Posts Tagged ‘writing’


Posted: March 17, 2014 in Poetry, Prose
Tags: ,

You have to be as different as possible to stand out.

This system is inundated with potential artists.

Make an exclamation.

Leave an impression.

What kind of artist are you if your art can not even connect with people?

Become famous/infamous in your hometown.

Form a base;
branches out to a viral network.

Why all the concern over fame?

Writers say many reasons why they even write at all.

But it usually ends up the same:
we write for the sake of writing.

Deep down lies the real motivation.

The explanation few reveal:
that we believe we are destined for great things,
that our words will change something,
our world.

So what do you want to do with your life?

When people ask this, it’s not for a vague idealistic answer like, I want to help the poor, the sick, the kids, or anything of that sort. They want to know what you plan on doing for money in order to survive. The socially acceptable answer is not supposed to be one that is worse than the state you are currently surviving in. Nothing like a drug addict or a bum will suffice. This is a question that begs an answer of grandiose proportion. President, astronaut, firefighter, are all safe and standard answers.

I had the terrible misfortune of being burdened with an unfortunate affliction that bordered on becoming a curse in a world dictated by material wealth.

When I was asked what I wanted to do with my life, I would respond with great dignity that I wanted to write. When you tell someone you want to be a writer, successful novelists like King or Koontz probably pop into his/her mind. I suppose that was the standard that I too was trying to achieve when I still thought like a child. Few people really think about what it takes to become a writer until it knocks them on their ass a couple of times. You do hear a story or two about overnight success every now and again. Some lady, somewhere –while washing laundry perhaps– has an epiphany. Somehow she whips from reverie an idea for a trilogy of novels. She suddenly decides to try her hand at writing books. She then has the inconceivable serendipity of publishing her book to coincide with the empty production schedule of a major Hollywood studio that is looking to produce a film with the same type of theme as the book this lady just finished. But stories like this are few.

The life of a writer is a tortured one, accompanied by poverty for many of us. We don’t write to make Oprah’s book of the month. We write because it gives us a purpose beyond slaving at a menial position in order to barely get by. We write because it is the only hope we have left to escape this trap. We write because it makes us feel different. It makes us feel like we know some secret that others don’t. We write because the alternative is inconceivable.

We write because we have to.

Human beings deserve so much more than working their whole lives away just to make other people rich. The industrial age has somehow managed to redefine the parameters of slavery. Slave owners of old were responsible for the welfare of their slaves. They had to clothe them. Feed them. Make sure they were healthy enough to work. The slave owners have now switched their titles to corporate heads and bankers. This is the new age of aristocracy. Sustained by sweat shops and factories. Not much has changed since the emancipation except that the slaves now have to take care of themselves. This still benefits the ruling class because they own everything that people have to provide for their families. They pay the proletariat as little as possible and orchestrate a system that perpetually promotes products the workers can’t afford, nor can they live without. So begins the credit debacle. This shackles people with debt. They can’t gamble on things like their dreams anymore.

The media dangles celebrities before us to give us a false sense of hope. We worship star athletes, for when we see them run we see freedom.  Success has convoluted the entire thought process. If our art doesn’t make millions of dollars in revenue then it is not worth expressing and should be abandoned. We can no longer afford to buy into this thinking. We are losing our most original voices in the liberal arts. They are being traded for a repetitive drone that is being mass manufactured and distributed globally.

You are beautiful because you are different; not because you are the same. Don’t ever let anyone convince you that what you have to say isn’t important. The hell with the mainstream. Everyone deserves a space in this world to claim for their self. But hey, I’ve often been accused of being an unrealistic idealist.

Writing is by the individual, for the individual. At least it should be. The metaphysical nature of writing exists to expose the profoundness of being that is found in the world around us. Writing is art. Art is the manipulation of associative symbols that reflect how we interpret the world around us. The first artistic endeavors of the human species concentrated on presentating these symbols in the most primal forms. All of this has little to do with financial success. Do not let money dictate your divine nature. Think of all the great artists that died poor. Think of the great loss the world would’ve suffered if they’d just given up.

Get back to your roots. Live your life for you. And hey, if you wind up living in a cardboard box, at least you were an original spirit as the divine energy intended you to be. I’ll live my life standing for what I believe before I’ll spend the entirety of my existence crawling on my knees for the scraps left by whatever powers may be.

And if people don’t like it; well, at least I will be me instead of pretending to be them.

“The Art we look at is made by only a select few. A small group create, promote, purchase, exhibit and decide the success of Art. Only a few hundred people in the world have any real say. When you go to an Art gallery you are simply a tourist looking at the trophy cabinet of a few millionaires…”  – Banksy

If you guys get a chance, stop by the official site, . Been doing a lot of twisting and turning over there and the interface and design are just amazing. There is no comparison to having your own private domain. So much more creative freedom. WordPress is cool to just write, but I always considered my work to be a complete visual experience; rather than just a literary one. As I said a hundred times before, “I write like I paint, but I can’t paint; but if I could paint, it’d be like I write.” Compiling a playlist through Spotify now, so there will be a customized radio station to listen to while browsing. Only problem I’m running into, is that the reader has to have Spotify too, in order to work. But hey, it’s getting there. A lot of rumors fly around about WordPress owning the material you run through their site, but don’t listen to that nonsense. The problems I ran into with WordPress concerned aesthetic freedom and some of the inconsiderate people who populate the WordPress community and the intellectual snobbery that stifles any kind of creative expression that attempts anything against the norm. But that is not WP’s fault. I wish I could abscond from WP entirely, but there are a few of artists over here that I think the world of and it would break my heart to lose communication with them. So, for now at least, I shall flip between the two. But, if you do find the time and want to step out the box for a minute, come visit me over there at my new home and give me a follow over there. And by the way the way, the “ZENspeak” book has arrived, and will be available through Amazon in approximately two weeks. “ZENspeak” can be purchased directly through the publisher at the link below and on the zenspeaknine official website. Miss you guys and many thanks.

Writing has always been an integral part of my life. I can’t remember when I decided to become a writer. I suspect it came from an infatuation with comic books and Star Wars. I would get so angry sitting around waiting for Lucas to follow up Return of the Jedi, I’d just make up new storylines and act them out with Star Wars action figures. Crazy, I know. I suppose most writers have delusions of grandeur at an early age. The innocent days of childhood. Somewhere my dream of  becoming a storyteller shifted into a much darker realm. Fast forward a couple decades. Years abundant with self-torment, drug addiction, and mental anguish. I used to believe that those were the key ingredients of good writing.

When I was a teenager I was obsessed with Kurt Cobain, William Burroughs, and Vincent Van Gogh. No wonder I wound up drowning in manic depression, struggling with drug addiction, and living with suicidal tendencies. And to think, I actually strived for the life of the tortured artist. Be careful what you wish for. I thought drugs expanded the artistic vision. Maybe they do in some moderate instances. But it turned into a living nightmare for me. I became so preoccupied with the drugs, I started writing less frequently. I had little time for anything but chasing after the drugs. The addiction consumed everything. It overwhelmed me. I quit high school and college. Forfeited my position at a local newspaper. I have witnessed the depraved evils of mankind. Evils that many authors only imagine in their writings. I have twice survived prison. I’ve slept in cars. I’ve fought with the best of them, or the worst of them, and walked away bloodied and bruised. I’ve seen twenty-eights friends buried as a result of drugs and countless lives left in ruin. Though I may be able to write with a sense of authenticity now, I’m not so sure that I couldn’t have just read about this stuff instead of experiencing it directly. Take it from me, drugs will hurt more than they help your writing.

My memory may be fried, but one thing I do remember is the day Cobain killed himself. Cobain was more than a musical icon to my generation. He was a symbol of contempt for the mundane existence that was being thrust upon us at the time. Some of us didn’t want the life that our parents had. We didn’t want to work our lives away for corporations that cared so little for us in return. We felt abandoned by our parents and a society dictated by corporate greed. Somehow the corporate world still managed to get a stranglehold on Kurt. We watched our superhero deteriorate via MTV as the record label just continued cashing in on his artistic talent. I recall the utter lack of hope I felt when I heard the news of his suicide. He seemed to be on top of the world, adorned with all the money and fame a person could want. If that wasn’t enough for a legend, what hope did the rest of Generation X really have? Some of us surrendered to the corporate world and some of us surrendered to our addictions. I was heaped in with the latter of the two.

Burroughs had to live with the fact that he had shot and killed his wife (accidental or not) while all hopped up on bennys and God knows what else. He was a portrait of the toxicity of narcotics to the human constitution. He was always broke, both financially and physically. Few people could stand being around him more than a few hours. And Vincent, we’ve all heard the stories of Vincent. Supported by his brother Theo. The self-mutilation. His desperate search for the companionship he would never have. The suicide in the sunflowers. It makes one really question this tortured artist gig. Don’t get me wrong, I do have some insane experiences to write about. But this crazy lifestyle has set me way back and I don’t recommend it. Especially after seeing so many intelligent people fall to waste rather than rise to glory. My advice to the up and coming artists: just watch a bunch of R rated movies instead of experiencing this crap first hand. Addiction will definitely hinder you more than it will help you.

So what now? What is one to do after waking up from this malaise to a state of utter devastation? Thank God for blogs I say. Otherwise, I would have little opportunity to express myself artistically. Especially in this age of self-publication where money talks and poverty walks. I used to think I was born to enlighten the world. Then I thought that I was here to burn it down. Now I’m just angry with myself for wasting so much time that I will never be able to regain. When I think of the tormented artists I so admired in my teenage years, I now know how tortured they were. Don’t put yourself in this position.