“Zest. Gusto. How rarely one hears these two words used. How rarely do we see people living, or for that matter, creating by them. Yet if I were to name the most imortant items in a writer’s make-up, the things that shape his material and rush him along the road to where he wants to go, I could only warn him to look to his zest, see to his gusto. ”

Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing

Ray Bradbury is by far one of my favorite authors. As a matter of a fact, if it were not for his amazing short stories, especially ‘The Illustrated Man’, I would quite possibly not be a writer today.

There are so many things to love about Ray’s stories; the way that he could grab a person (at any age)  and take him to distant planets of amazement, and terror, or staying right here on planet earth in its final minuets. I remember staying awake at night, hiding under my blanket with my pen light, reading Ray’s stories. As a writer, he is an amazing example of what it is that I would love to be most like.

As writer’s, we have the wonderful ability to literally change someone’s day, week, month, and possibly life.

Especially, now, in times of financial uncertainty, war on the horizon, and depression on the rise, PEOPLE NEED AN ESCAPE! People need a moment of  relief, a departure from stress, exodus from the land of the norm….and we, the writers, artists, have the incredible ability to offer that literary boat to Elsewhere.

Not only did I learn a lot from Ray about how to create an amazingly believable house of fiction, but I learned that writers must be accountable to the spirit of the Muse, or the creative art.  He often says things like “Write what you love” or “What that story that you want to read”.

We as writers can get so caught up in our endeavors to become financially supported by our writings, that it is easy to research the market and write what we hope they will buy. But, as I have heard Ray say in interviews, and in writing, “Don’t write for the Market, write for you.”  Write what you are passionate about. Write stories that you can not help but pick up your self time and time again.

Think about that perfect story that you are dying to read, but have not found yet…now do yourself a real favor and write it. Markets will come. Ha ha…if you write it, Markets will come. Have you looked at the 2009 Writer’s Market yet…it is three times bigger than my Bible! The Market is huge, there are people that love all kids of writing.

You’re a writer. Be a writer, a real writer, an honest writer. Write what you love. As Ray say, “Look to your zest, see to your gusto!” Write the stories that make you laugh while you type, stop at times to dab your tears, and give yourself a standing ovation when you finish. Make it count, every word, every sentence.

Get passionate about what you write, light yourself on fire and blaze a literary trail into your world.

Write, Write, Write!




Tuning Out The Static

Static: Not to be confused with:,

  • Static“, the 1988 funk music single by Full Force and James Brown
  • Static-X, the American industrial metal band
    • Wayne Static, co-founder, front-figure, vocalist and guitarist of Static-X
  • Static (bass player), bass player in the band Anyone
  • Static (Ditko), the superhero created and owned by Steve Ditko
  • Static (film), the 1986 cult movie directed by Mark Romanek
  • Static (musician), Australian drum & bass producer
  • Static (comics), the Milestone and DC Comics superhero
  • Static (The Twilight Zone), second season episode 20 of The Twilight Zone broadcast on March 10, 1961
  • Steve “Static” Garrett, the member of R&B group Playa and songwriter for Aaliyah and Ginuwine
  • Static (DJ), the Danish DJ and hip hop producer
  • Static , the British stencil artist & graffiti writer

(Thank you Wikipedia!)

No, I am talking about STATIC:

  1. Interference on a broadcast signal caused by atmospheric disturbances; heard as crackles on radio, or seen as random specks on television.
  2. (by extension) Interference or obstruction from people.

It is the white snow seen on a television screen, or the irritating crackle that interrupts your favorite song on the radio.

In the writer’s life static is anything that interrupts you (the writer) from accomplishing you writing goals. Static can be something that you consider unpleasant and intrusive; something that comes into your writing time without invitation:

  • A loud neighbor
  • Your friends friend who intends to talk to you while you try to write
  • The blasting radio of a family member
  • Constant visitors
  • A never-ending ringing telephone
  • Spouse watching TV while you are writing

Static is not only those things that we do not want to in our lives at the most inoportune time, but it can also be things that we do like around.

  • Your boy or girlfriends surprise visits
  • The music you love, that you blare while you write
  • Your spouse deciding to get frisky when it is time to write (this one stinks the most because I fall for it every single time…and don’t feel too bad about it)
  • Letting your favorite show play in the next room while you write.

There are so many things that create static for writers. Why is static bad? Well, it is not really bad, as much as it is an opportunity for you to be inactive. Static is the reason that most writers stop pounding computer keys, or put their pens down and don’t quite make it back to their project until after they have long lost the inspiration they originally sat down with.

The fact is that you are a writer. A writer must write. The majority of writers do not accomplish their goals and dreams. And the truth is, most writers do not finish because…they do not finish. Why? because they allow the static in their lives to push them around and demand their constant attention.

How to get rid of the static.

You can never quite get rid of all of your static. You can, however, create more opportunities for personal success. these opportunities will help equip you with the tools, time, and discipline to filter most of the static out…and you don’t even have to wear a hat made of foil!

Make boundaries and set rules

  • Give yourself a specific, timed, writing block. I make sure that I write at least 2 hours a day.
  • Have a strategy. Don’t make your writing time the same time that your kids are playing in house. Don’t wait until your spouse is ready for lovin. For me, the best time to write is early in the morning (before kids wake up and get ready for school) and nights that my wife works-just after I’ve put my kids down. I also bring my laptop to work and write on lunch breaks.
  • Close out the world. Turn the tv off, put your cell phone on vibrate, turn the music down. If you must listen to your music, keep the volume low enough that you do not get consumed and start singing out loud. This gets your mind on the words of the song and not the words that are going on the paper in front of you.

STATIC will always be around, and it will get greater and great in and around us. Choose what kind of static you are going to allow in, and how much, but don’t let it steal your creativity. Don’t let the static drown out the muse.

Get control of your writing time and your life. Be productive. Tune Out the Static.


Signing off