Thursday, July 10, 2008


This morning, on a whim, I delved deep into my digital archive and found my earliest radio pilots, from two years ago - these I listened to, alongside recent radio shows I've been doing now, and came to some rather surprising conclusions.

1, the things I used to hate about my performance when I'd just recorded the pilot two years ago .. I can no longer hear. There are still some flaws, but they're completely different ones.

2, I was much more open and creatively expressive. I was doing so much more original, funny stuff than I am doing now - now I would be terrified of saying or doing any of these things. My bosses might disapprove. Somebody might yell at me.

Sad but true, I was a much more engaging and interesting radio personality before I started being "format".

The value is in looking at some of your older work, and seeing if you've cut out some of the most refreshing, best aspects of your work, in a bid to be more "successful".

Can you relate? ^^

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

It was a dark and stormy night...

Well, last week it was anyway. A couple of times.

If you think I'm going to take this as an opportunity to describe how thunderstorms can boost creativity, then YOU'RE WRONG, because I won't, and in my case, they don't.

But a couple observations nevertheless.

1.) Living in California, I got conditioned to there never being any weather or seasons whatsoever, (San Francisco --> fog <--> Everywhere else --> sun) ... therefore the fact that summer thunder showers hit Austria on a regular basis is, for me, terribly exciting. So exciting, in fact, that I cannot possibly concentrate on writing or working until it is all over.

2.) Usually, nothing particularly dramatic happens otherwise. I'm normally, you know, chopping carrots in the kitchen or, or, or maybe I'm talking with a friend about downloading the newest Firefox extension. Not particularly dramatic.

And the thought occurs to me. As a reader, watcher, or listener, I actually really appreciate it when the narrator doesn't see fit to pummel me with "this is supposed to be dramatic, BOOM!" .. just like the sitcom laugh track, it is unnecessary and ruins moments which may have otherwise been subtle but strong.

Here's a pledge for the lot of you: I pledge to create lots of dramatic scenes which occur on ordinary sunny days, and not-so-dramatic scenes where characters are going about their daily business during thunder showers.

(Or maybe a sitcom with the audible crackle of distant thunder every time you're supposed to laugh? Hmm..)

Friday, June 27, 2008

A special sneak preview of my book.

Check this, homies.

If you want to create a word cloud from your own writing, this internet resource called Wordle will do it for you in 20 seconds flat, highlighting words which are used more often.

In my case, the word was "Room".


Special thanks to Lynn Viehl @ Paperback Writer for pointing this out.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Can Mourning Encourage Productivity?

I started last week as usual...

...continuing to think about starting a blog, procrastinating on the book I am theoretically writing, reading motivational Writer Forums to encourage me to write (as an excuse not to do so), and, you know. Feeling vaguely guilty.

Truth is, I'm quite comfortable with my life, working extremely part-time as a radio host, telling people about the book I'm theoretically writing, and calling myself an artist.

The way I say it is convincing enough – “I'm an artist” – that I manage, again and again, to convince myself (and others) that it's true, despite my not actually getting anything done ever!

Then, last week: boom! Two things happened.

One, my grandfather on my father's side died. Two, my grandmother on my mother's side died (three days later).

This odd sequence of events hit me very hard, as you might expect, and I spent my days either in cheery-eyed denial or torturous, moody acceptance (if you could call it that).

But here's the strange thing: in this week, alongside anti-social behaviour and emotional trauma, I got much, much more done than I have in ages.

I wrote an article for the radio station – granted I was in too much of a state to actually submit until it was already old news – but the point was, I was writing. Again. I wrote in my book (text! on a page! real-time!!), I wrote about my feelings, I wrote two eulogies (sigh), and I, er, wrote this.

Is mourning actually somehow responsible for my beginning to write again? (Not like I'd encourage anyone to seek it out.) The answer is yes, I think, for a number of reasons.

Of course I'm eager for any excuse to not dwell on the people I have just lost. That's one thing.

But this also brought to mind the simple fact: even if I am not moving, time is. In one year, I won't be very happy if I'm still standing in place. (If you don't grow, you only rot.)

On that note...

Has loss played a role in your creative progress? If so, how?