Follow Fallow & Charging Up, the other way of non-blogging…

There’s a type of weapon in different video games like Marathon from Bungie or even one of the first Star Wars game : Dark Forces.

This “pistol”, phaser, whatever, is empty. You have to pull the trigger, then you hear it CHARGING : PiiiuuuUUUU – you have to wait – when it’s ready, there’s a little light showing and you can shoot. Bang! (or PEWW!).

L’idée of pushing on something to charge up it until it’s “ready” is a pattern, a tool. Call it a structure if you want.

In special intercoursing inbedweekends, a smart lover is able to keep his partner on a high plateau for hours. He watches her closely, he charges her up – not constantly, but regularly – never reaching the explosion. When things become serious, she’s like a planet of high energy, ready to reach the stars…

OK let’s back to business! :

There are two ways of non-blogging.

  1. You need sometimes to stop writing, that’s it. Most of the time, it’s because your mind is busy elsewhere : you’re sick, you fall in love, you’re out of good ideas, your gas tank is empty and your car stopped. This is really no big deal. You’ll find it back. Keep a white fragile string linked to it, ready to pull. It’ll come, you know…
  2. The other way is… because you “charge up”. You stop blogging, but you feel that your brain stays “on” : you read, you think, you gather ideas, you write many drafts, you keep working! It’s about seeds, and energy. It’s not empty waiting : you write a paragraph or two, then you go to another draft, etc. It’s like the pistol in the games. Your don’t post, because your writing skills are charging up!

 

This little dial is interesting to find, then to watch. What, in your life, in your job, in your creativity, is charging up? How is it weaved with waiting? Can you work on something else while you do?

OK, now the pistol is charged, green lighted, ready to shoot. After a couple of days (weeks?) of non-blogging, here you are, looking like a sphere of pulsing magic energy : now you’re ready to post five articles a day. Ain’t it too much, silly?

Bahhh nope. Your followers will deal with your sudden generosity, don’t worry…

Thanks for reading!

 

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I wrote every single 510 articles of this blog from a porch in Santa Rosa, California. And you?

Our brain has its own topology.

I wrote for 4 years for a Swiss company in Zurich. I translated texts from English to French, almost on a daily basis. When I was writing these, I remember VERY CLEARLY that my mind was on a very precise place : a field, next to the house I grew up in. Grass.

As a kid, I played on this field for years – maybe from 2 to 16 years old,  you see? Frisbee, soccer, hide and seek. I remember the light in summer nights, in cold October. I remember playing with my brother with a polystyrene-winged glider. I remember watching Epeira spiders, playing with firecrackers, model cars or marbles in the sandox which was behind the privet hedge…

I wrote for four years for this company in my apartment, but my mind – I really don’t know or understand why – was in the lights of this little field. Childhood linked. Every paragraph.

Now I’m 50 and I blog as I can, in English, on WordPress, since a couple of years. I really like it and I’d say it’s really the only way I found to stay alive, standing up, a buoy. It’s very little, but it is what it is : I have a little more than 110 real followers.

When I write, in English, for this blog, I’m in Santa Rosa, California. I have never been in this place. I just saw a few dozen pictures of it. It’s a porch, behind a house. When I write, there’s nobody around, I’m alone. But I see it constantly. I see the sky. The flowers. The wooden floor, the lanterns. A little round table. Doors which lead to the inside. I’m here, writing, mostly in the sun. It’s a GREAT place, and I’m happy to live here… when I write.

In reality I am in a good apartment in the North of France. It’s quiet and full of light. Thank you.

My mind, though, is in California. Why? I don’t know! It’s my brain who decides that. It puts me there. And it STAYS here. Probably an ideal place to be happy?

 

Do YOU also have a place where your brain sits when you write? Am I alone?

Thanks for reading!

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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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Elbowing the Audience by killing the Suspension of Disbelief

“Opera is when a guy gets stabbed in the back and,
instead of bleeding, he sings.”
R. Benchley

 

ONE

If you go see a theater play, you have to make a deal with yourself, even if you even don’t realize you do it  :

“I accept to believe that these people on the scene are real”

If you don’t, you’ll watch actors making as if, that’s weird, right?

This is not new, of course : Coleridge (an English philosopher) called it Suspension of disbelief :

“a willingness to suspend one’s critical faculties and believe the unbelievable; sacrifice of realism and logic for the sake of enjoyment.”

You watch Braveheart on TV. You need your good “willing suspension of disbelief”, and if you don’t, you will laugh all along : you’ll see Mel Gibson (Australian actor) running in a skirt, pretending to fight for Scotland, hahaha.

And in a magic act, “an audience is not expected to actually believe that a woman is cut in half or transforms into a gorilla in order to enjoy the performance.”. Now imagine the work you have to do to accept an opera! 🙂

OK, you got the concept.

TWO

Creators and critics are aware of that. Nathalie Sarraute, a French writer, wrote a book (The Age of Suspicion), where she says that the novels’ readers less and less believe in the author “I know all” invention, and therefore that the writers tend to depersonalize the characters. Readers are more and more also critics, they analyze their pleasure, and you have to be smart and inventive to catch’em back.

In fact, this phenomenon appeared in many Arts.

  • In theater, directors began to play with the old “suspension of disbelief” trick : keeping the lights on in the room, allowing characters to call out to the audience.
  • In novels, the “omniscient narrator” began to speak to the reader (about his doubts, or the way the story was told).
  • In movies, characters suddenly watched the spectator, talking to him (Cf Pierrot le Fou, Godard).

THREE

I found this idea in interviews of movies directors like Billy Wilder, Alfred Hitchcock and Brian de Palma. Their idea is the same, I would formulate it like that :

“I KNOW for sure that I want to make movies for an audience who is AWARE that it’s a movie. I don’t want to put them in a classical “dream mode”, but I want to play with the audience with the fact a movie is like a clock, a fake funny mechanism MADE FOR HIM, therefore I constantly ELBOW THE AUDIENCE with nods, tricks, implausible twists and turns. They have fun not because they believe it, they have fun because they know I’m here with the scriptwriter working for their entertaining intelligence – so there!”.

So what is played here is not “sacrifice of realism and logic for the sake of enjoyment” any more, like in the normal Suspension of Disbelief. It’s a weaving between entertainment AND logic and realism. Inside the audience, the spectator AND the critic are dancing tango, with a smile. Intelligence is summoned, not only the dreaming capacities…

TOOL :

Where would you use this? Advertising? Poetry? Marketing? What would be a private joke to an audience? What is to elbow you spectators, and how to? Why? If you succeed, what happens?

You can also read : Strangeization.

Thanks for reading!

 

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Instagram : __bodylanguage__

 

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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“Say your Say” – when a thinker’s tension needs a relief

Everybody knows this tension when you have to say something to someone.

You can write a letter to this person and then destroy it. You can organize a conversation because you “have to say your word”.

You can also read this article : “Venting of Paper“.

You “prepare” what you have to say for hours, hours, and days, overthinking your future monolog. And the day you’re on it, it’s even richer than what you prepared. Your mind is propelled by the tension you had in yourself for so long. You reach the end of your say with a feeling of relief.

Until next time, right?

It’s a similar process when you have to think how to write a blog article. You found the idea, you’re in front of your Macintosh, and… some days, it’s impossible : you don’t find the proper way to do it, you don’t find your first sentence, it simply does not move along.

Then you know what? Instead of watching the wall or your lamp like a dead louse, act like when you have to say something so somebody : find a random person around (your mother, your cat, a friend you can call), and explain to him/her what you would like to explain in this article, how you don’t succed, or maybe just ask a few questions, then jump through the first window which will appear in the person’s response. Blah blah time.

Your mind, propelled by the tension of “I have an idea I’d like to blog about but don’t know how to do it”, will do the rest : you’ll monolog, discovering probably new ideas along, et voilà. Then, say thanks to the poor headshaking listener, and write.

You can also read this article : “Get some help from an ignorant“.

Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : bodylanguage

 

It’s difficult to #blog when you’re a conversationalist

Hey, how do you keep yourself together?

Well, I blog. That’s all I found. It works, in a way…

If I find a seed in my head, in my life (or in a funny draft I forgot to trash), I make it grow, I write, I transfuse, or weave it in my French way (serious, but a bit casual), I… wash the dishes, find other ways to “say”, I go back in front of my Macintosh, and there it is. OK, coffee helps. Un autre café?

I often read other blogs, and I can feel, sometimes, the pleasure of the authors, the infinite pleasure they have to “work on it”, putting words together. Errr, yes, it’s sometimes too long, but whatever.

Do you write for you, or for the audience? That’s a real question!

The new generation… they “vlog”, as you know, they YouTube, they have to like it, though : talking alone in front of a camera, cutting edges, etc. That’s great!

I found out recently that my preferred way to think, to put together a concept, is not to write, is not to be a teacher, a journalist, but it’s to weave a conversation.

Dialog. Presence. Pleasure. Togetherness.

THERE is the place I love. C O N V E R S A T I O N.

Oohhhh, writing this article, I just found a goal in my life!!

Find a conversationalist – a partner, a thinker, a good listener, a questions asker, a sidekick -, talk, be happy, and write. That’s a little better than to blog alone, right?

Thanks for reading! Bonne journée !

 

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yes this little boy is me