Order of the Good Write

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


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Writing: Not Giving A Rat’s A$$

no fucks given

**Warning: This Blog is Filled with major potty mouth. If you don’t like this language (and I don’t blame you) I absolutely respect it, and suggest you click on another fine, insightful blog post here at “Order…”. The subject matter brought out a way of writing I don’t want to edit. In fact, it was cathartic.  Thank you!

I’ve been reading this amazing book called “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson.  The title alone just pulls you in. If you’ve been disappointed and tired of self help gurus and the magical thinking of manifesting and positive belief to get what you want – well, this book turns that all on its head.

By not giving any fucks, we’re not talking about going through life not actually giving any fucks. We all have to give some fucks. But the whole point of his thesis – and a very wise and interesting one it is – is making sure you know where you place your fucks and how.

Make sure your priorities are in check. In looking for your bliss – be realistic. Life is one big bowl of suckitude. It’s always unfair, rife with inequality and the luck of the uterus we were gestated in.

We lose our jobs, our money, or people die on us, leaving us bereft. We struggle to survive financially. We write lots of blog posts and articles, book proposal unseen and spec scripts turned down by TV studio workshops that favor writers with better connections.

We loose the love of our lives to other people. We hate on our politicians, our leaders, our false profits and the hypocrisy of a dangerous world placed in the hands of people who are looking out for themselves.

I could go on and on. Yeah, yeah – life can be beautiful. But we dwell more on how life can suck. Because life sucking makes you want to change things for the better.

This all doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. Quite the contrary – we should try so hard it makes the fucks quake. Just don’t try by thinking you’re going to make it, because that will be your obstacle. It will make you raise the bar so high for yourself, that you won’t want to even try.

That’s why you shouldn’t give a fuckety fuck fuck about the outcome. Just do it. Just be a Nike ad. Just write. Just create. Who cares if it brings nothing. Let the work make you happy.

As Manson explains in his book: Life is hard, and choosing HOW we live through the pain is the secret to surviving. The pain of bad luck. The pain of hardship. The pain of pain. The pain of taking lemons and not making lemonade, but understanding the lemons so we can make some nice pressed juice in the future. Maybe with some lemons, now that we understand them.

The subtle art of not giving two fucks is to stop looking for happiness in materialistic things like money, houses, wealth, that hot man or lady who we think will complete our lives, because it only lasts for a little while. Then the problems begin. The bills. The upkeep. The arguments. The way she likes to snap her gum in your face, or how he scratches his butt at inappropriate moments.

It’s fuckery to compare someone in another lane, riding in his Mercedes and sharp suit, thinking this dude is all happy and we want to be happy like that too, only to find out the guy in the Mercedes is going bankrupt and being sued for a portion of his earnings and his wife left him for her bi-sexual spin instructor.

The art of not giving a rat’s fuck is allowing yourself to clear expectations of yourself and your goals. To chose your fucks wisely. It is here where we find freedom.  The freedom to clear away obstacles so we can just do the damn work for the sake of doing it where no fucks are given, and the fucks don’t even wanna know.

I’m going to write that book and coach people in writing. I don’t give two fucks.

Thanks for reading. But please – read Manson’s book.

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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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For the Writer, Art is the Motivator

Screenshot 2016-07-05 11.11.01

Palm Trees. Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

(I wrote this post this morning on MarieForleo.com in reply to a discussion about the importance of art in our lives.  This comment felt like a blog post. I’d like to share it here. I hope you find some good in its message.)

Art is essential in allowing humanity to connect spiritually.

I use art to motivate my writing and the writing of others. Each facet of art, especially painting and sculpture (for me), can ignite a bevvy of stories for the world to see. It can inspires other and can change lives. It can shift a mind.

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Street Art/Berlin Wall. Wende Museum. Los Angeles.

Music is also a profound inspiration. Artists who write life affirming and soul searching lyrics have made me the writer I am today. They connect feelings into words. Music and art makes us feel less alone in this world.

I think the one piece of art that changed my life (other than music), was Georges Seurat’s painting “Sunday on the Island of Grande Jatte” and the musical play it inspired. James Lapine wrote the book for “Sunday in the Park with George” and Stephen Sondheim created the most glorious, heart wrenching, moving score to reflect the concept of how a painting can tell a story. How each visage, each person painted were really humans with beating hearts and broken lives painted in dabs of light. The way the painting comes to life with humanity and the love story woven in – showed me how art can be a powerful reflection of our lives. In fact, the entire show has specific lyrics that support this entire theme.

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‘Sunday in the Park with George’

 

Add the wonderful musical ‘Fun Home’ – which shows painful, universal themes in a beautiful, touching way – and we have continued proof that the arts tell the story of our lives.

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Cast of ‘Fun Home’. Photo by Christaan Felber. The New Yorker.

Don’t let anybody, or any negative voice in your head tell you otherwise. We need more art. We need creation.

As good ol’ Steve wrote in “Sunday…”

“Look at what you want,
Not at where you are,
Not at what you’ll be-
Look at all the things you’ve done for me
Opened up my eyes,
Taught me how to see,
Notice every tree…”

Just keep moving on. 🙂


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Writing: Finding Blessings in the Details

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Maybe I’m embracing the world of “woo-woo” lately, but I’m learning to understand mindset and how our imaginations can bring forth certain realities in our lives.

When you write or create with the vision of adding something new into he world with thought, imagination, craft and heart – you stir the energy that brings about a magnification of things you never noticed before.

When you touch base with what you’re meant to be doing – you see some beauty unfold around you.

Suddenly, you feel the need to help others in pain. You reach out despite your own worries and fears and aid someone who is drowning in problems.

Your mindset shifts, and new ideas to get yourself out your own rut start to flourish, and the darkness seems to break away, leaving you open to new prospects – your own prospects – not the job prospects that teased and fooled you on LinkedIn.

A few years ago, I was angry and brutally disappointed by a relationship I had hoped would work out. Yet, it was ruined by a prettier, skinnier and younger woman who came into his life. The anger bubbled and burst within. I wished them the most nastiest, deepest, ugliest and worst of luck. I wanted to cast spells and issue voodoo-like chants to kill their love.

Then, I moved to a new address and the backlash of that anger was returned to me by a very dark, unhappy and vindictive next door neighbor whose actions I won’t go into because they don’t matter anymore.

As I lived next door to her, I didn’t allow her negativity to bother me. In fact, it infused a need to create something good in this world. I started writing intensely and ended up publishing a book of short stories.

In time, I started to build a business model (and still doing so) for The Good Write.

As she lived and stewed in her apartment, complaining and trying to cover her dark tracks with fake kindness to make up for her bad behavior, I tried to create a new mindset of positive contribution, creative expression and goodness.

I’m not perfect, but the intention was clear and steadfast. No more anger. Look what I attracted with it. Someone nearby whose anger lashed out at me and any innocent bystander.

As George Harrison once sang, “A thought could blow those clouds away”. I focused on something new and better, the “cloud” next door moved away.

Not too long after she left, a handsome guy named Pete moved in. Fresh from Wyoming, he longed to surf and be near the beach. It took him four months of ten mile traffic jams to Santa Monica from Hollywood to realize this wasn’t the place for him, so he moved to Malibu. Perhaps he cleared the energy for the next phase.

A lovely, sweet young couple moved in next door. Students at USC, they compose music. They rehearse, sing, talk and laugh. They don’t even mind it when my dog whines a little when I’m out.

Perhaps my positive mindset has attracted this lovely couple. Or, maybe I just got lucky this time. (However, there are new neighbors moving in downstairs from me. Fingers are crossed the positive vibes will carry.)

Writing got me out of the darkness. It gave me a higher purpose with goals to shoot for. It allowed and still allows me to flush out the bad and restore the good. Writing and the machination behind it, allows me to attract the lovely people and notice their goodness.

Today, as I pulled out of the driveway to head to work, I saw my lovely neighbors  walking together, hand in hand. They are the very embodiment of bright light and love.

What a brilliant change they’ve brought to that apartment next door. What a shift in mindset and intention.  It’s like someone opened the window to a fresh new day after wallowing in the dark too long.

 

 

 

 


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Suncups

Suncups

A climber descends the sun-cupped Coleman glacier after a climb of Mount Baker. AAI Collection (American Alpine Institute)

Suncups.

Lovely dollops of the effects the sun’s radiation on melting snow. Wikipedia describes them as “normally wider than they are deep”.

Endless suncups against an impossible blue sky. Impossible.

There’s lots of nothingness out there.

Wouldn’t it be nice to drink out of a suncup, in the middle of nowhere with no one watching. Cups of drink. Cups of rainwater and melting snow.

Is there one person out there? Anyone?


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Stopped Writing? Here are 5 Steps to Break the Block

sad sleepy girl

Writing can be pretty lonely. It’s also a proactive act, filled with discipline and self motivation that forces you to provoke emotion with stories and concepts that haven’t existed before. To have to grapple with ideas and how to express them, to distill concepts in thought provoking ways so readers find your material remarkable, hell – it’s a heady task.

Sometimes we hit a day or a week or a month (!) where we don’t want to go inside our heads and pull out ideas and find the words to describe them. We grind to a halt. We self sabotage ourselves. We want to taste that sweet sweet awesomeness we feel when we are in the zone.

Here are a few tips to get you going when you don’t feel like writing.

1) Give yourself a good talking to.

Seriously. Go into a room by yourself and start talking to yourself. Let your words ring beyond the walls of your head. Talk to yourself as if someone is in the room. If you believe in spirit guides or a guardian angel is by your side, then talk to them like you’re Claire from “Six Feet Under” confiding in her dead father or brother.

I know it sounds creepy. I know it might sound nuts, but it’s only nuts if you’re walking down the street talking to no one and people start crossing the street to avoid you.

Talk to yourself in a quite, empty room. Get out your frustrations with why you are not writing. Think about what may be blocking you. Are your scared? Are you tired? Are you stuck on a chapter and your fear you’ll never get through it. Work on this as if it’s a natural mind flush – not something weird. You’re getting words out of your head and into your ears.

You may even want to record your voice to capture a useful writing idea floating through.

2) Get Comfortable Being Alone.

I’m a member of a closed Facebook page with other entrepreneurs. There was a lovely member who posted a message on being nervous about deciding to travel alone to Washingon D.C. and needed emotional support to go through with this. We all cheered her on because most of us have mastered solitary travel. We encouraged her to not think about being alone on this trip and to fill her days doing fun things SHE wants to do. Museums, restaurants, memorials, activities. And she did! She came back feeling refreshed and empowered by the experience.

Go to the park alone. Go to a movie alone. Hell – go to dinner at a nice restaurant alone. You’re not a loser doing this. Bring a book. Read your Kindle, but eventually put them down and view people around you. Watch how patrons interact at the other tables. Talk to the waiter or waitress and ask them about their job, or the patrons they deal with everyday. Taste the food. Drink the wine. Make fun of yourself and lighten up about being at the table alone. Go to a museum alone. Go to the theater alone. Watch other people taking their seats. Observe the ushers and wonder what their lives are about.

Be comfortable with yourself so you can experience life magnified. Scoop up ideas and gain the mental clarity get back to get back to writing.

3) Get Out And Have Fun with Your Family and Friends!

The first two items are pretty solitary so, let’s get this straight: Don’t be a recluse! Yes, get comfy with your ‘aloneness’ from time to time, but get out and socialize. Get down and dirty with experiences with people. Be one with your friends family. Start up a wine tasting get-together in your home, or a book reading club, a foodie club, a motorbike appreciation society, tattooed ladies who crochet – anything to interact with others who share a hobby that may contribute new ideas.

Or just go to a movie with friends. You don’t have to be a social community organizer pulling together cute hobby clubs to interact. Just do it. I know you know how to be with people – now get ‘er done.

4) Get Off Social Media for a Day

Challenge yourself. Make your day filled with museums, art, movies, binge watching fantastically written television shows, podcasts, Ted Talks or cook recipes you’ve been meaning to try. Get really involved at work on a project or activity with co-workers. Live life outside the Twitter feed or Facebook status update. Imagine all the cool stuff that’s going to accumulate on Tumblr or Instagram at 11pm that night for your to read because you were out all day interacting with people, or reading or writing or working on a project at work that will help develop a skill. See how long you can get off your iPhone and internet and keep going one hour more…then another. Hell, just get caught up in interacting with life.

Some of us remember when the internet didn’t exist, and remember how our brains reacted to everyday analog things. I know my imagination has taken a hit since the internet happened. I used to go the library, take out books and spend an entire weekend afternoon reading. Now, I can’t do it without my mind wandering and wanting to check my email. Technology has re-wired our brains away from the creative process. Our imaginations are being filled with digital creations. We aren’t creating for ourselves.

So, let’s try it for a day. No social media. Let your own brain imagine things for you – not a Periscope feed.

5) Remember…This Will Pass

Sometimes there’s a reason why our brains stop producing ideas and our hands cease to write a single word. We’re over worked or burned out. If your self discipline goes south, and you can’t find the mind space to write – don’t beat yourself up.

But know this: You have to make a pact with writing. You have to promise that writing table that you will return and continue. You don’t get off easy here. I know I don’t. Writing is a constant battle with a little snarky asshole called “Resistance”. Read Steven Pressfield’s “War on Art” and you will get the bare bones breakdown of this nasty little piece of business.

Resistance will make excuses. Resistance will feel like you’re tired. Resistance will tell you you’re lazy. Resistance will say you’re not a writer.

Oh yes you are.

If you miss a day or two of writing, you will likely feel sluggish or crappy. You know why? Because you’re a writer who is meant to be writing.

Rest if you must. Take what I’ve offered as a way to replenish and carve out new neuropaths in your brain. Fill up your shoe with ideas.

Then, get back to the page and keep moving on.

 If you’ve enjoyed this post, please feel free to share it with your fellow writers.