Creative writing involves a deliberate rejection of practicality: To get into the right mood for writing requires short-circuiting our usual calculations of profit and loss, since there is nothing as gratuitous as a poem or story. Waste, as the poet said, is of the essence of the scheme. On a train, time and place are suspended in the name of a long-term goal, getting from one place to another; take away that goal and you have as close to a zone of pure freedom as you are likely to find anywhere in the twenty-first century.
Like a regular library, but open 24 hours and there are bunk beds and things to sleep on, and all the books you can read, and a little booth that sells tea.
Just somewhere you could go if you have insomnia or are lonely in the middle of the night, or need somewhere to hang with friends after hours, or just want to be in a public space at night that’s not a bar or club.
Suffering some major bookstore withdrawal right now, it’s not even funny. I just want to be able to browse a bookstore bigger than a coat closet; to surround myself with all sorts of voices, leaf through first pages, hold hard-back covers in my hands and feel the weight of words.
My e-reader has been a life-saver, but I’m going to need some bookstore rehab, stat.
My week’s been a lovely mixture of waiting-for-Godot -type existential angst (while recovering after last week’s maelstrom of finishing things) and more nerve-wracking anxiety concerning every and all things that are my life.
In short, I’ve ended up in the place between things, and it’s a very unpleasant place to be.
In television and serial narrative, the Filler Episode (usually fluff, sometimes just a one-off monster-of-the-week type thing) is used to pad out the series, to space out plot progression, to give the audience breathing room between the ramping stakes and escalating conflicts. They may be extremely light on plot and are those episodes which contribute little or nothing to the main arc of the series.
And yet, while filler may be an undesirable side effect of needing 12 issues per volume, or 26 episodes per season—a demand of media convention and expectation rather than a narrative necessity, there is something to be said for breathing:
”One reason that people have artist’s block is that they do not respect the law of dormancy in nature. Trees don’t produce fruit all year long, constantly. They have a point where they go dormant. And when you are in a dormant period creatively, if you can arrange your life to do the technical tasks that don’t take creativity, you are essentially preparing for the spring when it will all blossom again.” —Marshall Vandruff
The truth of it is, I’ve reached a milestone at this point. And though I need to recover, though I need time to breathe and live and BE: to allow the stakes to stand, the action to calm—while I do need time to refresh, it doesn’t feel so much refreshing as frustrating.
In short: My life right now is a badly done filler episode. Let’s hope next week brings back the plot.
Monthly Reading Wrap-Up | Featuring my past two months of reading, because I’ve been really bad at keeping up with it :P BUT, I have been reading quite a bit, and I’ve been reading some really awesome stuff. For one, I tore through the first two books of Laini Taylor’sDaughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy—and I’ve also pre-ordered the final installment, because I have no words.
I also devoured A Darkness Strange and Lovely: Susan Dennard's sequel/middle act to the Something Strange and Deadly trilogy. As I’ve said before: Victorian-era zombies + steampunk? More please? Entwined by Heather Dixon was a present from home, a gothic-y retelling of the fairy tale of the Twelve Dancing Princesses that was super fun to read, and in Middle Grade, I started the Secret Series by Pseudonymous Bosch (you know, that guy) as well as a reread of the His Dark Materials trilogy. Over all, a lot of clockwork and airships this month.
Barefoot Books is a successful, thriving, independent publishing house that creates beautiful, high-quality books for children
A fantastic article! I applaud this publisher for holding to their core values, and reaching out to their community, even if it meant doing something “crazy” like not selling in bookstores or on Amazon. I think we can all learn from that - stick to your creative vision, and hold onto your values.
I’ve been asked a lot about developing styles and improving so I thought I would make an advice comic for you lovelies~ :>
It’s so hard to explain about our development in art styles. We may be influenced by the same things, but how we illustrate, express, and think is completely different. It’s not something you can buy or learn in a class.
Remember that age doesn’t matter and it’s never too late. You can draw whether you’re 30 or 13. You’re still young! And there’s no rush. We learn at our pace and should be proud of ourselves for continuing to draw. Not many people realize that art is a pretty tough field and I know a couple that have given up and chosen other paths.
Improvement will happen if you keep on doing what you love. It will take time but keep practicing and months (or years) from now you’ll be amazed at how much you’ve progressed. Soon your doodles that used to take you 2 hours will take only a minute or less.
But again, you have to just do it. This applies with music, performance, or anything else. Tutorials, books, and advices won’t mean anything unless you actually do it.
Don’t think about what anyone will think, if you’ll be famous or not, or if you’ll develop a “unique” style. Just start drawing. Fanart, figure drawing, animals, anime, just do it!!
You will improve and you will create great things. Just do it!!
The Arte Sella, looks to be one of the most magical, fairytale woodlands in the world. Since 1986 this astounding destination in the Sella Valley in Italy has been dotting the landscape with the amazing works of over 200 contemporary artists from all over the world. A future holiday destination for sure!