Structure in the Age of So Much Literature

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(I imagine Yes is the only living thing ~ EE Cummings)

I recently read a Twitter post from a pro-tip wielding writer (by the name of Delilah S. Dawson), and did a little bit of research on what she referred to (that bit o’ info is a blog I’m subscribed to, filled with extremely helpful information. I recommend you subscribe to him as well. WARNING: offensive language used on that site) concerning “Story Structure.” That link is far more succinct than anything I could say  about it, so I won’t say a whole lot more about it beyond anecdotal evidence.

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Tradition and the Individual Talent

No pic this time: all business.

I might have to take a step back and clarify a little about what I wrote in the article Joyce and Modernism: Why is it Important? I’ll try and iron a little of this out while also explaining a little more in-depth what’s going on with what I’ll refer to as the Living Body of Work. Or, to be more specific, the texts one studies while learning about literature, writing, and the human condition that constantly changes due to visualizing through other lenses. Examples of lenses could include structuralist focus, mythic method, cultural upbringing, fresh input or opinions on specific topics, or life experiences such as war or death of a loved one. I see it as a kind of time-stamped sociographic pattern. Reading texts in parallel that are written with previous texts in mind, creates an alternative narration for both.

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Being the Sponge

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Couldn’t find a flashy sponge pic, but this sums up the idea in a nature-centric way.

To those who still read, I apologize for the spontaneous nature of this blog. I’ve spent three years working a job where I couldn’t write the way I’d like. It’s difficult to explain, especially since I battled it the whole time. My closest friends will attest to my struggle, the way I work my words. I’ve been out of work for a month now, and I’m only just beginning to wake up.

I have six or so blogs currently planned, most of which deal with the college courses I’m currently enrolled in: A Lit course on Mythology (Homer’s Odyssey read alongside James Joyce’s Ulysses), and an Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries business course, which has provided so much insight and information even I have just begun to realize the impact of this class. I’m the only lib arts guy there; the rest are financing, accounting, business. I am uniquely unqualified to be in that class, yet I’m looked at as a de facto leader of the class (for several reasons, which I will go into later).

But more than those things, I’m realizing why my previous job kept me from being able to write. I scratched the surface while working, especially since I took stress leave two years ago, and found myself in my work during that time. But given how much has changed since I seriously worked on my novels–the latest file being accessed two years ago–I’m looking at this journey with an analytical mind. Perhaps not scientific. I’m not so great at the hypothesis-to-testing ratio. But given it’s research into me, I really have nothing, and no one, else to compare it to.

In the dregs of my job, my closest friend gave me a book to read. In fact, she gave me the first two chapters. The title of the book is How to Write a Lot, and it focused on academics-based writing for professionals with a hectic schedule. It was beautiful. It helped. It provided momentary focus on how to write. Write words. Thoughts. Research and learn and develop ideas.

And it would work well for someone who writes blogs, for instance, about their jobs. Or who have jobs on writing blogs. Or whatever. I’m sure it would work well for most novelists, as well. In time, if I sacrificed enough, and if enough aspects of my life were regulated, safe-feeling, and stable, I could be proficient at writing.

In that circumstance, I could not be the writer I used to be. This is my thesis (liberal arts guys don’t go for hypotheses. We abbreviate that shit down). Until I shrugged the mantle of that job, I could never be that writer. That writer is a writer of words, of creative thoughts, of secondary needs. That writer creates structured, nice, fine things. That writer is a writer of sure. I’ll write that.

That writer writes from the inside, looking out. From a castle with plate metal gates. Stationary. Focused. Dedicated to something else. Where writing is a side project and doing is the focus.

That writer isn’t a sponge.

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