Reports from the Bunker

the only complete man in the industry

Explosive Thought Poo

leave a comment »

Before any of my other friends, I knew what my path was; I knew what I wanted to do with my life, at least in a general framework. I had not yet started high-school when I realized I wanted to be a writer and poet. Ill-equipped for learning within the confines of any institution, I assumed I would not make it through college, so starting in middle school and continuing beyond high school I set about a rigorous study and practice of literature, language, philosophy and communication. In all humility, I would come in time to discover that my cirriculum was much more intense than any school would have been. I took the hard road one could say. By the time I was 20, I had written (and thrown away) two novels, had poetry published and was giving readings all over Detroit and in little bohemian galleries and cafes as far away as the Irish Hills. I read constantly and wrote for hours a day, I always had a notebook with me and even if I was occupied all day and found myself at a party, I would dissappear for at least 30 minutes to write for a while.
There are certain truths and realities to this kind of life, the life of a dedicated poet and freelance writer and chief among them are that accomplishment and reward come slowly, if they come at all. In my early twenties, some 13 years ago, I found growing in me a lack of patience, a material desire and a yearning for more immediate accomplishment than my choice could provide. Thus, I found my way to my career as a business and technical writer. At first, given the instant rewards and more swiftly and easily won accomplishments, I was elated and felt victorious. I told myself, whatever they are intended for and produce, all words are words and all writing was writing and  I was getting paid to do it.
Yet, there was a sacrifice it seems. For ten years now, I have struggled to read, to write and to enjoy writing, anything not related to my occupation and it has made the job itself sour to me. I lost the discipline and the joy of it somewhere. What I do write is now so clinical and lacking in soul, emotional honesty and full expression that it reads like a grocery list or a technical manual. It is in fact seldom that I can contact that energy that enables me to write in a very personal way and most of what I write is about topics, subjects, events (in a deeply clinical fashion).
When I write anything now, I am obsessed and anxious about it being useful, being a usable, purposeful excercise and with it being praise-worthy. Kim and I had a discussion last night about how I should write daily if I want to get back into the discipline. Sounds simple and honestly this is not the first time it was suggested, not the first time I will have attempted it, but she said several things that make it different and multiple realizations last night during our discussion and today in my head make it different.
– What to Write
When I practiced writing daily and when the love and joy were there, what I wrote hardly mattered – sometimes I would just write stream of consciousness lists of word, write a word, then the next word after it that entered my head and on and on. Sometimes, lists of favorite words, words I loved because of how they sounded. I wrote essays, journals, none-sense, fragments of poems and dreams and just anything without concern for quality, or purpose. I did it to write, I did it to feel the pen in my hand and the paper under it; also to type, just to feel my fingers hit the keys, often closing my eyes and just languishing in the feeling of my fingers on the keys, the music of the typewriter hammers or the more quiet clacking of keyboard keys on the computer. To feel connected to the ancient practice of wordsmithing and to the spirit and ghosts of those who have done it before me and the divine spirit of inspiration that has driven us. Usually, there was no drive to accomplish anything, so when I did decide to accomplish something it came easy.
– Make it personal, honest (when it must be a cohesive thing)
Comparatively, one could examine my life today against my life 15 years ago and find that it has grown dull. I am sober, in no great danger from myself, my lifestyle choices or anyone else. My time is not spent amongst the self important or the intellectually elite anymore and such is my perspective that I don’t really want to be. More and more of my friends are clean, sober or both and are, for the most part pretty mellow with lives as simple as mine.
This would not really be my perspective though. I would instead point out that I have more going on now and more of it enables me to relate to other people and allow them to contact the things that I write about. I am sober for the first time since I was a pre-teen, my whole life and person has and continue to change dramatically. I feel human for the first time ever, happy and hopeful are also new. I have two kids in my life whose anecdotes, antics and victories and struggles I can write about. I can write about my struggles having gone from childless to having two kids in grade school and trying to figure out how to be not just a parent, but more delicately, a step-parent. I have their mother, Kim, the love of my life and our relationship which while exuberant and loving is challenged by the ghosts of our relationships past and my own alcoholic personality challenges that rear their head sometimes. Learning to balance work, home, health and AA is another big thing for me to address.
In a way, not much has changed, the more exciting part of my writing has always been the inward struggles and thoughts of my life. For sure, many of those struggles and thoughts are different now.
– Try doing it at the end of the day
Typically, like today, I write my blog entries at work with fragmented effort through the day as I am able to sneek them. it would be better to have the day behind me and write about or whatever I am going to write and do it all at once.
– That I need particular conditions, things etc to really be able to do it
Excuses, nothing more. I don’t need anything except the conviction to re-obtain the discipline.
There are some things that will be helpful however
It is time for an new copy of Letters to A Young Poet
Reading one of my literary hero’s
Dig out and play with drafts and poem fragments
Though I need to try and be careful not to make the entries anything but what my fingers determine needs typed and must forget that there is a potential audience, I still think that for ease the blog is the best way to do my daily writing. So, this blog will change yet again to some degree and if it is not interesting to anyone who reads it regularly, or the entires have no cohesive themes either among or within them, you have my apologies.

My days now…
Before any of my other friends, I knew what my path was; I knew what I wanted to do with my life, at least in a general framework. I had not yet started high-school when I realized I wanted to be a writer and poet. Ill-equipped for learning within the confines of any institution, I assumed I would not make it through college, so starting in middle school and continuing beyond high school I set about a rigorous study and practice of literature, language, philosophy and communication. In all humility, I would come in time to discover that my cirriculum was much more intense than any school would have been. I took the hard road one could say. By the time I was 20, I had written (and thrown away) two novels, had poetry published and was giving readings all over Detroit and in little bohemian galleries and cafes as far away as the Irish Hills. I read constantly and wrote for hours a day, I always had a notebook with me and even if I was occupied all day and found myself at a party, I would dissappear for at least 30 minutes to write for a while.
There are certain truths and realities to this kind of life, the life of a dedicated poet and freelance writer and chief among them are that accomplishment and reward come slowly, if they come at all. In my early twenties, some 13 years ago, I found growing in me a lack of patience, a material desire and a yearning for more immediate accomplishment than my choice could provide. Thus, I found my way to my career as a business and technical writer. At first, given the instant rewards and more swiftly and easily won accomplishments, I was elated and felt victorious. I told myself, whatever they are intended for and produce, all words are words and all writing was writing.
Yet, there was a sacrifice it seems. For ten years now, I have struggled to read, to write and to enjoy writing, anything not related to my occupation and it has made the job itself sour to me. I lost the discipline and the joy of it somewhere. What I do write is now so clinical and lacking in soul, emotional honesty and full expression that it reads like a grocery list or a technical manual. It is in fact seldom that I can contact that energy that enables me to write in a very personal way and most of what I write is about topics, subjects, events (in a deeply clinical fashion).
When I write anything now, I am obsessed and anxious about it being useful, being a usable, purposeful excercise and with it being praise-worthy. Kim and I had a discussion last night about how I should write daily if I want to get back into the discipline. Sounds simple and honestly this is not the first time it was suggested, not the first time I will have attempted it, but she said several things that make it different and multiple realizations last night during our discussion and today in my head make it different.
– What to WriteWhen I practiced writing daily and when the love and joy were there, what I wrote hardly mattered – sometimes I would just write stream of consciousness lists of word, write a word, then the next word after it that entered my head and on and on. Sometimes, lists of favorite words, words I loved because of how they sounded. I wrote essays, journals, none-sense, fragments of poems and dreams and just anything without concern for quality, or purpose. I did it to write, I did it to feel the pen in my hand and the paper under it; also to type, just to feel my fingers hit the keys, often closing my eyes and just languishing in the feeling of my fingers on the keys, the music of the typewriter hammers or the more quiet clacking of keyboard keys on the computer. To feel connected to the ancient practice of wordsmithing and to the spirit and ghosts of those who have done it before me and the divine spirit of inspiration that has driven us. Usually, there was no drive to accomplish anything, so when I did decide to accomplish something it came easy.
– Make it personal, honest (when it must be a cohesive thing)Comparatively, one could examine my life today against my life 15 years ago and find that it has grown dull. I am sober, in no great danger from myself, my lifestyle choices or anyone else. My time is not spent amongst the self important or the intellectually elite anymore and such is my perspective that I don’t really want to be. More and more of my friends are clean, sober or both and are, for the most part pretty mellow with lives as simple as mine.
This would not really be my perspective though. I would instead point out that I have more going on now and more of it enables me to relate to other people and allow them to contact the things that I write about. I am sober for the first time since I was a pre-teen, my whole life and person has and continue to change dramatically. I feel human for the first time ever, happy and hopeful are also new. I have two kids in my life whose anecdotes, antics and victories and struggles I can write about. I can write about my struggles having gone from childless to having two kids in grade school and trying to figure out how to be not just a parent, but more delicately, a step-parent. I have their mother, Kim, the love of my life and our relationship which while exuberant and loving is challenged by the ghosts of our relationships past and my own alcoholic personality challenges that rear their head sometimes. Learning to balance work, home, health and AA is another big thing for me to address.
In a way, not much has changed, the more exciting part of my writing has always been the inward struggles and thoughts of my life. For sure, many of those struggles and thoughts are different now.
– Try doing it at the end of the dayTypically, like today, I write my blog entries at work with fragmented effort through the day as I am able to sneek them. it would be better to have the day behind me and write about or whatever I am going to write and do it all at once.
– That I need particular conditions, things etc to really be able to do itExcuses, nothing more. I don’t need anything except the conviction to re-obtain the discipline.
There are some things that will be helpful howeverIt is time for an new copy of Letters to A Young PoetReading one of my literary hero’sDig out and play with drafts and poem fragments
Though I need to try and be careful not to make the entries anything but what my fingers determine needs typed and must forget that there is a potential audience, I still think that for ease the blog is the best way to do my daily writing. So, this blog will change yet again to some degree and if it is not interesting to anyone who reads it regularly, or the entires have no cohesive themes either among or within them, you have my apologies.

Advertisements

Written by jamesjanus

September 30, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Posted in Writing

Tagged with , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: