for it. There is a sacredness to words but there is none so sacred it should not be used or its use regulated. Do not allow yourself to be policed, apply your own censor sparingly. Be free in all your pronouncements whether vulgar or base whether eloquent or beautiful. Language may perish but the very act of speaking breathes life back into its bones.

Listen to music everyday. Listen to everything. Music is the rawest expression of the spirit. If you would know the soul of man hear what he hums.

Dont be afraid to drink nor to become drunk. Eat well. Be affectionate. Think often whether lofty or low. Rest the temple of your inhabitance but do not surrender to idleness, it is the most dishonorable form of suicide. Dont belittle yourself or exaggerate your abilities. Be fair in your dealings. In all things be honest and love the world.

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Old 06-23-2017, 02:44 PM
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Oh my.

I'll go out on limb and guess there are countless brilliant writers who just write without consciously considering or going through all or any of this.

And if they did, it's only because it just came naturally --- not because someone had to tell them to do it.

I don't know -- I guess I would never presume to tell anyone how to write or provide some laundry list of what to do -- even if I couched it as my experience. I mean -- who am I?

Hemingway and Vonnegut are a couple of authors who I can think of off the top of my head who have written "how to be a writer" essays -- and they are mostly tongue and cheek -- even if people don't realize it.

Bottom line -- people with talent don't need a "how to" or "what you should do" -- or any kind of pep talk -- they just write.

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Old 06-23-2017, 02:54 PM
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I think that's about the size of it. But if someone asks no sense in giving them half assed advice.
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Old 06-23-2017, 02:59 PM
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I sure don't feel obligated to give anyone general writing advice.

If someone asked me, I'd say you're going to have to figure it out for yourself.
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Old 06-23-2017, 03:02 PM
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And I'd probably consider that what works for me might not work for someone else.

So what I do might actually amount to bad advice for some other writer.
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Old 06-23-2017, 03:03 PM
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'For every word there is a man who has died for it.'

Name the man who died for wanker.
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I am not young enough to know everything.
Oscar Wilde
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Old 06-23-2017, 03:04 PM
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http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entr...b02508de468196

@myers certainly possible. But they'll never know unless you give it. I don't think giving advice is bad, I think swallowing it without thought is bad, giving it unsolicited is bad, and expecting it to be followed unquestioningly is bad.

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Old 06-23-2017, 03:12 PM
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Go for it then.

If someone asks me to read something and offer advice, I'm happy to do it.

Otherwise, I think most general writing advice -- without context or comparison -- is just about useless at best, and sometimes harmful.

There are just too many exceptions and ways to go about things.
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Old 06-23-2017, 03:15 PM
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Well that was the other thing its not just writing advice its life advice. Like reading shit you don't agree with. People don't do that. They need to do that or we start killing each other. That's something that needs be reiterated whether people want to hear it or not. And since artists are the cultural custodians of a civilization they need that drummed into their head more than most.
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Old 06-23-2017, 03:25 PM
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I'm even less inclined to offer life advice -- except when it comes to my kids, and that's because I don't really have a choice.

Yeah -- reading shit you don't agree with. Totally agree. That's about confirmation bias. That's pretty good life advice.

Otherwise, it's certainty possible that going out of your way to read something that contradicts your beliefs or world view might help expand your writing horizons -- but I don't think it's a prerequisite.

I think there is plenty of good writing based on a fairly narrow experience and point of view.
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Old 06-23-2017, 03:29 PM
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And how many artists really think of themselves as "cultural custodians" -- and see that as a motivation for making art?

Not too many, I bet.

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Old 06-23-2017, 03:29 PM
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Nah life advice is always good. I met an Englishman some years back and he told me you have to have a purpose. If you don't you just become an alcoholic. At the time I didn't necessarily know what he meant but now I know he was telling the truth.

St. Augustine remarked in Confessions that when he was young his elders said let him do what he wants hes young, he can repent later. He said it is likening it further injuring a wounded man under the logic that well he's not dead yet

No they probably don't think of themselves that way but whether or not they realize it they do. Think of the SJWs they think of themselves as cultural custodians. Maybe the better way to phrase it is the artist enshrines his values and if he doesnt enshrine them or if he doesnt know what they are then someone else will.

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Old 06-23-2017, 03:53 PM
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No. Life advice is not always good. Plenty of stupid people give it out and gullible people think it's worthwhile.

The only useful advice I've gotten is very specific, practical advice that had to do with career and finances etc. -- and sometimes people and relationships -- and that usually was about how to communicate and consider others.

But not nebulous, esoteric advice. I'm talking about advice on how to deal with specific situations.

And what gives it weight is who's offering the advice and whether or not they have their shit together. Some guy on an internet forum? Sorry -- I'm going to be skeptical.

Otherwise, most of what I've learned is through trial and error or looking at people who can set an example.

Actions and experience talk -- bullshit walks.

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Old 06-23-2017, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by bluewpc View Post
No they probably don't think of themselves that way but whether or not they realize it they do.
The point is, if you give an artist advice about how they can or should be cultural custodians, chances are, it's going to fall on deaf ears.

That's for other people to decide.
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Old 06-23-2017, 04:11 PM
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Nay nay that's the horse before the carriage. Because the artist chooses what to present the audience.

And I'm not saying you can't get shit life advice but you don't give it to the average guy and you certainly don't take it from an average guy. Unless you have reason to. I mean just because youre smarter than someone doesnt mean you know more than they do. That's a trap many an intellectual has fallen into. Even still its best to hear advice, which is another word for opinion, and weigh it.

As for trial and error I oft did the same until my friend pointed out to me that that is the worst way to do things. And my life has markedly improved since I've quit doing that

Actually one other thing. Good advice I've found is many times something you already knew but needed to hear.
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Old 06-23-2017, 04:43 PM
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Hang around or know manyy artists? I do.

And I'm guessing that if I told any of them they were "cultural custodians," they would probably have a good laugh.

I'd also guess that any artist who thinks he is one is probably a pretentious douchebag.

And now we should be in the business of deciding who or who isn't the "average guy."

Barf.
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Old 06-23-2017, 04:46 PM
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If you're moving ahead, you never get past the times of trial and error.

If you think otherwise, you are fooling yourself.
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Old 06-23-2017, 04:48 PM
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I don't hang around with artists because most of them are stuck up cunts. I hang out with drunks. But theyre ridicule of the idea is irrelevant. The act of creating and then of presenting influences people. Aggregate that on a national scale where those pieces of art that best embody the values of a nation are perpetuated and you have it. Its not a complicated process. I'm not arguing for some secret coven of Masons stirring a cauldron its just what naturally happens. Its not a mechanical process. Its completely organic.

I don't think so. Typically when I'm confronted with something I don't know. I ask the people who do. They tell me what they know and typically I save myself a lot of hassle. Fairly straightforward. I mean you have to think trial and error has got to be the most inefficient method of doing things. That's the whole point of our minds being able to abstract so we can run simulations in our head so the avatar of ourselves in the simulation dies and not us. Cant account for everything but the more knowledge you have the better a simulation you can run.

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Old 06-23-2017, 05:35 PM
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Oh -- if you think artists are all stuck up cunts -- and drunks are good company, you are living in dream world.

And I've had plenty of experience with both.

But let's be honest with ourselves and acknowledge that there is no "average guy" or typical artist or writer who can benefit from your generic advice.

On top of that -- yes, many great writers were drunks. The writing may have been better because of it to a point. But that's about people with real talent and genius.

Otherwise, as a recovering addict and alcoholic, it's my opinion most drunks are delusional, almost by definition.

Being a drunk has no value -- especially if you don't have the chops to overcome it and put something out into the world that that anyone will notice.
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Old 06-23-2017, 05:54 PM
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Well I'm still in the Eastern Bloc right now so my choice of company is drunks and milder drunks Besides the drunks here are not the binging blind raving drunks of back home. These are all good people. They have civilization. Their country works.

As far as alcoholism goes Ive never had a problem putting the bottle down. Guess I'm lucky that way but then I'm lucky in most ways. Put it like this. My life is a dream. I'm sitting in a hostel in Georgia. Been traveling with my best friend for about three months now. Kinda taken these two indian kids under my wing playing soccer with them on the terrace and watching Studio Ghibli films though they speak not one word of English or Japanese. Ive got this Georgian gal who keeps giving me wine and that's just today. And so much of what has made my life wonderful is that Ive followed that generic simplistic advice which is not easy to follow.

Youre a recovering alcoholic. Before you were recovering had I told you to stop drinking you might have agreed and agreed that it was generic simplistic advice. But we both know theres a helluva lot more to it than just quitting. You have to restructure your life. What if all your friends are drinkers? What then? If you hang out you might end up drinking with them. But how then do you make new friends? How to cope with the loneliness? Got a wife got kids that's nice but everyone wants friends. So what then?

Just because something seems generic doesnt make it so.

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Old 06-23-2017, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by bluewpc View Post
This is a reply I gave to a writer from another site who wanted to know more about how I learned to write, how I actually wrote, how I educated myself and a myriad other things.







Study the classics. Milton, Melville, Malick, Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, Homer, Moore, Faulkner, Alighieri, McCarthy, Tolstoy, Bugalkov, Joyce, Cervantes, Nietzsche, Crane, Jung, Freud, Heidegger, Camus, Kubrick, Kurosawa, Montaigne, Scorsese. There is a depth to each that taps the veins of the divine. Read their stories then read the criticisms. There are centuries worth of commentary, a testament to their inexhaustible nature. Through them, through study, through practice you will find what umbrellas the craft, the techniques and wisdom, all comes with the beauty of the opuses.



Do not abandon hope for peace and rest but do not be averse to violence. Every classic is rife with it whether it be against the body the mind the state the family the old the young the tradition the revolution. Homer recounts how Odysseus upon returning to Ithaca after twenty years slaughters the suitors of his wife and then hangs the women of the court who slandered the same by the neck and stabs them to death. The Iliad is plumbed with slaughter as would shame even the greatest sadists. Moby-Dick for all its awe and wonder details the gory business of a whale dressing. The Brothers Karamazov revolves around a parricide. Blood Meridian explores scalphunting as a Hobbesian nightmare of bellum omnium contra omnes. Tolstoy tells the battles of Austerlitz and Borodino. Violence is intrinsic to the world. Know the world, also your fellow tenants, so you can say this I am against and this for.



Melville writes:



Nevertheless the sun hides not Virginia’s Dismal Swamp, nor Rome’s accursed Campagna, nor wide Sahara, nor all the millions of miles of deserts and of griefs beneath the moon. The sun hides not the ocean, which is the dark side of this earth, and which is two thirds of this earth. So, therefore, that mortal man who hath more of joy than sorrow in him, that mortal man cannot be true- not true, or undeveloped. With books the same. The truest of all men was the Man of Sorrows, and the truest of all books is Solomon’s, and Ecclesiastes is the fine hammered steel of woe. “All is vanity.” ALL.



But even Solomon, he says, "the man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain" (I.E., even while living) "in the congregation of the dead." Give not thyself up, then, to fire, lest it invert thee, deaden thee; as for the time it did me. There is a wisdom that is woe; but there is a woe that is madness. And there is a Catskill eagle in some souls that can alike dive down into the blackest gorges, and soar out of them again and become invisible in the sunny spaces. And even if he for ever flies within the gorge, that gorge is in the mountains; so that even in his lowest swoop the mountain eagle is still higher than other birds upon the plain, even though they soar.



Read the Bible. Read the Tao. Understand the principles and values that underpin the civilization in which you are member and of which you are product. All are products of unions, do not be ashamed to say this is my father, this my mother. Jason Pierce composed Born, Never Asked. That is alas the truth of all.



Read what infuriates you. Read what you know is wrong until you can articulate exactly what is wrong and why it is wrong. If you cant prove it wrong understand then why it is right.



Dont be a messenger boy. Leave that to politicians and activists. Never try to mold a story around a message. If you have a message it will emerge of its own accord even if you cant understand it. Hayao Miyazaki recounted how he was once told:



Children have to see something incomprehensible, that they will understand later.



Yesterday I showed two Indian children Pinocchio and then My Neighbor Totoro, today Spirited Away and though they spoke not lick one of either English or Japanese they were but rapt because they understood the meaning. In the sphere of human interaction it is emotion upon which the all is predicated. However take care not to surrender to sentimentality, do not be maudlin.



Have heroes but do not be slavish. Perceive the conceits of legends. If at all possible listen to their voices. As in the eyes much can be discerned in speaking.



Forget methodology when writing, it should not be a concern for it will develop in its time according to its practice. Men are creatures of habit and the patterns will form. Do not blight your thoughts with overtheorizing. Writing of the Second World War Lee Sandlin says,



But then everything about the war was ad hoc and provisional. The British set up secret installations in country estates; Stalin had his supreme military headquarters in a commandeered Moscow subway station. Nobody cared about making the system logical, because everything only needed to happen once. Every battle was unrepeatable, every campaign was a special case. The people who were actually making the decisions in the war -- for the most part, senior staff officers and civil service workers who hid behind anonymous doors and unsigned briefing papers -- lurched from one improvisation to the next, with no sense of how much the limitless powers they were mustering were remaking the world.



Sometimes the only method of constancy is its inconstancy.



Be wary of plots. In trying to machine narrative the story is reduced to a vehicle, all its players parts. Such stories may be outwardly pretty and inwardly working but they are only veneers, circumspected by their epoch. They lack the divine pneuma that bestows both timelessness and universality.



Rare is the man who transcends his world. Never forget that. A man has lived a thousand years in his country before ever he was born.



Read everything. Even if you dont finish it. If in your perusal of all of the Romantic canon you find only one scrap worth salvaging, salvage that scrap and move on. Maintain an aura of aloofness. Retain for yourself all rights in the process of creation. Resist defensiveness in the face of advice or criticism but dont be afraid to go your own way. Kipling rhymed this to his son,



If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you, if you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, but make allowance for the doubting too. Or being lied about dont deal in lies or being hated dont give way to hating and yet dont look too good nor talk too wise.



If your soul impedes your story expunge your soul of clemency. Learn to be a while soulless. But never lose your soul. Oft you must nurture malice towards the children of your mind whatever they may be. When Faulkner's daughter pleaded that he quit drinking he quipped:



Nobody remembered Shakespeare's children.



Hemingway shot himself in the head. Faulkner drank himself to death. Plath stuck her head in an oven and Socrates drank hemlock. If writers are killing themselves less these days than afore its because the subject matter is not worth killing themselves over. Tackle those subjects deadliest to yourself. The snake does not go away because you refuse to look at it but coils to strike at your heel. Do not adopt the life of a cynic, there is love in the world.



Ehrmann writes:



Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.



Fear not the vertigo of the highest themes or to dredge characters from dung. The story of the least of men is worth telling because all men are but faces of the same man.



They watched the fire which does contain within it something of men themselves inasmuch as they are less without it and are divided from their origins and are exiles. For each fire is all fires, and the first fire and the last ever to be.



It has oft been said that man cannot find god because he will not look low enough. If the divine is not in the least it cannot be in the most.



John Donne proclaimed,



No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.



Therefore never care the subject of your stories be they hideous or stupid. Nor spare them life, nor contrive their deserts. But if they should fall by their own hands let it be by their own hands without extenuation and if by the world's hands let it be without condoning or condemning.



Never be afraid to take the objects of your wantonness or fantasy, no matter whom it offends, no matter how offensive. The truth derogates us all. Upon a wall in the CIA headquarters is engraved a line from Corinthians:



And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.



Ignorance is farthest from bliss. But this is no mandate to raise your characters out of ignorance. Remember always that it is not for them that you write. Never truck with those who turn blind eyes to their own faction's lies. Theyll eat you in your quiet moments of apostasy.



Dont be offended, neither offend yourself. Speak truth to the best of your ability and knowledge. Never be ashamed to admit ignorance. All wisdom has been clawed out of nature. It is to be shared.



Proper writing is a ceaseless overcoming of the self. Those who forgo the trial are bogged down in the vapidity of the slapstick and the shock. Their sterility is contagious. There have been millions of those amateurs and like the poor we will always have them. Strive to be better. Pretension is the easiest charge of the weak but it is also a charge often true. If you are honest in your endeavors you may yet fail and you may yet be accused and the accusation may even be true but your conscience will be clean and there is no greater good than that. Admit your faults but do not wallow in them. If ever you want for villains examine yourself, there are a thousand reprobates nested in our hearts.



A book that does not contain its opposite is no book at all. Do not create caricatures. Do not save your heroes. If your villain is better let him triumph. For there are men who are triumphs of evil. Neither are there always heroes. Neither are there always villains.



Do everything. If you wish to digress a thousand pages do it. If you are inclined to muse then muse, honestly, or philosophize do so. Stand as you are and do not be too hasty in explaining yourself. Never be afraid of who you are, nor be ashamed of your convictions but abhor delusions. Sun Tzu wrote,



If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.



The Greeks simply said,



Gnothi Seauton.



Never be contemptful of words. For every word there is a man who has died for it. There is a sacredness to words but there is none so sacred it should not be used or its use regulated. Do not allow yourself to be policed, apply your own censor sparingly. Be free in all your pronouncements whether vulgar or base whether eloquent or beautiful. Language may perish but the very act of speaking breathes life back into its bones.



Listen to music everyday. Listen to everything. Music is the rawest expression of the spirit. If you would know the soul of man hear what he hums.



Dont be afraid to drink nor to become drunk. Eat well. Be affectionate. Think often whether lofty or low. Rest the temple of your inhabitance but do not surrender to idleness, it is the most dishonorable form of suicide. Dont belittle yourself or exaggerate your abilities. Be fair in your dealings. In all things be honest and love the world.


I'm guessing this was about 100x the advice this guy was looking for. 😆😆😆
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Old 06-23-2017, 06:05 PM
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Myers is right in one way. A real artist, a genius will understand what you said and think: Fuck you! You don't know shit! Melville was a blow-hard, and Joyce was a fucking useless wordy drunk!

The rest of the population wouldn't understand what the hell you were talking about and say: Fuck you! You don't know shit! Melville was a blow-hard and Joyce was a useless wordy drunk!

Oh... and all those movies based on McCarthy's work were useless violent masturbations too!

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Old 06-23-2017, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by bluewpc View Post
Youre a recovering alcoholic. Before you were recovering had I told you to stop drinking you might have agreed and agreed that it was generic simplistic advice.
Maybe. Maybe not. It would depend entirely on whatever was happening at the moment and whether or not you had any kind of credibility.

I have never known anyone who is really in recovery who has ongoing issue with making friends, and in many cases, people can reconnect with old friends. But if drinking was the bond -- then they weren't really friends to begin with.

Not really sure what any of this has to do with writing -- other than your notion that you shouldn't be "afraid to drink nor to become drunk" which is just nonsense.

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Old 06-23-2017, 07:02 PM
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Also wondering why you need qualify or mitigate your drinking by telling me how awesome your life is...

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Old 06-23-2017, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
Maybe. Maybe not. It would depend entirely on whatever was happening at the moment and whether or not you had any kind of credibility.

I have never known anyone who is really in recovery who has ongoing issue with making friends, and in many cases, people can reconnect with old friends. But if drinking was the bond -- then they weren't really friends to begin with.

Not really sure what any of this has to do with writing -- other than your notion that you shouldn't be "afraid to drink nor to become drunk" which is just nonsense.


Here I disagree mightily.

You may have had a bad experience with drinking or drugs but that is not everyone's experience. I know many people, myself included that can drink heavily for a while and walk away without much consequence.

I am not in recovery, and sometimes I drink heavily. Sometimes, though, I avoid drinking because there's work to be done. Not all drinkers are alcoholic and not all people who use drugs are junkies or wastoids. There is value to some in temporarily escaping reality through high. And for some it even enhances things in the short term.

We also disagree about what ALL THIS has to do with writing. It and everything have everything to do with writing. From my perspective, if you're a writer, everything has to do with writing. I have a really great quote about just this in one of my stories... but tonight is a drinking night and I'm too lazy to look for it.
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Old 06-23-2017, 07:17 PM
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I also have lots of crazy drug fueled, liquor-sucking, slut-fucking, bar hopping, friends who frequently spend time in jail or other places, frequently can't legally drive anymore, been divorced or whatever many times, would fight you if you gave them lip, and still manage to teach me useful things quite often. Things as a writer. Things as a man. Things as a father(good and bad), and things as a human.
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Old 06-23-2017, 07:30 PM
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Oh, come on -- I'm not talking about people who drink and use heavily without any real consequences.

Obviously, I'm talking about people who have experienced the worst consequences and who couldn't moderate in any way.

The alternative is usually being homeless or jail or death.

And of course, our collective experience has everything to to with writing -- including drinking and drug use.

I'm really surprised that you are jumping to these blinkered conclusions.
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Old 06-23-2017, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
Oh, come on -- I'm not talking about people who drink and use heavily without any real consequences.

Obviously, I'm talking about people who have experienced the worst consequences and who couldn't moderate in any way.

The alternative is usually being homeless or jail or death.

And of course, our collective experience has everything to to with writing -- including drinking and drug use.

I'm really surprised that your jumping to these blinkered conclusions.


You were sounding a little stuffy and sobery-high horse-ish.

And I don't even know what blinkered means. Is that a hipster word?

Nevermind. I'll google.
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Old 06-23-2017, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
Oh, come on -- I'm not talking about people who drink and use heavily without any real consequences.

Obviously, I'm talking about people who have experienced the worst consequences and who couldn't moderate in any way.

The experiencing of bad consequences is just the luck of the draw. It has nothing to do with the life itself. One may draw cause and effect after the fact but that's just post analysis. Some win, some don't. It's kinda poetic really.
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Old 06-23-2017, 07:39 PM
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And yes, I've had "drug fueled, liquor-sucking..." friends etc. in the past.

I really don't think there is a whole lot of value I could learn from them that I don't already know.

So like what wisdom in particular do they impart that you couldn't figure out for yourself?

Last edited by Myers; 06-23-2017 at 07:45 PM..
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