Thursday, May 27, 2021

On Medium: How to Find Childlike Wonder in Your Writing

Read on about bliss, flow states, the long road to self-discovery, and how to fulfill our creative potential as writers, by connecting the act of writing to the search for deeper meaning.

6 comments:

  1. Great! That was upbeat, rhythmical, and high-key message, very unusual, actually. You're my English writing teacher, even if you don't know about it! And, I'm a bad student, it might be.

    I remember, you wrote something, and that's peculiarly felt warm and kind, but in other case it was grim and sad. I think, you're in conscious control of that, but for me it's still a mystery. Like, if I forget that I'm reading, but continuing reading, I can connect to emotional flow, let's say, and that's universal energy and medium still interests me the most to understand, and how it relates to music, to architecture, to pictures, and etc.

    Aesthetic unity and emotional coherence, conscious mood creation comes to mind, as concepts to grok, and experientially cognize.

    Some articles were really bitter, not sweat at all, but this is uplifting, sounding like some Tangerine Dream composition.

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    Replies
    1. That publication, Publishious, is upbeat, meaning it's looking only for life-affirming articles. I'm sending them articles on writing, which don't call for as much criticism as articles on politics or religion. It's also a challenge to look for viable positive messages. They have a religion section, too, which would be even more challenging for me.

      But it's largely a question of mood or subject matter. I can write differently, depending on whether I'm writing about something that angers, amuses, awes, or pleases me.

      But thanks.

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    2. Writing question. Is it possible to write in different emotional keys, but keeping the same content? Can be emotion manipulated just by changes in rhythm and placement of words, for example? Or is it more question of concepts used and overall attitude?

      I remember, I was reading sketches of Russian constitutional changes, released for the masses, and it was clearly designed that way, to feel warm, kind, positive and optimistic — I felt like riding an unicorn, chasing the rainbow — very uncanny and unusual, for typically cold constructive law and constitutional writing. That was manipulative.

      How to work on consciously recognizing those changes in attitude? Where to put attention in this case? Into structural composition or content? But, I might be asking wrong questions.

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    3. This is like asking how to breathe or how to walk. If something's become second nature to us, it's not so easy to do it consciously or deliberately. It's possible to make calculated word choices to achieve a certain effect, but it could come off as stilted.

      The trick is to master writing so that it becomes second nature, in which case you'll have developed your inner voice and style that will tell you what to write. This voice will translate your moods into the right words. If you're feeling angry, you'll write aggressively such as by using violent images and metaphors.

      Mood can come out in various ways, but I think mainly in the choice of topic, the slant or thesis defended, and the word choices. There are also subtle, indirect clues, as when a writer goes off on a tangent or launches into a stream of consciousness rant.

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    4. I guess, I was asking more from a perspective of personal observation towards different styles of different times, and what I've felt towards them — it is the step beyond individual, what is the essence which writes and creates, what defines this style, which expresses the spirit of time. Like, writing style of late 18th century, for example, very romantic, elegant, and sentimental, I felt.

      But, I might be jumping to high, meanwhile my grammar suffers. Still, a language barrier, I need to fight through, to express my sentiments genuinely. And from that, the idea of a constructive and methodological drill, until, indeed, it becomes a second nature, and after you can express your emotions authentically, with pure flow of consciousness.

      I've noticed, that in articles, you might go into that stream of consciousness rant, and in those rants I've found many clear answers to my questions I was asking you directly, but found not in direct replies. That relates to your idea of personal muse or daemon — you connect and flow. Or, it's my inability to express depth of my questions.

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    5. Writing in a language you're not fluent in would certainly be a barrier. As I say in the article, the first step is mastering the mechanics so that you can say what you want to say. The next step is figuring out what you want to say or what should be said.

      Technology seems to impact the zeitgeist and thus popular styles. On the internet, the trend is to dumb-down the writing, compared to the standards that prevailed before radio, television, and the internet. Smartphones, email, and Twitter have had impacts, so writers who write for a digital medium that might be consumed on smartphones are expected not to overly tax their readers' attention spans. You've got to write in short sentences and short paragraphs, which are easier to read on a handheld device.

      Another influence has been capitalism, which has made the audience more pragmatic. You're supposed to get to the point and be upfront about what the reader can gain from reading your work. You're supposed to sell yourself and always have a positive takeaway. At least, that's advice that's frequently given on Medium.

      However, the internet has always divided up the arts into niches, so there's less of an overriding zeitgeist. There are informational silos so you can always find a reflection of yourself on the internet, which makes reading or consuming the digital arts more narcissistic.

      I do indeed sometimes go off on rants in my ranting. I did so especially before I switched to Medium, I think. Remember that my blog was initially called "Rants within the undead god."

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