Where’s the passion?

An associate, who’s learned a bit about me, recently told me that I’m missing from my writing. “I” am missing, my voice. And he’s right. My heart’s not it it, no soul, no spirit.

I convince myself I’m focusing on the construction, the rules I’ve index and set for myself and it’s the mechanics that are the target of me honing my skills.

I suppose that means I can’t do both, write with voice, with passion and write with skill.

There’s that word I rarely utter and I’m absolutely certain I have never uttered it about myself — passionate. I just don’t fucking care. But it’s worse than that, I just don’t fucking care about not fucking caring.

It’s no bloody wonder there’s no voice in my words. I’m sure you have to give a shit to put voice into your words.

So, can I fake a voice, fake caring for a bit while I write, hopefully writing with heart, with soulful intent?

That sounds totally daft. Of course fucking not. That’s exactly the problem.

But listen to me now. Disgusted indifference — that’s what I called my state of mind. Am I passion about being disgustedly indifferent? And who the hell want to read such downer trash? Nobody.


Paige made stabbing motions at the center of his paisley tie, poking her unpolished finger into his chest. He finally stepped back from her attack. She kept at him. She’d spoken words, hundreds of them to his face. The made no impact. His dumbfounded expression blatantly told her he either would refuse to acknowledge her or her grievance. She balled her fist and this time, rather than poke him one more time, center-punched him using a taekwondo move where she thrust with her hips first, her arm following through. That caught his attention. Mainly because he fell backward off the balcony, six floors, landing face down on one of those short school buses. He didn’t even make a dent. It must have scared the shit out of the kids, the retar… the mentally handicapped kids being collected from the hospital’s daycare.

The guy deserved to die. He’d been an ass all his life, making everyone around him work that much harder to not piss him off. Paige looked over the railing. Kids were piling out staring at the blood that now dripped down the edge, sliding across those tricky windows that took two hands and two fingers each to raise or lower. Paige hated those windows. The guy probably had mastered those windows. She inspected her fist, wow, she didn’t know that rage could be so useful.

Rage writing. Is there a market for that?



16 thoughts on “Where’s the passion?

  1. So you write all this amazing, clever, creative stuff that I love, and then someone you barely know comes along and says “Meh, I don’t see YOU in any of this” and it makes you question everything? We’ve never met, but I certainly think you have a style that says “Anonymole” to me when I read it. And I don’t know if the ME is anywhere in my own writing either–I enjoy writing and I think I’m pretty good at it, but I don’t feel the need to lash myself to a tombstone or wander the moors rending my garments. Write because you get a kick out of reading it back and thinking “hey, not bad!” or “wow, that one really turned out better than I thought.” and then share it because we all want to read it. That’s where the fun, and maybe the passion, is:-)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I acknowledge the flippant appearance of recent wafflings of mine. Do or do not, damnit!
      The advice came as I myself realized that the motions of writing these scenes, the focus on style, the scheduling and such, had diluted their impact. They, as well as other recent stuff, unreleased, lacked essential essence.
      I’d find interesting articles, quirky stickynotes leafed in on email newsletters or newsy blurbs and think, say, I could write a scene about that. I’ve got half a dozen written and waiting.
      Are they me writing soulfully? Or are they Creative Writing 101 exercises?
      What it appears I’ve missed along the way is that both are required.
      Having this mentioned, subtly I might add, although I never mentioned that, helped to kick me out of the self-inflicted ditch.
      This is all melodrama I loosed with an ill-advised late night post. Silly me.
      Still a 99% Existential Nihilist, -Mole

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What PH said.
    And, I find these two thoughts cannot exist simultaneously: ” I just don’t fucking care about not fucking caring.” And, “I’m focusing on the construction, the rules I’ve index and set for myself and it’s the mechanics that are the target of me honing my skills.”
    Well, you care enough to master the rules and craft of writing. As far as putting the “I” in your writing, I think PH would agree that if you peel the onion back far enough, there is “no there there.” There is no “I.”
    I think what “there is no I in your writing” means is that someone wants to read about and experience your personal pain, your angst, your journey, your pain. They want to see you bleed. Because you certainly are a master craftsman.
    Are you approaching writing as you approach programming? One mistake in the code and the program doesn’t work, the system shuts down. Your writing is like that. Master craftsmanship, technically error free. Is someone asking you for more?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Baryshnikov, among others, said that art happens when technique becomes invisible. But that leaves out intent, which I think at that level is a given. Except in instances where craft is the goal. I recently read “Nocturnes” by Nobel winner Kazuo Ishiguro. When I was done I felt like i hadn’t read anything. I went looking for academic criticism beyond the marketing hype and discovered I was not alone. It was (almost) flawlessly crafted blandness and some way overly drawn slapstick. When he could have gone for a voice, his voice, any voice, it was all pure vanilla construct. And not to my liking stylistically because that, too, was everyday vanilla. Your friend is right, what you lack is a voice that stops it reading like an op manual. That’s where you come in and make it yours. Any fool can string illogical or trite or cliche phrases together. What makes it come off the page is image and impact, not craftsmanship. What did Elmore say about if what we learned in English class gets in the way of the story it’ll have to go? Instead of thinking about “is this right?” think “Does this work? Am I there, or is this just more words?” Never be afraid of sketching. It’s where real art starts.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Both you and George F. got me thinking about how I approach this whole writing thing.
        The selection of “scenes” have been arbitrary and done without a notion to me listening to me. In fact, I’ve been doing this for months or longer now, I realize. George effectively said, I’ve been programming my writing. Letting style get in the way of substance — as you mentioned.
        Thanks for reading/responding. This exchange has altered my perspective.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Damn, George, that was killer. Writing sure the hell ain’t programming. Spot-the-fuck-on.
      The two thoughts cannot coexist. True. When I pull back, have a gander, I discover I just don’t care. But if I step in, as I’m wont to do — somewhere I told myself I wanted to do this — I end up actually caring. So, yeah. diametrically opposed, separate Venn bubbles.
      “see me bleed” — yeah.
      You got me thinking, PH too, maybe this is just part of the cycle? When I started this — writing was fun, writing the stories in my mind. Then the skill-honing showed up. It got less fun, and, became less genuine.
      Maybe (hopefully — this is me caring right now) I (we) can get is cycling back the other direction…
      Thanks for your insight.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. … still processing this momentary breach in continuity, but, if I’m writing, and want to write better, then I must care about something. And I think that something is communicating my stories, in as warm a light as possible, to readers. Advancing my skill level should be viewed in that light, but should not supersede or commandeer the spirit of the telling.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Funny thing is, I’ve got a new chapter I been working on, and been trying so hard to get it “right” I’ve edited down to nothing and hate it. Talk about taking out the juice…about “advancing your skill levels superseding the spirit of telling…”

            Liked by 1 person

  3. We write to escape. Your stiffness comes from standing ankle deep, like a director. Someone once asked me what I did for a living and I said I was a corporate musician. When that was too deep for them I said Bullshit Artist. Not caring is not an excuse. The thing I feel most important is that you be in the middle of it, and try to make it “good” enough for you to enjoy. Like playing as a kid. What we did with our toys, our bikes, which was our imaginations. I like to read and be there, something that has become lost in all the crap. So I write for me. And I only write what I want, places and people I’d want to hang out with. Write your Jack London, get out of the way as a “craftsman” like you’re going to show it to someone and write it with all the nuance YOU need to buy it WHILE YOU WRITE IT. Screw technique, rules… like that thing you wrote a couple of years ago where the kid climbs in the boat? There you go. Write dialog, no tags, the way you hear it. Set enough scene for yourself, get on the carpet and ride. Frustration is a sure fire buzz kill. Let it go.

    Liked by 1 person

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