Utilizing writing as a means for income to support yourself and/or your family requires great effort if you are to succeed. One should not think in terms of how “exiting” it might be to be a writer. Although being a writer has its benefits, the fine point of becoming a writer is to realize that writing is hard work.
It requires one to be creative, to focus on detail, to discipline oneself, to be professional at all times, to always be open-minded to how you can take your writing talent and abilities to the next level, to be on a constant schedule of marketing oneself, etc. Writing requires deep thought. There are those times when writing that one has to call upon their innermost being to bring out of themselves that which is necessary to write what they are writing.
What Writing Takes
At times when writing, the writer might spend days perfecting one sentence. Being a writer requires patience, perseverance, mental strength, determination and a willingness to sacrifice their leisure time to become successful as well as maintaining and taking writing success to the next level. You can read more about writing on my website. If you have questions, comments, and/or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Donald L. Vasicek
Olympus Films+, LLC
The Zen of Writing
If you eat a tortilla with cannabis butter, within 15 minutes, your body will feel an electrical-like blitzkrieg coursing your body. This charge is a dichotomy. It reverberates throughout your organs, muscles, nerves, etc. Your body is charged. Yet, your mind, which is part of your body for those of you who failed Biology 101, relaxes. And you are fine for the time.
Can you name the theme for this story? What defines the story? One word? Cannabis.
With theme, whether you’re writing a t.v. commercial, an online ad, a short story, a poem, a book about engineering, a novel, an article for a legal journal, a screenplay, etc., theme is what holds everything together that you are writing. Just like the cannabis theme for the above story, without cannabis in the story, it would be anyone’s guess as to what the theme is.
In my Disney-type screenplay, “The Real Ghost”, a boy is racing his bicycle in the dark night to sneak a meet with his girlfriend. It is a small town. As he whizzes past the corner convenience store, one end of a sign advertising Marlboro cigarettes, drops. The sign swings and clangs in a quiet breeze. Frightened by the silence in the street and his not supposed to be doing this attitude, with no one present, the boy glances over his shoulder at it. What is the theme here?
“The Real Ghost” is about a teen boy who tells stories that aren’t true. At the meeting place, his girlfriend yet to arrive in the yard of an abandoned house, he suddenly sees Babe Ruth appear. When he tells everyone in town of this sighting, they accuse him of lying, like he did last summer when he told everyone he saw Sammy Mango walking in Butch Carlisle’s yard at 1 a.m. Seems Sammy had been dead for several years, the victim of a falling pallet of landscaping rocks while sneaking a toke of a joint at the local lumber yard.
Has anyone guessed the theme of this movie yet? Lying is the theme of the movie. The Marlboro sign dropping and swinging reflects the theme of lying. The boy has lied to his parents. He told them he was going over to the gym to shoot baskets. They had forbidden him from seeing his girlfriend, because her father is the mayor, and the mayor does nothing in the town but blow smoke. They don’t want him influencing their boy in anyway, particularly since their boy already blows smoke himself, just to get attention. The clanging sign is a warning to the boy that what he is doing is wrong because he lied to his parents, and the boy doesn’t heed the warning.
By telling everyone that he saw Babe Ruth, the boy’s problems about lying escalate.
The fine point of theme is that it should be reflected in some form, physical, or mental,
in every change of location or time regarding what you’re writing. Every time! It matters not what you are writing. It matters yes that you paste your theme on your and in your characters, their surroundings, and their time in what your are writing. This approach to writing theme will have the same effect that the roots of a tree has. Without the roots, there would be no tree. Without theme, there is no story. Without story, there is just a blob of words. Without a tree, there is no shade.
Warning: Watch out for falling pallets of landscaping rock.
What I learned several years ago was
to push myself to write. By writing
at the same time each day, even if
it is for 15 minutes, I write. If it is
not writing an article, screenplay,
book, etc., but just writing, I write,
at the same time each day. This
approach to writing is vital to
the professional writer. It is like
professional athletes do before
a practice or a game, they loosen
up to reduce the danger to injuries.
A writer must loosen up before they
write, or they will experience an
injury, some refer to as “writer’s
I select something about which to
write. A pen setting on the table
in front of me, for example. I
study the pen. I think about the
pen. I ask myself, “What can I
write about this pen for 5 minutes?
I define the shape, the color, and
the angle to the table the pen is
laying. I define the metal clip
on it. I define the steel tip on it
I define the color of the ink in
the pen. I note the name of the
pen. I write about the pen in a
Zen-like story form. I take all
of these elements and put them
together in a fashion that tells a story
about the pen. The theme of
the story, is the pen. The theme
is what holds every story together,
like the roots of a tree.
One can always write. The question
is, how much brilliance does one
have to write, when the mind
refuses to give one anything to
write? This is when the writer
must take charge and write.
When one desires to write their article,
screenplay, book, personal letter,
business letter, etc., and has
difficulty in getting started for the
day, or night, or what have you,
do a writing exercise such as I have
described above. This warms up the
mind to turn to what one sets down
to write in the first place. Write only
long enough to get the mind to
working again, before you return to
what you want to write.
And remember, anything anyone
writes is brilliant. It’s just a matter
of how the writer puts what they
write together, that defines brilliant.
I hope this has been of help to you.
Donald L. Vasicek
Olympus Films+, LLC