The Creative Process

A New Direction

Hello friends,

It’s time for a new direction.

Beside the Queue, as it is, has run its course, I think. While my initial intent was for this blog to be a hub of review, links, and musings – and that’s just what it was for a time – it never lived up to lofty expectations that I had for it. And that’s primarily my fault as my many interests and projects stole my attentions.

As it’s turned out, there are plenty of outlets available to me where I can post my reviews and thoughts on art as icon, a particular passion of mine. In particular, some new projects are popping up here soon, projects about which I am abundantly excited and which I hope will capture your attention as much as they have mine. But they are a work in progress. And with them this blog is, well, practically unnecessary.

However, I have been thinking for some time that it could be put to better use.

As many of you know, perhaps my greatest artistic passion is the written word (some of you might be saying, “well what about film?” to which I say, “well, yeah, but there is written word in film too! and besides, writing is what I do best”). After all, language is, in my opinion, God’s most miraculous gift to mankind. He gave us the ability to use the tool by which he created the universe. He spoke things into existence and then gave us the ability to, essentially, do the same. I think that’s pretty spectacular.

Of course, the use of language is both dangerous and powerful; it is a weapon and therefore it is important that we learn to yield it well and appropriately. That is what I am hoping to do as I extend my education and as I battle through learning how to writer better, how to say what I want – and need – to say more appropriately.

So from now on, this blog is meant to be a record of my journey in learning to use words appropriately, a record of learning to write. Well, hopefully.

As a fiction writing student I am often coming across new books on the creative process, books full of fabulous quotes – both challenging and encouraging – and ideas and methods and tools. Books like Annie Dillard’s classic Living By Fiction, Wendell Berry’s Standing By Words, The Art of Fiction by John Gardner, and of course, Flannery O’Connor’s Mystery and Manners. As I learn from fine books like these I intend to share ideas from them. The beauty is that no writer, or artist of any kind, is ever done learning. It’s a lifelong process. It’s hard work but its beautiful, wonderful hard work. Its worthwhile.

But I don’t foresee this blog, this journal of learning to write, as being useful for the writer alone. The ideas and truths that lend themselves to good writing also may prove valuable to other art forms.

And when I come a great novel or short story, or I watch an inspiring film, or a film that has something to say about the creative process… well, then I’ll be sure to pass it along. I plan to mix in plenty of rave reviews with the rest of the musings.

Be warned, however. Some of my posts will explore things like editing, and the decisions that go into revision. I hope that these posts will facilitate discussion and debate. I hope to learn from you folks too! From time to time I’ll post a section of a story I am working on (perhaps including a before and after type progression) and will explore why I made the decisions I did, where I think it’s weak, how something came to me. Sometimes I’ll simply ask for advice.

My goal in all this is to learn to wield the weapon that is language in the best way possible. To share that learning with you, to learn alongside you. I want to stand on that queue with you, and, ultimately, climb further up and further in with you by my side and I by yours.

Welcome to Beside the Queue.

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