What Do I Already Know To Fill My Writers’ Palate?

What do I do when my brain is empty?  I struggled with such question moments ago.  Although I wanted to sit down and write something, I was stricken with worry from not being able to think of a topic to write about.  So, I took Lise Cartwright’s advice, and did what she calls a “brain dump.”  I took out my Smart Phone and made a list of everything I’m knowledgeable about.  In doing so, I discovered there are many topics of which I’m knowledgeable and could be discussing in today’s composition.

How about I start with the writing profession?  There are many venues in writing.  For instance, there’s creative fiction writing and creative nonfiction writing.  Creative fiction consists of many venues itself ranging from not only fiction, but poetry.  One can sum up a whole day’s work in pages and pages of life experiences, creating a grand volume of short stories or a long novel.  According to various articles and books I’ve read pertaining to fiction writing, one must have a strong opening line or sentence of which to draw the reader immediately into the story.  It is known as the attention getter.  The next sentences which follow must blend well together with the attention getter, further carrying the reader on a journey into another world.  For the reader is then able to live and breathe life through the main character of the story.  When such a thing is possible the readers will care for the story and characters within the story.

As a reader, I must be able to feel what the characters within a given piece of fiction are feeling.  In doing so, an emotional connection is established between the author and the readers.  When such a thing occurs, the reader of a given story can in turn become the character for a brief moment in time throughout the duration of reading the piece of fiction.  A good book allows it’s readers to be carried away by a story.  For many, reading is a nice form of escape from the everyday hassles of life; thus, allowing for relaxation and pleasure obtained from reading an empowering story.

At the beginning of a given piece of fiction the tone must be set.  The audience should know immediately who the main character is within the given piece of writing.  He should know who is the protagonist and who is the antagonist.  It’s crucial a writer of fiction not reveal too much at once, particularly at the beginning.  Let the plot unfold gradually through teasing the readers.  Plants should be inserted into the piece of fiction every know and then.  Plants are a form of symbolism.  I’m not talking about literally plants which grow outdoors or indoors.  The kind of plants I’m talking about are clues planted within a given piece of writing which foreshadow what’s to come within the story.

Next, a writer must establish voice within the piece.  I know from my college professors I’ve had many years ago, along with the experts affiliated with Mr. Jeff Goins how important it is for a writer to establish voice within a given piece of writing.  A good writer puts his entire being in his writing.  His heart, soul, spirit and mind are crucial not only to setting the mood and tone, but they help in making the reader care about the characters and the story.  I know from personal experience if I don’t care about a story I won’t read it.  I know for certain if a story appeals to me or not by reading the opening line, in addition to reading the synopsis on the back of the book.  Generally, if the synopsis captures my interest then I’ll purchase the book.  Otherwise I’ll put it back on the shelf, walk away from it and examine other books for possible purchase.

Let’s talk about psychology.  There are many types of mental illness’s out there.  However, I find the most common are folks who either suffer from being either bi-polar or schizophrenic.  Although bi-polar patients have common symptoms with those who are schizophrenic, such as hearing voices and talking to people who aren’t there, such individuals self medicate through the use of either drugs, alcohol or a combination of both.  Bi-polar is known as manic depression; whereas, schizophrenia is known as a mental disorder.

Mental illnesses often stems from a traumatic and/or violent experience an individual has had in his life.  Symptoms range from depression, suicide, and post-traumatic stress disorder.  I know from my studies in both college and high school, in addition to reading up on the subject of mental illness throughout the years any form of violence will lead to post-traumatic stress disorder.  It’s not only common of soldiers who have seen battle.  It’s commonly found in individuals who were victims of child abuse, spousal abuse, and other violent crimes.

Depression consists of an inner struggle everyday consisting of the individuals desire to take his own life; yet, there is a part of him which wants to live.  However, for some the pain is far greater than the desire to live.  Often the pain is so strong it tortures its victims.

It can be crippling emotionally often making individuals not wanting to get out of bed.  Such individuals live like they are dead through cutting themselves off from the rest of the world.  They lose interest in their daily activities, and their family.  It also can consist of them giving away their possessions.  The battle continues unless they seek help.  Often they don’t realize they need professional help.  Therefore, it is up to family members and friends to intervene so the life of the individual can be saved.  Even then, tragedy can be struck, because the individual has given up on himself and on life.

Although death is part of life, it can be quite burdensome.  For many, it’s something so difficult to bear, they sink into a deep depression.  Often such things can make an individual suicidal, because he wants to be with his deceased loved ones.  It’s important for everyone to have something to live for.  We can’t live or exist for the sake of others.  We have to do so for ourselves.  Often when someone wants to commit suicide or has already committed suicide there will be family members and friends who say they should think about those they are leaving behind.  It’s the worse thing for them to say to suicidal individuals.  What they should consider is they themselves should have thought more about the sake and well being of the suicidal individuals before they plan to commit suicide.  However, in many cases to show folks how much they are loved are cared about often isn’t enough.  In the end, the suicidal victims must have something to live for.  They need their will to live.

College can be an exciting time in one’s life.  For many, it’s a rite of passage in the sense they’re on their own for the first time in their lives.  It’s an adventure which can be pleasantly exciting or scary.  For me it was a calling to find my way in life through further study and discovery of the world pleasantly exciting or scary.  For me it was a calling to find my way in life through further study and discovery of the world.  The mind becomes enriched.  However, there are also the social experiences along the way which can lead to further connections with life itself.  There is a magnitude of wonder out there. We only have to measure up our desire to find it.  Through discovery of the world we come to know ourselves.

I often let myself get lost in my thoughts through examining my past and present.  However, I do so through a bird’s eye view to learn something from my past while not clinging to it for a crutch.  Through reflecting, I come to understand the circumstances I endured in life; thus, finding meaning in my life.  Finding reasoning behind all which has happened to me up to this point in my life helps give me direction with where my life is headed.

I’m knowledgeable about many different aspects of life.  As for work experience, I did housework in my own household from the time I was a child of five and a half years old.  From there, I helped out at the carwash which was owned and operated by my parents, maternal aunt, and maternal grandmother.  Working there gave me experience when it came to learning about public relations.

Upon graduating from high school, I landed a job working at a fast food restaurant from which I was able to not only support my parents and my brother, but I managed to pay my own way through college.

Following graduation from college, I landed a job working as an artist for a dog grooming business.  The owner of the establishment said she had clients who wanted portraits painted of animals which could be made available to sell to them.  Upon getting hired for the job, I worked vigorously on my sketches.  After showing them to my client, she accepted them to show to her own clients.  However, I was told my sketches were unacceptable, and was fired from the job.  It was the only job I was ever fired from.

Instead of dwelling upon losing the job, I moved on through concentrating on my writing craft until I was able to land another job.

Another job did come along.  I landed a job working for a health and nutrition company.  I worked there for about one and a  half years before I decided to go back to focusing on my writing craft for a while.  From there, I landed a job working at a buffet restaurant, working there for a little over four years, because I was laid off.  Following the lay off, I went back to focusing on my writing endeavors.  I spent the years which followed reading all kinds of books as I had following graduation from college.  However, I read more and more than ever before.  I also continued to write poetry extensively.  Although I wrote some fictional pieces, I primarily concentrated upon poetry.  It wasn’t until getting involved with my500 words did I change my primary focus from poetry to fiction and nonfiction.

It was these past couple of years I decided to take control of my health.  I began working with a wellness coach to get my calories, water intake, and proteins to the levels they should be.  Through doing so, I lost thirty pounds.  Recently, I started going to the gym with my aunt.  So far, we’ve been working out three times a week.  We strive to go to the gym every other day.  On days we don’t go to the gym we can give our bodies time to recover from the vigorous workouts, and I can focus my efforts on my writing craft.  However, I have been reading everyday.  It wasn’t until recent did I expand my reading interest to include politics, and history.  I’d also like to read up on business principles.  I have a desire and strong interest to read Tony Robbins’ book Awaken The Giant Within.

I’ve always wanted to read the book from the time I was in elementary school, but never got around to purchasing it to do so.  I do plan on getting the book and reading it after I’ve finished reading the other books I’ve started reading.  Once I start something, I have a great urgency to finish.

Through all of my life experiences, I’ve accumulated lots of writing material.  It’s just a matter of further organizing it into categories.  I’d like to continue to build upon my knowledge not only regarding the writing craft, but on all areas of study.  I believe through learning about other areas of study and professions will help to make me a well rounded person.  I also hope to obtain additional skills through incorporating the principles and teachings of various experts in the given fields I read about into my own life.  All the knowledge acquired will add to my experiences and given me much more to write about.

© Copyright, Kiki Stamatiou, 2016


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