The Back Room

With respect to Socrates, my unexamined life is not worth living. The front room is the face we show everyone but we hide our true self in the back room.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Every day I become a better writer.  Even if I don’t write.  A lot is coming from conversations I have with people or even web log post exchanges.  Today was no different.

I thought about all the cool stuff I learned from my patients today.  My mind racing I dumped a lot of informative things into a blog.  Things I didn’t know that have relevance today.  Touching on subjects like addiction, Mexico, the late Senator Byrd, US apathy, tobacco companies, political legacies and Veteran’s Day there was a delightful give and take where I often threw my philosophical hat in the ring.

I love to work my mind over.  Take topics of mutual interest incorporating value to them, working on how these topics relate to our world today.  I do like putting things in the present context, how events from the past help us to appreciate how far or how little we’ve changed.  As you may know, I am all about the present.  What did you do today?

How does this pertain to becoming a better writer?  I had these topics dumped onto a page into a isn’t this shit cool Tarantino way, but additional paragraphs led me into a wall.  I did not have a coherent framework merely an information dumping ground.  I thought some more about what I wanted to say and this blog is the result.

For years my writing has been spontaneous, diarrheal, meandering with an easy justification that the journey is part of the destination.  In some cases this tenet is true, but not in all.  One can have a clear idea of what you want to say and then be spontaneous.

An example concerns a certain art form: jazz.  I cannot just pick up my trumpet, start blowing and call it jazz.  True jazz improvisation can only come from practice.  Carnegie Hall adage practice.    Once you know your instrument as you know your own hand you are free.  As in free-style.  You can take the notes of anything and make it your own.  Your confidence in your musical ability is through the roof.  Experimentation is expected.  After all, it’s the next level.  It’s discovery.

(This can be applied to all art forms)

That’s writing as I see it.  I thought I would hit some knowledge on my fellow writers on some cool shit like when the Surgeon General’s warning first came out in 1966, RJ Reynolds asked for an immediate doubling of the nicotine content in their cigarettes, making the now enlightened smokers have an even tougher battle of addiction they never knew they were fighting-  but with throwing a fact in there and drawing in well this is how it relates to the United States and how it should respond to the complete drug anarchy in Mexico, something the United States needs to consider for example what is the problem facing Mexico and how can the United States be of service and not go in Rambo-style and boots on the ground yeah whatever that means except a cool way of saying more Americans will die as they did in the Middle East because there was no clear problem realized and no objective targeted except to win by annihilation which is more like the Bush Doctrine and a colossal mistake so what is the problem the real problem for Mexico and if it is indeed the drug cartels and their enormous power then what is the solution of course but legalization for if the drugs are made legal and can be purchased legally then you eliminate the profit margin from the cartels and their power over the addicted-

(sigh)

So just imagine that’s how my mind is working on these ideas as they are presented, my mouth spewing freestyle balderdash at an intoxicated rate and you get the idea why I regret my own speech.

And why I am envious.  Yes.  Envious of those who can tell a story.  It leaves me at a handicap grabbing for attention in passion and novelty.  I could just hone my craft so it becomes easier over time, eventually knowing my pencil as I know my own hand.

Or, to put it another way, in the perhaps apocryphal quotation by Olivier: “Why don’t you try acting, dear boy?”

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3 comments on “Practice, Practice, Practice

  1. czechchickdiary
    November 30, 2014

    Great post! My writing is also very spontaneous…. I just sit down and write a paragraph or two about something that caught my attention and I’ll just let it sit and marinate. It’s chaotic but who cares… at least I have something to go back to when my muse is taking a break 🙂 I like to think of it as a practice…. like you said, nobody is born a jazz musician, it takes time, patience and perseverance but if there’s one thing I’ve seen lately it’s improvement. Little by little, step by step, day by day 🙂

    Like

    • Andrew Davis
      November 30, 2014

      An inch forward every day as a better person and better writer is what I strive for. Thank you for your comments!

      Like

  2. Sarah Kay Moll
    February 8, 2015

    I think with a disorganized freeform, you can work at it until you start to see connections and the places that stand out, and from there figure out how to weave it into a coherent story. I wrote a novel that was once a collection of vignettes based on whatever I happened to think of that day, but they knit together to form a single story in the end, much to my surprise. Jazz is an interesting comparison, and one I’d never thought of, but I really like it.

    Like

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