Thursday, January 3, 2013


For me, to write is to breathe.

I have taken a semester off of writing this blog so that I could concentrate on school. You will be happy to know that it paid off. I did very well in school this semester.

I was writing throughout the semester. I had many papers due and one class was strictly a 15 page paper. It was not completely creative, though, and I cannot explain how I've missed writing. Now that I have time to start again, I just can't seem to get back into the groove. Taking so much time off has made me lazy. I have more ideas for excuses to not write than ideas to write about.

For inspiration, I started reading a few classical authors of the same period. I read F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatzby. You may claim that I read it in light of the new film that recently hit theaters if you like. That was not the reason, though. I read it because he was an author from St. Paul. I want to know how Mid-Western authors write. The story was, in my opinion, rather drab, though Mr. Fitzgerald's writing style sucked me in. He describes the scenes with such fluency that I could almost taste the setting.

I recently watched Midnight in Paris with Owen Wilson. He travels back in time to visit with the expatriate authors of Paris in the 20's. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein are all brought to life through the film. Curious about this part of history, I picked up Hemingway's memoire on the subject. A Moveable Feast is a fascinating read. I am only half way through it right now, but I have gained some much needed inspiration from Hemingway. Reading his other works, one would wonder if he liked anything or anyone, but in this book he goes into detail of his relationships with other writers and of his favorite cafes and restaurants. The man was writing the memoire near the end of his life, which was a very dark period for him, but he was able to look back on the time with happy nostalgia.

He also gives advice to other writers. I don't believe this was on purpose, but he speaks in the second person pulling you into the story. He talks about working (writing at the cafes and at his office) but uses "you." I often think it is me trying to order my second beer and write down the story before the afternoon fades to evening.

He tells me that I should never run my inkwell dry when writing. As in, if I'm writing a story and I have just a little bit more to add before the end of the day, I should leave it as is and come back to it the next day. I should allow the little bit of ink soak overnight; mulling it over in my sleep so I can write even more when I go back to work. Otherwise, with nothing to chew on, there will be nothing to write in the morning.

He also suggests that I not think of the story while it is percolating. I should instead pick up a book of the current authors and see what other people are writing about. This will keep my mind occupied so I don't lose my train of thought, and will keep me up to date with my peers.

This time period was very romantic. Several authors are living cheaply in Paris, reading each other's works and critiquing them. It sounds lovely, though I'm not completely sold. They had hard lives, and everything was not perfect. I guess I would rather have the community they had, without the lifestyle.

These are some tools I have picked up while on hiatus. I hope they will prove useful and helpful and that you will continue to read my musings. Thank you for your patience.

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