Order of the Good Write

That Magic Feeling When the Words Flow. A Blog by Debi Rotmil


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Indifference: The Creativity Killer

Rick Barrett

Photo by Rick Barrett

This is what giving up in the face of failure looks like…

There is nothing more discouraging for a writer or an artist of any form, to be ignored or have his or her work met with indifference.

Whatever you create, whether it’s a blog post, a novel, an article, a YouTube video, a film, a play or an album of music, if no one gives a shit to see or hear it — it’s worse than getting a bad review.

At least a bad review means it moved someone enough to hate it and have the energy to say something about it. In the end, a negative reaction to creative output is sign that you’ve moved someone – even if it means they had to hold their nose and shout how you sucked.

At least someone saw your work and it created a reaction.

What stinks about being a writer or creator of any kind, is keeping the faith when nobody gives a goddamn about your work. Writing is a pain in the ass, frankly. You have to sit and think and stay engaged with the process believing you’re going to possibly be met with a field of crickets and empty seats out there in your arena.

Indifference is the biggest creativity killer of all. Not bad reviews.

Being met by indifference from the very people you are writing for – stinks.

And then when you see indifference all around you, good old resistance rears its ugly head to tell say, “See? You’re not worth it. So stop writing and get back on Facebook and read about how a kitten in Austin learned how to bake bread.”

I’m not going to lie. I’m lost and floating out in a sea of indifference. I keep trying to make little steps toward progress on my coaching, reaching out to people to try and build something interesting, but I can’t even give away spots in my writing community for FREE.

Is this whining? Yeah – so what? I’m pissed, okay?

You know why? Because after self publishing a book of short stories, I’m met with indifference from people who are too polite to say it was milk toast boring crap so they are silent. If you have nothing good to say… Of course, it’s with the exception of a few who praised it.

Or…because when I tried to get promotional gigs at local bookstores, I was met with “We don’t do those kind of books.” It’s not fun being in debt when your act of being expansive and getting ‘uncomfortable’ by investing in a creative goal, flunked.

Indifference. And in turn, I offer indifference back.

So, I’m on here to say, I’m backing away from this for a while. I need a break from being a writing cheerleader because resistance has won in the face of indifference and I can’t put up this front anymore.  I need to recharge or find some kind of hope in the face of another failure to get me going again. But right now – I’m done.

Take this as your own personal incentive to write. Do not give up. Because I’ll be in the corner being jealous of your new novel and wondering what might have been.

Success is the difference between failing and quitting and failing and trying again. And the way I feel today, I may just let failure win.

But, I’ll probably be back tomorrow writing away anyway. Even though this post will also be met with indifference.

 

 

 

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Writers Wanted: A Call To Action

wearethetide

Hello Writers of WordPress.

I’m in the midst of building a writing community and would like your help.

Would you like to participate in a beta group to help me test out a writing platform I’m working on? Being part of the team involves participating in workshops, writing challenges and motivational games in a closed, safe and non-judgemental online work space.

I’m bringing The Order of the Good Write to another level, and am looking for 15 – 20 writers who would like to help me test out this new writer’s platform. It’s Free — no charge.

All I ask is that you share your stories, work on gaining confidence and motivation in your writing while using the online tools so I can build the best platform around.  All I ask in payment is your feedback. I want to make this the best writer’s platform it can be.

It’s absolutely confidential, and no writing will be copied or shared outside the space.

Please email if you’re interested at drotmil@gmail.com and I will invite you into the online space.

Good writing to you all!

Debi

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Rising Above Negativity

flowerandsunwood

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Light and love, people. Light and love.

Politics isn’t my thing. I’ve kept my words to myself. The crackling atmosphere has been filling up my head with so many emotions that I can’t even hash out blog postings and daily writings without stunted passages and small word counts. Politics always brings out the worse in people, but this year we’re seeing what lurks beneath the morals of various folks we thought we’ve known for years. We either stand in solidarity, or fall into the disarray of disagreement.

If there is a positive outcome to this acrimonious election year, it’s this: 2016 has brought in an era of shedding things that no longer serve us.

I believe in trying to stay in the light, and to find positivity in dark, challenging moments.

There are some who believe they have all the light and joy and right answers. They don’t need you darkening their life with beliefs they do not agree with. One personal comment will encourage them to blow up against your beliefs and throw verbal bombs your way, despite after you’ve kept quiet about their own offensive commentary. Funny how all that light and joy doesn’t not extend beyond their own house. (You can see, I’ve been in a tussle with someone lately.)

You can’t contain love within your own walls. You have to give a little out to the neighborhood, folks. Despite disagreements. No matter who you root for or whom you believe.

This shedding may also be a great opportunity to write your feelings, to devise a novel about love or friendships. The creative flow may be a waterfall of great stuff.

So, if you’re being bombarded by haters who hate your beliefs or show a side you’ve never seen before – just rise above it. Be strong in your ideas and moral values, and don’t ever treat a hater the way they treated you. Don’t engage. If you feel in your gut to break ties, only make that decision when you know it’s right.

Always be in the light.

Oh hey — and write it out!

 

 

 

 

 


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New York City: A Prayer

chandeliercityscape

If you could indulge me for a moment, I’m in prayer mode. Meditation is always so private. But I need to get these words out. Perhaps in my own selfish prayers, you may find a way to speak yours.

It’s a prayer about going back home.

So much has changed in New York since I moved away. Each time I go back, there is something adjusted or rearranged.The World Trade Center was finally built replacing that ominous space once occupied by two towers  downtown. In other areas, strange pencil buildings have been erected, sticking out like strange toothpicks where billionaires can buy real estate in the sky. The High Line has become an urban garden of nature, artwork and modern architecture, cutting a contrast between greens, wood, texture and the colorful steel of expensive “soon to open” condo’s waiting for the millennial elite to move in.

More bike lanes and sitting space. More traffic. More everything and not enough of what counts. Homes. Affordable homes.  For artists. For laborers. For white and blue collar. One can’t even afford to starve here.

Among the progress is a new element of regression: Sadly, the economy crash has its victims here. Homeless people are finding their way back on the street. And this time, they look like us. Some are sleeping on the outskirts of neighborhoods they may have lived in once. Evicted. Alone. Their entire apartment saved under tarp, their luggage and few boxes become their living space. I saw a young woman on the corner of Broadway and 84th street, tidying up her belongings after taking something out of a box. She was sniffing back tears. Mental Illness of personal demons may have lead her there, but I couldn’t help feel her fear.

The feelings come up now. My fear for her.  The prayers of Oh my God. Please protect her. Please keep her in your hand. Please keep her and everyone in her position safe. I am so lucky for what I have, but for the grace of you, please keep her close.

That is all I can do.

Some of us are a paycheck away from where that young lady is now.

The line between wealthy and desolate seems to be fading.  There is no middle class here it seems. There are only the poor, and those who are getting by on a reasonable wage – enough to pay that high rent, and the uber wealthy.

Los Angeles is becoming more of the same. Low wages and increasing rent. Plus, you need a car out here.

I look at the textures of street art on New York buildings. I marvel at the beautiful colors of fixtures in a store window, snapping iPhone pictures of romantic chandeliers against windows showing an iconic peek into New York’s neighborhood buildings. But I know the realities aren’t as beautiful.

In the year leading up to my move from the Upper East Side of Manhattan to Los Angeles back in 2010, I understood that there comes a time for some New Yorkers who fell in love with this city to move away to cleaner, roomier locations.We had our New York City moment. We ate at the local eateries and mulled over the most incredible Farmer’s Markets, danced at amazing clubs and knew the best restaurants.  But, maybe it would be nice to see trees outside our windows and maybe have our own garage.

But, here I am – six years in sunny SoCal. With all the beautiful friends and gorgeous moments spent here and forever grateful for. Yet,  I didn’t bargain on me wanting to come back to NYC. Just one more round of apartment living with a Basset Hound meant for outdoors, those icky nerves of moving into another old building and an apartment that smells like fresh paint and bug spray. Yes. One more time before I move back to the metropolitan suburbs – or the more reasonable neighborhoods of the Hamptons. (Sag Harbor…I will be your resident yet.)

So, New York City – I’m here, waiting for you to give me the word. I’m ready to come back and live in you once again – until the green grass of home beyond the Metro North Line calls us home.

I’m waiting with open heart and mind. Just say the word.

And keep me close. With abundance and positive light.

I hope the same for anyone reading this, who are in a murky state of transition. We are waiting. We are on the brink. We are waiting in suspension. Let us all get to where we want to be, financially well, creating, writing, painting, sculpting, helping others, well employed, building good things, tucked into a safe home in a neighborhood we love with loving people around us.

Let us all come home.

 

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This American Life: The House on Loon Lake

the house on loon lake

With Netflix’s “Stranger Things” being the most popular television bingefest around, I found this story, originally aired on ‘This American Life’ back in 2001, to be quite timely.

“The House on Loon Lake” is the very real story of how a group of boys back in the 1970’s stumbled upon an abandoned house in Freedom, New Hampshire. What they found inside was a veritable time capsule of untouched items and artifacts of a family who seemed to have disappeared.

Adam Beckman, tells the story of how, at the age of 12, he and his friends went on a mission to find out what happened to the family that vanished.

For storytellers and writers, it’s a wonderful one hour tale filled with mystery, sadness and a twist at the end that tells more about the state of family, rather than revealing a predictable and unsavory crime.

Adam’s Mother

“The abandonment. The abandonment is melancholy. In a way, it’s worse than throwing away, much worse. I can understand one family being obliged to flee or run or abandon, but that nobody else cared. That it was so overwhelmingly abandoned by everybody, that nobody had cared to solve something, to resolve something. That was very offensive to me. It was like leaving a corpse. You don’t leave a corpse. And that’s a little bit the feeling that I had. That here was a carcass, the carcass of a house, of a life, of a private, and nobody cared to pick it up and give it a proper burial.

I thought that it was important that somebody should care. That somehow, somebody was leaning over these words, reading them, unfolding these letters that somebody had bothered to write. It really didn’t matter that it was an eleven-year-old boy who cared. Objects have lives. They are witness to things. And these objects were like that. So I was, in a way, glad that you were listening.”

Listen here:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/199/house-on-loon-lake


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How A Rug Illustrates a Story

ABCHomeRug

Rug as seen at ABC Home, NYC

It hung there, among the colorful faded green and pink rugs. Like a shabby and dazzling bunch of beauties, these gorgeous items of woven thread formed the most intricate patterns of white, greys and blacks. It left me breathless. The finite layers of simple flower shapes, round, small and big. Dabs of pedal shadows that almost look like birds flowing through the delicate wiggly lines depicting an element of motion.

From afar, we see the dazzling story of visual artistry. It’s a tale by what we make of it. The chairs and sofa that would look so good against the color. The pop of black floorboard wood that makes the patterns come alive, contained in the room in which it lives. This rug’s design can tell a story with it’s patterns and cacophony of visuals combines into one big work of floor artistry. Indeed, in one’s home, it will absorb the human life on which it lives.

ABCHomeRugCloseUp

Yet, if we zoom in on the details, we see a different emotion. Suddenly the story isn’t so obvious, the tales not so simple. From afar, each duplicate design is created by intricate fibers of color and handmade stitching pulls together to make one big beauty. But when we magnify an inch of the vast work before us, there is a depth we never see.

One can find a laughing family on the front yard enjoying a summer day. Yet, if we take one person aside and study him, much like the details of a rug, we’ll find depth, individuality and a whole other story.

Writing is much like this. You can’t have the overall picture unless you magnify the details of the human spirit.

Look closely at the details of life. Understand more than just what the overall picture is trying to tell you. Write about it.

And boy, would I LOVE to buy this rug!

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We Float

arialtextures2

Somewhere over the California Desert

It’s not often I get a window seat on a cross country flight. As someone who deals with anxiety, I’ll take an aisle seat every time, despite having to get up for bathroom bound passengers who are trapped three seats deep. Yet, this time, on a trip from LA to NYC and back, I was booked both ways in a bulkhead window seat, happily willing to help out in the unlikely event of an emergency. Extra leg room, easy access to getting up and not crawling over people – I was sitting pretty with my own personal view of the world below.

I was amazed at what I usually miss in an aisle seat on the edge of the row, my shoulders dodging wayward hips, as my back seat neighbor uses my headrest as a handle for getting up. My view is usually of the head in front of me, or the bathroom sign illuminated in either red/occupied or green/vacant.

At the window, where the light of day illuminated the textures of landmass and hills, I was transfixed by the planet below. I’ve often felt like I’ve never belonged down there, like I’m a soul in a body experiencing a human life outside a glass bubble and all of humanity is inside. Flying at an altitude of 34,000 feet made this feeling stronger than ever.

As we floated in this long metal vessel, the feeling of detachment was profound. Up in space, half way near the Kármán Line, our feet are on the cold steel floor of the aircraft. They are not on earth. And from way on high, we can see the beauty of the planet like a work of art.

There is so much texture to the land. The deserts I watched below were patterns of dunes and cut highways, ant colonies of human beings creating inlets for their own passage from one end of the space to another. Contrast of beige sand and shadows, muted greens and dots of inclines that may be vast to the human foot, yet little nothing from above.

The desert sands of California drifted into the Grand Canyon expanse of Arizona. Deep swaths of land cut and molded into sharp layers indicating millions of years of ocean water dissipating into nothing. You can see how the dying ocean cut long lines of water marks, decreasing into lower levels until a long winding thin river bed left the last dredges of briny water.

As the arid land of the western states stretched into dark greens cut with agriculture and shiny man made circles of water for cattle, I think of how little our angry lives are down below. We are an America made of two different factions, and we are living under civil unrest in so many ways.  There are people believing things out of fear and frustration. There are others angry over being sold a bad bill of goods. There is hatred and love. There is a sense of mourning for what we have become.

But the land was so beautiful below. We are all just souls living a human life, hovering over something bigger than us. From a plane, we see the big picture from great heights and only begin to understand how little we and our problems really are.

We should all have a window seat on the world.

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