Erstwhile Muse

Jan 13, 2007

Writing workshop

No, no pithy title today.

I'm mostly just killing a little bit of time at the moment whilst figuring out what to do with the rest of the day. I've spent a bit of time down on campus for a writing workshop they had, and now I have little else to do. It was free, and I had nothing else specifically planned, so I said what the hell.

I can't say as I got a whole lot out of the experience. It's not like I wasted my time or anything, but overall I felt at times like I was as suitable to give the talk as the lecturer. But then again as I wrote in my notes, when it comes to writing especially, I can be an arrogant bastard at times. :)

There were a few things of interest to be had though, one of which was a writing exercise. The basic idea was to write without stopping for ten minutes on the topic of Why I Write. I have transposed my rambling results below:

Why do I write? To expound upon ideas, to explain my viewpoint on the many and sundry topics I encounter during the day. I write to explore new methods of communication, new ways of presenting ideas and theories through typographic convention, and by bending, folding, mutilating and spindling those conventions. i write to practice developing a cogent, coherent voice. I write for the hell of it, as an excuse to introduce others to the weirdness that exists in life and the strangeness that is chronicled on the internet. I write to add to that weirdness, to juxtapose thoughts, ideas and concepts that others might not connect, and to have them be viewed in a new light. I write as an excuse for research into the strange, the new, the fantastic, the old, the deformed, into things that make no sense and into things that make absolute dogmatic sense. I write to work my brain, to flex my verbal and linguistic muscles lest they be turned into so much pulpy mush over the years. I write to explain myself, to illuminate those that know me as to what I am thinking about. I write to drive out boredom. I write because there are times when I greatly enjoy being a snarky bastard, preying upon those less grammatically gifted. Perverse perhaps, but true. I write to chronicle perversion, both of mind and of body. Perversion of the mind, such as the lack-wit mongoloids who try to push intelligent design onto our youth as if it were science and not religious pseudo-science. Perversion of the body like the weird body-mod subculture that includes ideas such as removing parts of your genitalia as an index of beauty and acceptance. I write because I read, because I listen, because I am interested in the world and how we all fit as parts of the cosmic machine.

Who knows, hopefully I can use this as impetus to get back into the groove of writing at least something on a daily basis. Not that I've ever actually had my writing working on a daily basis since high school, but it's a goal to work towards.

One final note for edification's sake—a lot of the techniques being discussed later in the workshop were more applicable to fiction writing than anything else, such as writing hooks and things of that nature. What I'd like to see—and I'm sure there's some Web 2.0 idiot out there trying to monetize this very idea that I simply haven't run across—is a script or widget that reads in RSS feeds, strips out common words, the spits out a random word or phrase from the list as keywords for writing. Could be interesting I think, but I'm not really sure that I need more research deviations right now.

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