Thursday, 7 November 2013

A Passion for writing ...

“I can never get people to understand that poetry is the expression of excited passion, and that there is no such thing as a life of passion any more than a continuous earthquake, or eternal fever..."  Letters and Journals of Lord Byron 

Passion instills creative self-energy of unique qualities. To be passionate about what one does, be it writing, painting, cooking, accounting, engineering, or whatever the task, one has to be one with the doing part of being. It is not simply enough to be the writer but one has to ‘do’ writing, and do it in a passionate way.
Writing comes from deep within, some would argue that it might even come from with-out, a beyond, from some energetic interruption from the universe gifted on to the page merely passing through the writer. However one discovers their words, the lack of desire in doing so makes the job of writing just that, a job. Any professional who is passionate about what they do will relay the same message, the lesson of being in the moment and being alive in what one sets out to accomplish on a daily basis. Drone is a negative low energy term that can be the calm opposite of passion if one allows a routine process to overtake the energy flow. Wandering one’s way through a job, meandering and biding time, is not invoking nor engaging your mind with your spirit. Your mind is a powerful tool, arguably your best tool regardless of your profession. For a writer it is everything. Our minds become our go-to-place on a moment by moment, word by word basis to get the writing job done.
The energy that comes from creating one’s work from inside your own head is indescribable to a non-writer and shadows a mystery and romance around the world of a writing lifestyle. That energy when coupled with passion creates a powerful obsessive-like process and when the two are in sync writing becomes a very crazed way to make a living.
It is not always simple but all writing be it journalism, research, technical, non-fiction, poetry, novel, script and many many kinds, all come back to one thing – that of the words that must come together on the paper. Those words must filter through the mind of the writer, process themselves onto the page and then carry a reader’s attention. The most banal newspaper article to the most complex big-screen script must all go through the same process. Without a passion the writer does not only the reader a disservice, but also one to themselves. Without the intensity of passion, the homework and research, the writing process and the final outcome are lack luster and one might as well trade in your pencils and stand behind a counter asking ‘do you want fries with that?”
Why write if you don’t bring a fire to the page? Always pack along your passion when you gather up your tools to write. Carry that ardent passion through the entire experience of creating and it will magically find its way onto the page every single time.

Write always (with passion),

Monday, 8 July 2013

Serial writing ...

Sounds more diabolical than it is … ‘serial’ in the publishing sense whether one considers it an adjective (consisting of, forming part of, or taking place in a series: “a serial publication”) or as a noun (a story or play appearing in regular installments on television or radio in a magazine or newspaper).There are many reasons for serial writing but the obvious is the shift in our cyber-connected attention spans and the cultural shift to shorter instant information. A desire to write a full length novel as a first time author and the need to grow a readership in the changing face of technology become two very different goals. Finding the path that leads to traditional publishing via a non-traditional way to get there is exactly what I am willing to try.
Having sat a professional development panel session last month in Toronto during Magazines Canada’s annual conference, MagNet13 on “New Game, New Rules: The Changing Face of DIY Publishing” I was inspired to try a new approach to growing the readership I need along while developing the most solid proven storyline for my fiction manuscript novel length project. As a publishing industry professional I see the struggle of traditional methods in the ever changing shift of non-traditional methods needed to work towards my personal writing goal of a hard copy best seller fiction novel. A lofty goal in a somewhat deflated industry changing by the minute.
The old stigma around self-publishing, electronic possibilities and shooting one in the writer-foot by testing other options while also shopping for a tradition book deal are not the issues they once were. Many writers of all levels and fame, published or not, are stretching their skills and venturing into new publishing waters to discover where their readership is happily hanging out while favoring and promoting that which excites them to read.
The session speakers brought a business mix that only a few years back would never have been sharing a panel on the future of non-traditional publishing. John Degen, Executive Director of The Writers’ Union of Canada, Mark Leslie Lefebvre, Director of Self-Publishing and Author Relations at Kobo, and Allen Lau, CEO and Cofounder of Wattpad. The trio offered up a hopeful glimpse at a changing word landscape but most exciting for me as a writer in development was the concept presented by Allen Lau of Wattpad. This is such an innovative idea that even Mark Leslie Lefebvre of Kobo is using the Wattpad app to grow his own storyline readership. The serial writing / serial reading concept of Wattpad simply put is a platform for writers and readers to hang out together, read and write alongside one another and grow a great read, driven by an open dialogue writer to reader as the words flow.
I am now up-an-at-em on Wattpad presenting my manuscript in serial fashion to experiment with the open concept of growing my readership while I write towards what they want to read. Their feedback and cross promotion will become vital tools as I further develop my storyline. The final novel will not necessarily be the Wattpad path as my personal goal, for now, lies in the traditional print world. Having said that, I am open to all possibilities and my journey is in the writing, but the thought that I can take that path along with the reader in an ongoing conversation is a very intriguing raw concept I am willing to embrace.

Visit my profile, read along and dialogue as I grow my storyline for Shunned on Wattpad at

Write always,     

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Hallway commute …

There are so many good reasons to love working from a home office. There are an equal number of bad reasons to not love working from a home office. Depending on the day and the project one will outweigh the other. One plus of a home office lifestyle is the near clothing optional benefit of the job and no big budget required to be fashion ready every morning, but what is a benefit to you is not always one to your friends or house mate who might come to wish that you remember to shower and dress on a regular basis. No rush hour traffic another plus as you wander your way down the hall in your fuzzy robe and slippers with a coffee in hand to arrive at the office, but again the down fall is that the more you stay in the more you hate to tackle traffic or long drives and totally see how being a recluse shut in is not all that bad, and maybe that is not a good thing.
Even though you deal with people all day, virtual people and virtual colleagues it does get to feel much like having a string of imaginary friends and again not necessarily a socially healthy trait and offers little to connect with face to face later when cocktailing with real humans after hours. Your pets will love you home all day but again not always a plus for you as you tend to come to like them better than humans over time and can communicate on a pet-mind-meld level better than vocally to most.
home office perks
One would think that being a professional communicator, a word wizard of sorts, would make you a vibrant chatty social being but the downside is that you have quiet isolation all day and the more you write the less you want to speak. An introverted writer becomes almost a self-fulfilling oxymoron and one quickly imagines in those all too quiet times of desperate word block and harsh self discipline how writer angst can arrive in the form of wanting to have their ashes fired out of a cannon when all is passed, Hunter S Thompson style.
 Lots of alone time to think can be a blessing and a curse all at the same time. Solitary confinement is a form of punishment in some (prison) circles but for a writer it is a welcomed fact of life most days and a horrible cruel fate on others. I tend to like it when I have no real schedule and merrily follow inspiration but give me the pressure of a deadline and I quickly resent that I am alone in my office trying to self-brainstorm to come up with a good idea.
There are no celebrated little perks such as casual Friday or pizza day, although there is often a waft of microwave popcorn in the air.  No little office antics or shenanigans and no sleeping with the boss rumors. Little interaction makes for a tad bit of crazy making some days and singing out loud or skipping to the laundry room are just some of the small pleasures you incorporate into your work day office-party of one. Knocking off early to catch happy hour can also have its downfalls and a total new writer-appreciation of the alcohol genius of Hemmingway.
The juxtaposition of the free flowing words and no one to listen seems a cruel hoax on a writer isolated from the buzz of the world they seclude themselves away from to write about. Just know in your isolated writer lifestyle that you are not alone.
Write always,

Thursday, 30 May 2013

A place to write ...

    “A women must have money and
        a room of her own if she is to write”

Virginia Woolf, from A Room of One’s Own

A writer is always writing even when there is no pen or paper in sight. In the grocery, driving, sitting at a movie, an evening out with friends, lying awake in the wee hours, walking the dog, cooking a great meal and just about everywhere else. The creative mind is always churning and processing some thought that would make a great story.
The discipline comes into play when one can take those constant inspirations onto a piece of paper. For me that does not mean simply scribbling them somewhere, jotting an idea or a character sketch into a notebook when the idea hits, or making mental notes to someday use an enlightening scenario in a future story, but rather it means truly writing the words. Not the kind of writing on the fly onto loose pages, but the process of sitting down to gather the scribbles and notes and begin creating the whole from the parts.
The place from which a writer writes is as important as what they write. The private personal space where the surroundings are inspirational, where the surface feels right, where thoughts can flow unedited and safely to the page without judgement or a second eye constantly peering into the process is key. It is the place from which you create and you need it to be as right as any other profession needs a workplace, an artist and a studio, a mechanic and a garage, a doctor and a clinic, a writer and a desk.
It does not have to be an elaborate antique desk oozing in history, or a sanitized industrial-like clean surface from which to create, but it does have to be private, your own, and tucked away from the distractions of the world. Perhaps you don’t even have a desk and instead an old leather valise full of your rambling pages which you cart to your favourite spot in the world to sit and write. Maybe for you your desk is under a tree somewhere in a quiet park. What will work is that you create your place where you go to write every chance you get.
In this place, at your ‘desk’, you must respect and honour your platform, your easel, your palate from where your work flows. If you are inspired by personal items in your life surround yourself with them, your family pictures, your good-luck charms, your totems and mementos, your collections which bring you passion. Do not clutter the surface with distractions or negatives, leave your household bills and to do lists in another room away from the creative process and positive space of your writing. No emailing friends in between writing paragraphs and turn off your phone. Don’t play music if it distracts you, but blast it if it inspires you.
Create your ‘room of one’s own’ and an inspirational space for the words to flow.
Give yourself the gift of a place to write.

Write always,

Monday, 22 April 2013

Write what you know ...

I struggle often with balance. Okay there I said it out loud, I admit it. Not that kind of stand on your tip toes, close your eyes and don’t fall over balance, but worse the kind where life gets in the way of what you know you should be doing. I should be writing. You know that feeling when tomorrow is going to be so great that you are too excited to sleep? Sometimes, some nights, that is how my own writing-imagination can keep me awake. My writer-self is too excited to sleep. The words that want out will not let me rest because that day has brought me so many great ideas to write about.
It is that passion that becomes a drive so forceful that it can get in the way of actually sitting down and writing. Harnessing that almost superpower to create and balancing the desire-to-write and the reality of finding a creative time and place can be as hard as learning to physically juggle. It takes practice. A juggler will tell you to just pick up any object and start – juggle your morning orange and apples, juggle your pencils, juggle the dog biscuits and your hair brushes, just do it.
MichelleGreysen dot com
The same has come to be true for me and words. I juggle a paid assignment, a magazine feature, blogging, copyright work, non-fiction book projects, fiction novels to short stories, poetry and the business writing side of researching and marketing all those avenues of revenue streams and creative outlets of a writing life. The subject matter in my writing projects and assignments covers a huge spectrum and I am often asked how do you decide what to write about? I usually jokingly quip that

stories find me but in actuality there is a lot of truth to that.
I truly believe that nurturing your will to write will be fed by what life brings you to write about. Jung aptly described it, as “That which is most personal is most common”.  Write what you know, write what is in your life and you will feed your passion for words with your life experiences. When I find I am struggling with writing it is often because I am not personally balancing who I am with what I do.
One of the best reads on writing I continue to enjoy over and over, is Stephen King’s bestseller, On Writing. King sets out to describe the ups and downs of the writing life by simply telling us not how he writes but rather how he lives and in those simplistic insights in some round-about way he offers endless valuable lessons on how to write. King unknowingly backs up my belief that there is some positive harmony in life and writing. A hundred pages into the book he speaks of his office space, his own desk, about the job and what he came to know:

“It starts with this: put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn’t in the middle of the room.  Life isn’t a support system for art.  It’s the other way around.”   Stephen King

Monday, 15 April 2013

Just write ... and write and write and write and write and ...

When one writes for a living, and one writes for love, and one writes like others breathe, there comes a time when you must shut out all that is not writing and take stock. I truly can say then when I am not able to write, or at least be in a mental state of writing, that I feel as if I am suffocating as I gulp, gasp, and choke my very soul to steal away some writing time in my day. There is never enough of both time and words.  I have thought a lot lately of all that gets in the way of my now too many writing projects piling up around me, a distraction all in themselves from the actually writing.  I see where the time has now come to hone it all into one focus, one goal, one single task. I simply need to write. I want to write it all, poetry, fiction, script, novel, short story, non-fiction, magazine freelance, book projects, corporate content development writing and oh so much more. The reality is I simply am a word junkie with obsessive compulsive a-holic-like tendencies and a desire to play with words on all levels. Not unlike a math scholar driven by formulas, or a musician that can’t leave the notes, or an archaeologist on an endless dig. The quest for words and the drive for the right words is a passion and a life’s’ work that now, for me, must be addressed.
Vintage Typewriters at Inktiques
Time has become my guide and is constantly butting in to remind my muse to hurry it along. I have to remind time that we are in a dance or sorts and that I am in the lead. But I also have to constantly remind myself of that and not get swept away on other tasks that interrupt my words. I know for me in order to write well I must write often, every day and sometimes all day and night. I must constantly move the words along, zero in on my many word projects and bring them to completion and beyond. Words can bury a writer but good words can free a writer. I deeply desire lately to write freely.
I will check back here often, daily perhaps, weekly other times, but enough to report back that my words are on task and to share the journey of writing. I welcome hearing from others who, like me, struggle with life getting in the way of the words.
Writing always,

Thursday, 11 April 2013

this BLOG has now moved here ...

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