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Posts Tagged ‘writing’

There is nothing new under the sun. I used to have quarrels with that idea. I could sit in front of a notebook for hours in college, doodling deformed stars because I felt washed up at twenty years old. What could I say that hasn’t already been said? What could I possibly know at this age that meant something?

Some stories really do feel new, and then some just feel like a repeat of something else. You think up an idea one day, and the next, an author has just published a book about an idea that you were going to start. There is a lot of competition for ideas in the arts. But that doesn’t mean that our art, our stories, aren’t important. The endings still make us cry, still give us hope, still remind us something about life or imagination beyond the life we know. You can use the same chords, but change the notes and words on the page to create something new. You can use the same storyline, but change the characters and circumstances and still find a way to have a fresh perspective on it.

Some friends I made in college had lived in the city or a suburb. They talked about how flat Minnesota was; but where I live, the land is covered in hills and bluffs. They hadn’t spent a lot of time on a farm, but my mom used to work on a dairy farm, and I live on a hobby farm with cattle and pigs. I grew up riding four-wheeler and picking bales of hay off the fields. I rode with my dad on tractors and in the back of trucks down gravel roads. That life wouldn’t really be new to anyone in my small hick town, but my perspective would be new to them.

I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t criticize artists for creating something that is similar to something else. Just because it may not seem different to you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter to someone else.

So keep writing. Keep changing note progressions and keep painting lines because people can still be amazed. They can still be moved. And that’s all we ever hope for. If it matters to you, it’ll matter to someone else.
Isn’t that a beautiful concept? You matter. Even if you’re not an artist. I’d like to think you could make anything an art if you put your mind to it. When I was in college, all the professors liked to say how they thought their subject was most important. But you and I are both needed in different ways. We both have unique understandings that the other person doesn’t have, as well as understandings the other person can relate to so we don’t feel so alone. We can both leave some kindness and hope in a place the other person isn’t.

There is already an excess of complainers. It’s become the norm. Instead, be a daisy in a field of dandelions. Don’t give up on your art, don’t give up on hope, and don’t forget that your perspective is needed, no matter where you are, no matter who you are.

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This year I have heard the words “stop hiding” said to me a lot of situations that had to do with my views on things. I never saw it as hiding, but I do know I have fears regarding it. So I have made it a mission to be a little less fearful. This will be difficult on one side because my personality is an ISFJ, and I’m quite terrible at confrontation. So when I’ve talked about hard things, it’s usually through internet or texting. You don’t need to tell me how “pathetic” that may sound to some. But it’s the only way I could get myself to speak my mind about anything because I’m still learning to open my mouth when needed at the age of 23. I don’t intend to ever be someone who never stops talking once I find my voice. I’m a listener at heart. But when asked or when necessary, I’d like to find some small piece of confidence in the cramped spaces of my mind to speak what I know.

I’ve been told to stop hiding behind Christianity, to stop hiding behind my phone. But in a world that looks down upon you for having a different viewpoint than the person standing before you, or even the majority in general, it can be hard to want to speak up. Criticism and deep frowns either tend to cause more deep frowns or, in most of my cases, a caving in on oneself by feeling slightly ashamed while simultaneously not really swaying on what I believed to be true. The tone of one’s voice and the posture of one’s stance means a great deal. I am alert to emotion, and when some form relating to anger or irritation pull ahead, it becomes hard for me to find my words because I’d rather focus on calming the situation than answer the question.

There would be more discussion if the important topics were more approachable than they are now. There are the occasional few who may be set in their ways, but are willing to listen to what you have to say. But there are also those who are more interested in telling you what they have to say. Then there are others who would rather not talk about it at all and revert to changing the subject to surface level subjects. I “hid” behind the texts of my thoughts instead of using my voice because when I answer a text or after I’m done reading a text, I have time to catch my breath, to get a grip on my thoughts. My way of coping and of figuring out what I even have to say in the first place is through writing. So it looks like I’m hiding. And I think part of me was hiding. But the other part truly needs to write things out. This introverted mind of mine takes longer than the normal extrovert to answer questions or ideas through speech because my voice is not where my answers are. They are in my hands.

That does not mean I will never voice my opinions, thoughts, or views. It simply means I’m still learning how to answer in a way other than through forms of text. I don’t easily converse with people in general unless I know them, so conversing about deeper subjects takes even more effort.

This is a harsh world sometimes, and I don’t expect to be craddled. I just know that it is taking me time to step onto the battlefield. So have some patience with those who may be similar to me. Frown a little less, and maybe we will be more willing to answer you. Use a few less harsh words, and maybe you will help us find the confidence we need.

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I prefer to read fiction over nonfiction. This has seemed strange to me. As I get older, some of my friends drift away from fiction and dive into nonfiction, but my love of fiction is stronger than ever. Why wouldn’t I prefer to read a real story? A story of a life whom I could meet in person if that person was still alive?

I think I’m starting to figure out why.

Fiction sometimes feels more real to me. The dialogue, the specificities in colors and images of what the characters see or do…some of that is hard to remember for a nonfiction story. There are images writers create in nonfiction that you don’t usually find in fiction because it’s coming from a real memory. But other than that, it doesn’t matter to me that fiction is false because the ideas behind the story are probably mostly true, depending on the story. Some things or feelings that happen to the characters in fiction stories we can either relate to or at least understand.

But it goes deeper than that. I feel like when I read nonfiction, I am getting told the story from someone else, even if it is written in first person. I already have it in my head that this story is true, therefore I give my mind space from it. It’s still a good story, but that life was already lived, is already taken.

But fiction stories are basically up for grabs. In fiction, I can insert myself into the story and allow myself to be that character.  I am the legs running through the trees; I am holding on to the back of a dragon; I am the one crying as I hold my dead, fake sister.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my life. I am quite a lucky kid when looking at the big picture, but I have my days like everyone else. Sometimes I want to be anywhere but here, but then I don’t have the gas to go anywhere. I may not make it to New York, but I can read about a character who lives in New York. For me, reading fiction is the cheapest vacation. Emotion moves us, changes us, and I have dug through more emotions in just a few fiction books I’ve read than all of the nonfiction ones put together. I crave emotion—whether it’s anger, fear, sadness, happiness, hope—because to feel anything is to feel alive. In the low, dull moments of my life I can be soaring. I don’t necessarily like being angry or feel like my heart is breaking, but I’ll take anything over nothing at all.

That’s why I love the writing world. Writing isn’t just a world filled with words, but it’s also a world filled with emotion. The way we can use words to stir up something inside people is fascinating to me.

In life, you can’t be everything (there’s not enough time). But through a story, you can be anything. 

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I finally feel certain of where I want my writing to lead.

I’m sure you have all heard by now of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting that happened this morning. First and foremost, i offer my condolences, my prayers, my heart, my hugs, my respects to the children that have found their place in heaven and for their families that were left down here. I smile as I imagine Jesus taking their hands and showing them His kingdom, but I bow my head for the families that have to mourn their children. No parent should have to go through something like that. For some, it may have been their first child and maybe even their only child.

I have thought a lot about the idea of suicides and school shootings for the past couple years, and have a feeling that I need to use my writing to reach the people that may take their own lives or do more shootings in the future. There will be bullying in the future, there will be rejection, there will be depression, but I want to be someone who can bring some peace to their frustrations or pent up issues and grudges that are sometimes the reasons that lead to these tragedies. I was an outcast throughout high school, though I have two very dear friends I owe my sanity to.

An old classmate of mine and I were talking about how there needs to be more life lessons taught in schools. Most of our speakers only talked about drinking and driving, which is very important too, but it’s not the only issue. We have people that try to get people to stop bullying, but very few people who talk about how to deal with bullying and whatever else. All through high school, I held grudges on people in my class, and I am still dealing with those grudges now. They fester and build when you don’t deal with them, when you don’t talk to someone about your frustrations  when you don’t know how to forgive someone you hate.

Though many hate the man that killed the children, I yearn to understand what led him to do such a thing. I assume there may have been family problems since he shot his mother, but to continue to kill children…it shocks me, as much as other school shootings have. For a couple kids, they aren’t getting any love at home, some get too much love, and then they don’t know how to handle rejection.  Rejection shapes us, teaches us. If this happens to our kids, we need to help them through it, not shield them from the evils of the world. If we do, then once they are out on their own, they won’t know what to do.

I want to help them through my writing. I want to bring them stories with people who may be in their position, with people who find that they are stronger than the struggles that they go through, people who choose to be better than the people that put them down. I want them to read my blog, my books, my poetry, my short stories, listen to my songs…anything that may begin to change their minds just enough to put the gun down for one more day, to loosen the rope from their necks. We need to lead them away from plans of death and destruction.

This is my mission. This is what I will strive for until my own death.

If you know of anyone that may need a friend to talk to, please have them email me. I would love to talk, I would love to guide in whatever way I can.

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I was looking through some past journals today, and got to thinking about old times. I love memories. I love being able to picture the cabin by the lake when we went fishing in a speed boat; or when we go to my grandma’s house to go offroading in the summer, hundreds of deep green trees spanning the hills, covering everything like umbrellas. Memories keep me going, especially on days I work long hours and just want to go home, or when I’m crammed studying for 3 tests I have the next day. Memories keep you strong, keep you pushing, keep your hopes up, and become the cushions of old age, the stories you tell your grandkids like the ones my grandma tells me.

But I think sometimes we think too much about them. We look back on fun times and think it will never get any better than that…but it can. Don’t let memories hold you down and become an excuse of why you can’t do something. If you have a bad past, don’t let it ruin your future. Anyone can start over, anyone can make their lives better as they get older, you just have to have a positive attitude  If you’re usually a pessimist, shut up for a second and try saying something optimistic, even if you don’t believe it at the present time. If YOU think there isn’t a chance in hell, then there wont be, because YOU are the only one holding you back. Life has mountains for a reason–to see how far you are willing to go, to see how much you are willing to push yourself to do something.

Give optimism a shot, and don’t let memories cloud your judgement. You are the driver. So drive.

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I used to write songs a lot. A lot of times I’d babble words just looking for a tune and I’d end up saying something and get to thinking, “You know, maybe I could make something out of that.”  As with my stories, I want people to learn something or at least get something out of the things I write. Not everyone will, but even though we are all different, we share some experiences or feelings that come from related topics. Music affects people, and sometimes when you are simply saying words, it doesn’t have the same effect as it does when you add a tune to it, especially when that tune matches  what you are trying to say.

It kinda bugs me when people say they can’t write. Trust me, everyone can write. It may not be good writing, but everyone can write a simple song about a simple experience; you just may not have the patience to write a 500 page book. Not everyone may be able to figure out what should happen in a book or how to get the reader to fall in love with the character, but anyone can write a poem about the things found in a messy room, a letter to a best friend, a journal entry after a bad day.

Write, paint, sew, decorate, mold, carve, dance, sing, act…Whatever you do, create.

“My business is to create.”–P.S. I Love You

Make it your business 🙂

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Sometimes shadows only disappear until you bring them to the light. But, what I think we sometimes forget, is that the shadow doesn’t always disappear, but instead just MOVES. When you fix one struggle, another is going to pop up. Guarenteed. But the awesome thing is, is that you are in control of the light. A shadow is as see-through as glass when your light is bright. But when you dim that light with worry, fear, frustration, and anger, the shadows become blacker than the bottom of the sea. If they come, then it is possible for them to go away, but only if you make them. No shadow can defeat the light, so why are you running scared?

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