Writing is Hell

A brief on writing, and what experience means

Don't write a novel at the same time as you have a blog to write, because your brain will be spaced the FUCK out, and you will end up shitting out whatever nonsense crosses your mind, creating a worse product for your, uh, customers. The "uh" is because you aren't paying me anything. Not that I'm mad, as I expect you to be a cheap fuck the same way as I am a cheap fuck, though calling you a customer is like calling a hooker my girlfriend. Yes, she puts out, but she doesn't love you. She loves the money, baby, and you love getting fucked in exchange for it. There's some connection there, like you reading my blog and the man getting fucked, but there's a crucial step missing from the terminology.

Not to say that I make bad content. I actually make great content (source: me), and writing a novel doesn't distract significantly from the process. What tends to happen instead is that your brain is so caught up in other ideas that you can't devote all of your thoughts to a blog, meaning that whatever you do make will end up being the easiest thing that comes to mind. It's a bit like filling out a test in school. You don't have time to really think about what you know, instead slapping words onto a paper that you think the teacher might like.

And treating a blog, a piece of art, like a test is a dangerous mentality, because when you start to treat what you do as an obligation and not an opportunity, you begin to stagnate as an artist and as a person, because then you're just doing a job instead of doing a really great job. Even with something as simple as an opinion piece, I have an obligation to you to make those opinions matter to you by making them relevant to your world, and not just mine. That's why I wrote an entire opinion about bad game reviewers - their opinions were irrelevant to me, and so they have no reason to exist.

So when it comes time to bite the bullet and write, I never look at it as "oh, fuck, what do we do today?". There's always that component of wondering what to write about, but never the part where I don't look forward to writing it, beyond that brief second on hesitation that one naturally has when choosing the option of least effort, that lazy bastard body that. This is a basic sentiment, but "once I start, I don't stop", and that's pretty true for me, because contrary to the amount of effort required in it, I actually enjoy writing, and to give it up would be a serious detriment to me as a person.

This shouldn't say that every time I write something, it ends up being this magical experience where everything I say brings me immense joy just for the satisfaction of saying it. I don't enjoy writing the same way I enjoy drugs and candy - though I don't really enjoy either of those things, as bad as they are. I instead enjoy it for the more practical reasons. I enjoy it because I can form my thoughts and understand topics better and then share it with the world. Yeah, there's a sense of pride when finishing up a work that you know is damn good, such as the aforementioned reviewer opinion, but rarely do you impress yourself.

I think Isaac Asimov who said that "writing is hell", and if not him, then Matt Groening who wrote about "Work in Hell", with an entire comic strip to boot. It isn't that bad, take it from me that it isn't that bad, but there is indeed a great deal of effort put into the physical act of smashing keys with your fingers and having to go back and make sure the words are right and that when you do smash the keys with your fingers you don't end up smashing the wrong ones and then having to go back and fix your typoes, stopping the flow of your voice like a speedbump stops an ambulance escorting the Palestinian with their legs blown off. Incidentally, you make yourself laugh with jokes like that, and that makes a lot of the effort worth it, too.

And then there's the desire, the sheer force of will, needed to make sure that your mind never stops the flow of words on the digital paper, E.G. the Notepad document you write all your articles in. You madman. You fucking quack. "The zone" isn't just some shitty theory meant to sell sports drinks to athletes - it's a very real thing that psychologists know as "flow" and what artists know as the thing which can keep them writing for two hours and only have it feel like twenty minutes. Most of your mental effort is ensuring that the flow is not broken up by anything, ignoring all the pain that comes from physically manipulating, for instance, an instrument or a keyboard or an instrument named a keyboard, and just making bloody good work.

And the other part of your energy is spent, not so much on the technical part of what you work on, but instead on making sure that what you're writing is, at the very least, salvageable enough to ship off to an audience who eagerly awaits your work, as well as salvageable enough where you can look back on the effort and not cringe at what you wrote. As to how this happens, making sure that your writing is decent, it has to do less with the conscious editing of what you wrote, and more so writing things that make some degree of sense and looking back on what you just wrote to make sure that you're not blathering on about some nonsense like the conspiracy theorists who think that Reptilians invaded the White House. Which white house? Take a guess, Bush.

As to how this actually happens, most artists will say they don't have a fucking clue. I don't have a fucking clue. The best I can chalk it up to is experience, and understanding what does and doesn't work for any given sentence. And this experience comes not just through writing a lot (every day!), but also by reading a lot, your own work as well as others. And as well as writing and reading, consciously reflecting on everything that you make and do, in order to look at where you went wrong and how you can do better next time. Contrary to what you might think, this isn't actually hard, and comes very naturally to anybody who has at least a decent standard of quality for art. The challenge comes from stepping back and deciding when you can say "okay, this is good enough", and leaving a work the hell enough alone. And the ease and expediency of which you say that depends entirely on how much experience you have with writing.

So to summarise this work, let me say that a lot of people comment on how fast I type, and if they bother to read my work, how good of a writer I am. I don't feel my ego inflate when I hear this - in fact, I would worry deeply about anybody who doesn't have anything bad to say about my work, and especially yours, because if worse writers than I are having their work declared as being flawless, then what assurance do you have that they're not full of shit? Telling somebody their work is flawless when it's not is one of the most damaging things you can do to a young artist, because it causes them to settle for a lower standard of work that they would avoid if they got some good solid dick and understood that they have room to improve. Not that this means that everybody who goes through the Louvre is entitled to comment on the paintings, and therefore you don't have to unconditionally listen to everybody who comments on your work, but that you should at least consider reasonable comments.

But beyond that, I would say that, if you are as good a writer as me, you keep in mind that you aren't good because you were born good. Yeah, I had some natural talent because of how much I read as a child, but a lot of my writing ranged from bad to okay until I got a little older and started to focus seriously on writing by reading TV Tropes and learning how to write. And then once I did that, I started writing up personal rants in my notebooks at school, and then learning from there how to make effective points, as well as the reading of "serious" books like "No Logo" and "How to Win Friends and Influence People", and I had some really solid knowledge on how to demonstrate my points. Top that off with, you know, two decades of experience with a PC and a bunch of programs and pretty much every shortcut I can use to make my workflow efficient, and I had so many advantages by the time I starting blogging, that there's really no comparison to make.

Like Macklemore says, "The greats weren't great because at birth they could paint - the greats were great because they paint a lot". And simply, I paint a lot. Or rather, write and wrote a lot. I also read, typed, and fucked around on computers and with video games a lot, and that's why I know so much. I spent years doing things, and when it came time to make things, I used the knowledge with what I do in order to spread the knowledge onto you. A lot of people will say that they don't have the skills to do anything like be a writer or an artist or whatever. But I was there too - I didn't have any damn skills. I just did things. And spend enough years, well, doing things, and you have a base with which to share those things with the world. Whether pictures or words or games or otherwise, if you have a large body of experience to share, you have the potential to change somebody's life.

Changing the world is a hard task for the best of people, and I don't claim to be the best. But, if I can focus on changing the life of one person, for the better, forever, then I'm fucking set myself. I spread my influence, and I had somebody be indebted to me for the best. Anything more than that is nice, but I already set out to do what I wanted, so I could quit now. But you know, there are still a lot more people out there, so I'll stick with it.

And that's just me. This whole, two thousand word document, is just me. I impact some information that I hope will help you, but if you don't pick up on it, then that's on you. I can tell you to change lives, but if you don't want to, why bother? Do you want to? Decide if you do, and if you do, then do something to make that happen. I can't be more succinct than that, so I'll say what Hopsin said "My existence on this planet's for you, I ain't only here to benefit me". And that's just true.

The evidence is at Froghand.

Today's page was updated on October 04, 2016!

This whole article is bullshit because Hell isn't even real #littleatheistthings.

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