A few years ago I wrote a blog post on tumblr about my theory that reality TV shows were designed to bore us all into morose submission through intellectual stultification.  I am a great believer in stimulating and using the brain.  We shouldn’t stop thinking, when you stop thinking, you stop questioning, when you stop questioning you become compliant and lose track of yourself and your own desires, thoughts and morality.   How can you pursue happiness or ambition or even inner peace if you don’t know who you are?  If the thinking box that makes you unique has given up and merely swallows the information that the popular press chooses to feed to it.  There is a hopelessness that descends when we wake up everyday to face the same monotony and nothing new is presented.   To be happy and healthy I think we all need to be presented with new things to think about and then be given the time to develop new thoughts and endeavours, always growing and evolving and recreating ourselves.

I have reached a certain lull in my ghostwriting work.  I have hope of more so my money earning days aren’t gone, and let’s be honest if a week long hiatus made me panic I’d have given up long ago, but what has concerned me in this downtime is how hard I’ve found it to be creative again.  It’s as though all of my mental processes were so given over to reorganising someone else’s thoughts that there was nothing left for me.  My brain seemed to have shut down, I couldn’t write as Chastity and I was struggling to write as me.   Nothing, no inspiration, gone.

Today, after my first stop on Elance to look for work, I started reading.  I read the news and now I’m reading about consciousness and I plan to read many other things besides.  All the time that I am reading, I am thinking  and slowly but surely my creative brain is waking up again.  Phew.

Equally writing your own work isn’t everything that being a writer is about.  You need to read the work of your peers, you need to understand the market, you need to support your fellows, especially if you expect them to support you.  You also need to understand how narrative works and how words fit together and that doesn’t come out of nowhere, you need to read a lot of words to really understand how words work.  Conversation is forgiving, writing isn’t.  And writing grows and evolves over time to become something bigger and better and more challenging, like everything in life.  Take some time to read Arthur Conan Doyle and Wilkie Collins and then compare them to the complex, dark and twisted story arcs that make modern detective stories.  You’ll quickly see a rapid evolution of narrative expectation. The keys points will still be there: compelling characters, motive, investigative process but what tangled webs we now unravel.

There is a tremendous level of excitement elicited by this simple revelation.  To become better at what I do I need to do more of what I love.   There are whole universes of thoughts and experiences to be had through the pages of books and magazines.  I’m going on an adventure to discover something new.   So back to my original point, to make life fun and exciting it’s important to keep thinking and to keep thinking we need to discover.  So turn over the channel, watch something different, open a book and take back the sovereign nati0n of your own mind from the media oppressors of your little grey cells.

 

 

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