Writer’s Log: 2250 Friend or Foe

I managed to log only fifteen hours of writing last month. It would seem sequestration induces the opposite reaction, that is, inaction, at least where writing is concerned.

“Son, it’s a beautiful day outside. Go pal around with your friends.”
“Naw, I’ll just hang out inside doing nuthin’.”

“Son, it’s raining and stormy, best you stay inside today.”
“Naw, I got dams to build, boats to float and puddles to stomp.”

Not that I idled away my scant free time. A few thousand words rose like fetid mushrooms in my various venues. Yet, their shallow, haphazard appearance feels as if they grew of their own accord. “Did you write this?” “Yeah, I guess I did. But I don’t remember the verve and swerve of the experience. Perhaps I penned them during a semi-lucid dream.”

That’s not how I’d like to remember my writing adventures.

~~~

Friend or Foe

I read an article recently that explored the concept of creating a personal enemy against which one battles. It didn’t matter what type of enemy, only that it represented an oppressive or offensive manifestation that must be fought. Today I’m going to fight societal bigotry with temperance and forbearance. They, who think I can’t finish this spreadsheet, are not going to beat me! Sure it hurts, but exercise pain is the adversary we must defeat—they thought I’d give up, well I’ll show them.

If you have an identifiable rival upon which you can focus your ire, then you can leverage your aggressions to spur advancement. Fight the good fight. Wrestle and win.

I wondered about this and imagined that I might not have a personal enemy, but perhaps a loved one or close friend needs defending or protection. I might not be in jeopardy, but I have someone close who is.

Bringing this home to writing, I consider protagonists often have either a friend whom they are defending or a foe against whom they personally struggle. There’s an enemy in either case. Something evil, insidious and threatening which must be confronted and defeated—even if the enemies are but one’s own demons.

Find an enemy and do everything in your power to destroy them while they do the same to you or yours. The better the villain the better the story. Of course it’s not that simple. Sometimes a character’s friend and foe switch roles. Still, the roles exist and must be fittingly characterized.

Creating compelling enemies would appear as incentive in life as well as writing. Who are your personal opponents and are you and they worthy?

From the article: “If we imagine a force working against us, we’re more likely to get fired up, resist our temptations, and work harder to achieve our goals.”


21 thoughts on “Writer’s Log: 2250 Friend or Foe

  1. Thanks for the friend/foe tip. It serves as a great reminder.
    15 hours? I think I’ve done quite a few more but can’t know for sure.
    Would you say quantity over quality? I think I’ve been struggling with both lately…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One would hope that practice make perfect, but you’re right, bad practice is worse than none at all.
      I’ve slowed way down. But hopefully, each sentence, these days, is written with elevated intent. That’s the goal anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Well, shucks. Then I be writin’ like I used to when I was just startin’ out like, few years ago, now. I admit I been tryin’ and tryin’ to larn this darn thing called writin’ well. Shucks. It’s damn hard. (grin)
          [Note: “larnin'” to write well has been the hardest endeavor I’ve ever attempted. When I find excellent writing out in the wild, I too simmer with envy.]

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Someone else said the sequestered creative and all the other BS need only start. Step at a time. While I wax metaphysical I will stop short of breathe oooooooommmmm Namaste and suggest the enemy is neither ourselves or an evil foe. It is inactivity. Not lack of busywork but inactivity in the zone. I wrote something once about “tone” and evanescence. It’s not always right, but the point is if you don’t play, tone will remain elusive. And the devil is in the approach. Sit down, demand something of yourself in this vein, on this project after no warm up, no reading your way back in and you’re screwed. Sit down, see what comes. Forget prompts, let yourself be the prompt and sketch. Unfinished stuff in the can, let it go, do whatever. The best thing I learned from synthesizers is that what you trip over on your way to a definition is way more important than perfectly bending the pitch of an oboe reed, that microsecond of embouchure garf. Getting there, because you know it’s still going to be there, ceases to be the point because this or that just happened and off you go into the rabbit hole.
    Simply start. Yeah, you need to get this or that over the hump but it’s gonna be there.
    Laughing, then, You see the contractor dude next door?
    Yeah, smokes like a chimney. Every time he walks outside he lights up
    No, a more demure laugh, I mean the daisy dukes and the boots.
    Yeah, the cutoffs are too much.
    No, too short
    Like 80s jogging shorts. With his t shirt tucked in
    And the boots.
    He’s cutting vinyl that looks like wood. It looks good. But it feels creepy…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi A.Mole,

    Your post reminds me that the devil is an angel and my lover carries a knife and should I die with the door locked my dogs will eat me. Is there any fucking hope here? Also, the beginning of your post made me laugh, so, I guess, all is not lost. Thanks. Duke

    Liked by 1 person

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