Writers & Bloggers : Pleasure of bad books?

(Sorry for my wobbly French today…)

Bad books (and blogs) can be useful for a writer – but I suppose it’s a low level thing.

  • It (possibly) can make your brain move, like this :
    • I would have written it better,
    • in another way,
    • I would have added this and that, etc…
  • It makes you angry, and you can try to use this strange gas-oil which is anger.
  • You can say that the author is a spirit-enemy (the useful thing of feeling or “inventing an enemy” is an old trick), it triggers your mobilization. Fight him… and write.
  • Any negative feeling (next to anger is bitterness, hate, sarcasms, etc) can be used too. Your clockworkbrain is activated. Some guys (in your head) will step into the breach. Geronimo!
  • After all, you could maybe find a good idea or a pleasant formulation in a bad book or a bad blog, it’s really the idea of a seed found within dust and rocks. Steal it and make it grow your own way, haha!

 

I suggest you prepare and foresee an antidote (a good book) – to clean your head, by Jove!

This, of course, is an exercise. You can not separate books and blogs between “good ones and bad ones”. It’s all relative, silly. It depends.

You have to consider that what YOU write can also be considered the same way by another reader. Your wordings as a bad place, as a bad example, inspiring better things? Awwweee! That’s a good (low level) thing, right? 🙂

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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Use a baaad feeling as gasoline to write?

GRRRRRrrr !

Use anger to write? It’s an advice I got from a good friend, one day. Why not?

Let’s think about it…

Find a subject which makes you angry. Politics? An artist you dislike? An enemy? Oh, better : a bad moment of the past. And then you go girl!

Use bitterness to write? Use problems to write? Sorrow? Jealousy? Hopelessness? Disappointment? Frustration? Why not?

William Boyd (or maybe it’s David Lodge, I can’t remember) answers NO. He says one doesn’t need to be in despair, drunk or bored to write a novel. He says he strongly needs calm, coffee and his slippers, in a warm home, to write. Well… Good to him, right?

We all know that we write to be loved, it’s the undercurrent. Then, you have the things we say (see this article about bloggers motivations) : “I write” – to share, to explain, to express myself, to make money, to meet people…

Many of us write to stay busy, to stand up, to do something else than overthinking. Our brain needs a bone to gnaw on, oui? Therefore I consider OK to use bad feelings to write.

The reader will know, probably. He’ll read the unsaid. He’ll feel your tone. He’ll try to guess what happened “in broad strokes”. Let’s hope he’ll smile. “Hey, he’s been offended or what?”, or “Woah, this person has been betrayed!”.

The reader… he’ll forgive you.

Ok, you go.

Thanks for reading!

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JS Bach’s Cantata is confusing about Joy & Ordeal

This article is about the meaning of a sentence in Bach’s Cantata, and the different ways it is translated (from German to French or English), and what it can bring us about how the ways we deal with life.

I woke up a little disoriented by an obsessive, dense nightmare telling me in details that my life was really losing its cohesion. A mess like “having books but not knowing why any more”, “fearing the loss of purpose”, “falling sick but this time it won’t end well”, or “I’ll have to work a lot, without being sure it’s useful, to understand the fragments, the scales of my life” : terrible!

I sat on my bed, in need of a big coffee, happy to realize it was only a nightmare, watching a grey quiet queasy luminous sky, thinking about this little irony of life we all know :

When you work, it’s sunny, when you’re off, it rains.

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We all have this feeling of the irony of life, with all the shades. Murphy’s Laws (“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”) are often hilarious to read. If France we sometime call it “LEM”, La Loi de l’Emmerdement Maximum, or “The Law of the Maximum Merdation”, which will make sense to everyone, oui?

But eventually it begins to hit harder. It deals with failure, love break-ups, losing job, or even death. I’ll tell you this true story.

Before WWII, a young upper class lady fell in love in France with a simple employee. Her family prevented her to marry the young man and arranged a more “proper” marriage. She had to accept it, I suppose. But decades later, in the 80s, her husband died, and then the unwealthy guy’s wife too. They were old, but happy : they fell back in love, lived this love, got married… and he died very soon.

I remembered this story because every member of her family kept telling her “Stop crying, you had a great life!”. So she stopped crying. And a week later was in hospital in emergency : her legs had tripled volume. Diagnostic : “Water Retention”.

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For the next part of this article I have to say that I’m don’t believe in any “God”. Nevertheless, faith inspired humans some great Art, right?

 

Johann Sebastian Bach wrote a Cantata “for the Feast of Visitation of Mary” (BWV 147) which is well known for the end : “Jesus bleibet meine Freude“.

This last part is very well known by the title “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”  – I just added the YouTube link under this paragraph – but it’s been translated to “sound better” : “Jesus bleibet meine Freude” is more like :Jesus shall remain my gladness“.

(I found also : Jesus remains my joy, Jesus stays my source of gladness, Jesus shall remain my joy).

Here’s the paragraph :

Jesus remains my joy,
the comfort and life’s blood of my heart,
Jesus defends me against all sorrows,
he is my life’s strength,

Why?

Bach, the year he composed the music, suffered the loss of two of his children. Johann August Abraham died the day after he was born, and a bit later Regina Johanne, who was 4 years old, died too.

I suppose that in the XVIIIth Century even more than now, you really can write things like “Jesus remains my joy”. The use of “remains” tells something about “I have to stay strong, I decide to be”.

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The French translation is wrong too. We say here : “Jésus, que ma joie demeure”, which means something a bit different : “Jesus, may my joy remains”.

  • The English and German are a statement : “Jesus remains my joy”
  • The French is a prayer, a supplication : “Jesus, may my joy remains”

 

You’ll notice that it is not either “Jesus, give me joy”, or even “help me”, but more “Allow my joy to keep existing”… 

 

This difference between a statement and a plea in the form of “Please allow” is fascinating enough to keep some of us thinking for a day. It’s different, but also so similar. Both tell us about the will to stay strong…

I’d summerize this all with this question :

What do we do against ordeal?

 

This is the longest article I ever wrote! Thanks for reading my Frenchy English!

Jean-Pascal

PS : You can maybe, also, read this : Amor Fati (and Sequere Deum).

 

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When you deeply desire a hard-working loneliness – but

We all of us have been there, even you, bloggers, right? :

You are busy at work, or you’re at a party, or you’re on a date.

You would LOVE to be totally wise & oriental and “fully live the moment”. But you are not.

You have things to do, but you deeply desire a hard-working loneliness, well you will at least have all the time necessary to : write your article, explore your ideas, paint, or begin your first novel.

Yeah, you see me coming : When you have the chance to be in this moment, alone, quiet, with a few hours free, you… do nothing. You procrastinate. You wander, take a nap, have a lazy poolsplash, you don’t even try to begin (or if you do, your hand stays in the air holding its pencil while daydreaming about elephants or printers. Strange statue!).

And therefore you are a bit angry against yourself because you spoil your time, and you feel this ugly emptiness I would call self-wtf.

Dial/Lever : What does that mean? Are we strong inside but lazy in action? What could we do to fix that? Discipline? Daily same-hour schedules, like Stephen King and other writers? What if we decided to stop everything “at once” when we wish to have time. Abandon job? Date goodbyeing? Party flight? Just to write at once? Why not. What are YOUR solutions?

Thanks for reading!

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Demotivating Motivational Quotes

Motivation quotes are so great, fresh, energetic and so simple that you wonder “why you didn’t do it before”…

“Who you surround yourself with is who you will become”. Awwweee! That makes sense, using people like chess pawns, and considering the others like dusty useless boring people – who slow your path towards your “goals”. Problem is of course you have to know… before you surround. You need magic, then. Surround with a wizard first. I wonder what I should think of lonely people, too.

You need discipline, because “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment”. This is beautiful and I’m almost crying. Problem is you don’t have this discipline (are you able to not eat this chocolate slab?), life is complex, your goals are moving, your uncertainty quotient has ups and downs, and you need a glass of wine.

“Love the sound of your feet walking away from things not meant for you” (and people, I suppose). Well, if you’re a X-Men, that’s great, because you know in advance what is meant for you, right? This way, you avoid “what is not meant”, but also “what could mean” for you one day, but do you care, really? Nope, but think of “NOT walking away from things not meant for you”. What could you discover?

“Stop seeking approval” is really fantastic, thank you I’m cured! But of course everybody’s seeking approval, even those lying liars who dared to write this. They craaaave likes, and followers, they want, like everyone of us, to be loved. Or maybe your a Hygge robot, you live with a chair, a flower and a fork, and you’d NEVER blog about that, because approval seekers are weak persons, losing their goal. Which I’ll never reach because I seek approval a LOT, and I’m not Hygge, but more in Hug needing. Have some?

“Your only limit is you”, but nahh, not true. Limits are veryeverywhere (I just invented this word, my only limit is me, see?). Laws, society, approval seeking, budget, world, incompetence, betrayals, weather too. Weather is important, oui? I like this one too : “I can and I will”. No you won’t. Okey, maybeeee…

“Don’t stop when you are tired, stop when you’re done”. Just hope you won’t have a car accident in between (yaaaawn). Come on! Get a nap, you deserve it, John.

Well, you can have fun with these for days. Just Google “motivation quotes”. Endless.

Last but no least, “Old ways won’t open new doors”. Errr. Eff… That’s pretty true, right?

Merci !

JP

…or “demotivation quotes”, make you think and are funnier :

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Fecundity of Limits

If you’re a creative person, you encountered the “Fecundity of Limits” concept, obviously. Fruition. I’d distinguish :

  1. the limits you choose yourself
  2. the limits given to you by someone in charge
  3. the limits you encounter while you’re building your stuff.

Choosing your own limits is such… a pleasure. It’s about preparing your work. Paint something with 3 colors only. Write a book in a month. Travel, but no more than 5 miles a day.

Limits coming as instructions can be a relief. Many actors talk about the freedom you have while you have to obey strict orders. It’s about unfolding inside a frame : perfect for certain personalities.

The limits you encounter are parts of the building process. Your technical shortfalls is a good example. You then move forward “within” your capacities – trying maybe to push them back. The budget can be a limit. You’ll discover the others while you work : It’s a stream, a current!

Tool : Choose, change them, ask someone for limits (as seeds), think about them while your create, and then… forget your feedback : you’re in the flow, a good one!

Thanks for reading! Work well! Travaillez bien !

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Working with what you have… today

When I was 25 I complained to a friend of mine who was 40, a painter. I was composing music slowly and in a bitter way because I was missing instruments, equipment, etc. I had a Macintosh, a mic, a synth, a reverb and a flute.

In art or life, sometimes we feel stuck, therefore we don’t do anything, because we “miss something”, we don’t have enough of this or that : we just wait, bored like a lonely koala in the taiga.

So we just “watch a goal”, a state or a line where, at last, we will be able to begin.

THEN we will have enough time, enough money, enough energy to do it!

I will… paint, compose, be happy, invent, write, blog, learn, the day I will have this or that, blah blah blah…

This is procrastination, laziness & threnody. Sometimes it’s useful to wait, though…

My friend told me I was silly, and, as a painter, that if she only had a pen and paper she would work. “Do something with your flute and your keyboard, instead of complaining, silly!”.

Okey. Watch around. Pick up a tool. Begin. To begin : begin, as they say. Now. That’s true!

…unless you don’t work for another reason, using this syndrome to do nothing. Rhoooo this is baaaad!

Bonne journée!

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