For about the past fifteen years, I’ve been able to make my way in this world through my abilities as a writer. Since the time I was a young man, I knew that, for me, English and writing classes meant an “Easy A.” The dreaded research paper that has been a part of middle and high school curriculums since forever ago was an assignment I embraced, enjoyed, and excelled at. I was always mystified at how such easy homework could cause the excruciating writhing around and wringing of hands I saw my classmates experience, as though the idea of putting pen to paper was among the most painful requirements a teacher could command.
I imagine when the necessity of stringing words into cohesive sentences let loose of them for good, most decided it was time to get on with other pursuits. As for me, I went on to pursuit a degree in Technical Communication. Never got to see the dream all the way through to the end, but it didn’t slow me down any. Here I am, now in my 50s (how did that happen?), making a good living as a technical writer by day, writing my own blog by night, and also producing works of fiction whenever a spare moment of opportunity presents itself.
Having wanted to add the fictional component to this blog since the time I fired it up several months ago, I now feel that there is enough content posted that I can breathe a little easier. Writing for the sheer delight of it is a luxury I would gladly wish upon any writer who finds themselves shackled by the burdens and responsibilities of life, simply unable to find the time to indulge their talents. My advice would be to shrug off a few of those obligations if it means that you will then be able to engage in the activities that bring the most joy to your heart and satisfaction to your life. Otherwise, I wonder what’s the point?
Here is one of the strangest methods I use to engage my creative juices as a writer. I will doodle on a piece of paper using black ink, scribbling around, expanding out from a central area, filling in here and there until an image begins to present itself on the paper. As I continue, ideas will inevitably begin to form in my head about how I might describe, with a good story, what I see unfolding there before me. Once I have such ideas fairly firmed up in my head, I will venture over to the computer and tap out a short story that dramatically details the linear mishmash I have somewhat mindlessly managed to bring into the world. For you non-writers, that sounds just about boring, I know, but for me, it’s just too much fun.
I call these literary and visual art forms Toggle Switches. Why? Not sure. I think of the old days, when an airplane’s cabin would have been filled with a lot more toggles and switches than they probably are now, all meant to cause things to happen (or not to happen)…big things like…oh, lifting off into the clouds, for instance. The idea of being able to entertain my flights of fancy through writing I suppose has something to do with being the pilot of one’s own imagination, letting the destination be unpredictably determined based on the tilts and turns of our human creativity.
With that in mind, I’d like to describe one of these Toggle Switches. It lives over on my Etsy art shop called floodedplanet (no spaces if you’re looking for it by shop name through the Etsy website) under the Toggle Switches category on my shop’s home page. It’s called Dialing in the Driplets. It has a water-based theme, so it fits in really well with this blog of mine. You can read an excerpt as part of its description. It’s a digital PDF download and goes for the low, low price of just $1.00.
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