Tag Archives: zest

The Fires of Passion: Part 2

The first part of this post, was meant as a reply to the Charlie Hebdo attack, but also as a segue into the topic of letting your heart help you write. To say that what you believe in, or what makes your heart race, the ideas that make your eyes light up and keep you awake at night, can be one of the best vehicles for your writing.

The opposite of this is hating what you’re writing and dragging your feet through it. “It wrote itself” versus, “I am so glad this is over.”

There’s the unmistakable joy of a frenzy of writing because you love it and because you want to, because something about the topic speaks to you. Fiction, non-fiction, journalism, memoirs, biographies, whatever it is, there’s pieces that capture you and don’t let go.

“It writes itself” when you’re on fire, when you can see the scene in front of you clearly and you’re in love with the view. From where you’re sitting, you should be able to blast through whatever comes up, and by the time you’re done, probably you’ll be stunned at the volume you accomplished in the amount of time you did it.

Even if the story doesn’t lay itself all out to you at once, isn’t to say you have no passion, either. With excitement comes a varying degree of push and desire, controlled by a few factors including how important the piece is, how strong the different scenes are playing in your head, and what you feel about the scene or scenes themselves. Why not add in if it’s a big project, with it’s intimidation, mild or not, and if you know you’re looking to publish, the worry you get from making sure everything is perfect.

My personal view on the other side of this, the sluggishness, has always been to change something. Figure out what’s got you stuck and move things around. Find a way to dig yourself out of the rut. In those cases that you can’t, which I experienced first hand in November, you just have to hunker down and find a way through.

With gusto behind your words, all things are possible. Your stories can take you where you want to go if you let them, if you get out every bit of care and painstaking effort that you can muster. Zest peppering each paragraph and verse puts more weight and meaning into the words that are taken down and consumed in reading.

Because if you don’t like what you’re writing, who’s to say the reader will?

-The Novice Wordsmith

**PS for those interested in half of what inspired this post, you can read the quote by Ray Bradbury here, which is part of an essay he wrote about the same thing.

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The Fires of Passion

In the midst of writing about the recent attack on the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris, I found myself caught up in the idea of writing and speaking and drawing and expressing for what you believe in. Putting every bit of your soul and your energy into getting something down and/or out that you feel strongly about, speaking loudly, if not yelling, about a change you know should happen.

With passion, all things are possible. With a fire in your heart and a frenzy in your head, you can accomplish and achieve in ways you never thought you were capable of.

When we let loose with this fire, it can spread wildly, across whatever it is that you’ve unleashed it on. Whether it’s political injustice, or the careen of a space ship around asteroids, our outlet for this is suddenly much easier to work through. Typing becomes fevered and fervent, you lose track of time easily while drawing, finishing or coming out of the frenzy leaves you in a daze, your paints leaving behind a trail of your efforts.

Removed from the equation, passion is instead replaced with other things, but the need for expression never really dies. Whether it’s depression or agitation, we’re spurred on by a desire of some caliber that tells us to go forth and release what we’ve had stored up and waiting. It helps us feel better or it gets us to evaluate what’s going on.

To see change, was one of the first phrases I remember used to describe satire. It finds a way to crack open and show the glaring faults in something, whether it’s unethical, legally wrong, ignorant, blaspheming or any number of other things, and brings it all to light. In some cases (see: not Animal Farm) satire can be funny. It’s tongue-in-cheek, a subtle but painful jab. The point is that it is a way of expressing that something is wrong, and being sarcastic or ironic about it in a way that gets attention.

The power of censorship means to take that voice and bury it as deep in the ground as it’ll go. Whether it’s done by gunpoint or by the threat of legality, censorship is everyone’s problem. With it, there is no room or freedom to speak your mind, there is no way you can write or paint or sculpt or create in the style you do or want.

As Evelyn Beatrice Hall once said about Voltaire’s beliefs, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

With more and more details coming out about the shooting, the deaths of the suspects, and of course, the stunning displays of solidarity in the face of terrorism, I find myself at a loss of words. It is nothing short of gorgeous to see what has come from such a horrendous massacre.

Passion, from pain. When one voice yells, the whole world shouts back.

We need expression, to free ourselves, to see the emotion and the fire we hold manifest into something else. To transform, alone, together, singularly or fully, as one. No matter if it is about something ethical, or if it is an idea for a story you’ve been working on and chipping away at for years, stifling the voice kills not only creativity, but individuality.

Extremists may seek to silence the voices that shout at them and their religion, but they cannot silence us all. Least of all can they do so when we stand together.

Thank you.

-The Novice Wordsmith

Meaning and Sentiment

The holiday season is choc full of sentiment, no matter if you think the days have become entirely commercialized or not. It’s a time for family and togetherness, to show how much we care and love others, by giving as much as we can.

Meaning has two different thoughts here in this post for me. One is the association with semantics and what something is comprised of, what it means, and the other is tied in with sentiment, it means something, it has value. The meaning of getting gifts this Christmas is mutual love and abundant desire to see someone happy, but how much do those gifts mean to who is getting them or giving them?

Getting a bunch of gifts mean that people are able and wanting to give to you. Getting gifts that are maybe small, they’re toys, they’re little things that not many would consider to get you, means that someone knows you, or has inside jokes with you, or something to that effect.

There’s sentiment in getting something from someone you care about. You know what they went through to get it despite how quickly or how much you’ve outgrown it, and you’d rather hold on to it.

Writing goes sort of in the same direction, but differently, if that makes any sense. What you write can have meaning in two different ways. It can mean something about your life or society, or it can mean the world to you because it was the first thing you felt so great about writing in a while. It can mean enough to put a dedication to someone in it, it will have that sentimentality that it’s for someone else, that there’s more to it than just a crazy, creative idea that you had and masterfully marked up throughout a period of time.

It is what you put into it.  If you put your heart and soul into it, if it’s filled to the brim with your passion and gusto (as Ray Bradbury would put it), it will be obvious. With passion backing your words, there’s bigger, stronger support to it, there’s more emphasis and feeling.

Sentiment is a big part as well. Like with writing for a gift, there’s more to it than is tangible. It can help sculpt the story, the chapter, the article, into something else. Like with dedication to someone you’ve lost, the sentiment of writing it for them makes it into a piece that has your heart in it. It has reminders of them or it has a message for them that you maybe couldn’t have told them before.

Even if, overall, the piece ends up being some of your worst work– either in your eyes or someone else’s– there is sentiment in it. You see it, others may not, but it becomes what it means to you. And, in some cases, those who know what the meaning is in it.

Writing comes from the head, but the heart contributes just as much. It is a compilation of passion and ideas, the collaboration of your imagination and where your heart wants to soar. When there is one without the other, what does the meaning become then?

-The Novice Wordsmith