Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Tag Archives: writing

Blog Conversation about Blog Conversations . . .

It was back on February 12th of this year that I raised the idea of Blog Conversations here. Blog Conversations

At first, they were only on Mondays and Wednesdays since I hadn’t yet finished the 95 Tales in my Story Bazaar—Fridays were added in June.

And, if you’re new here, the other days of the week are reserved for re-blogs from a bevy of valuable sources…

So, here we are on one of the Friday phases of conversation and I came to the conclusion that it might be a good time to consider what we can discuss in the future…

By the way, the last conversation we were having stopped today because there were no comments on its last post—that’s the way it goes—reader comments keep the conversations going—my creativity begins new conversations…

Yet, there are times in a blogging career when my creativity seems to have gone on vacation without me, this being one of those days; so, Creativity’s cousin, Cleverness, stepped up and said, “Alex, don’t strain that brain, look back at all the conversations so far, list them, and ask the kind folks out there to suggest more topics, eh?”

And, I said, “Whoa! How clever of you...”.

So, here’s the list of titles of discussions we’ve had, so far:


Aids for Writers

How and Why Writers Write


Different Types of Readers

Traditional vs Self-Published Book Promotion

Choosing What to Read

“What Should I Write?”

Word Histories


Book Promotion


“Serious Writing”

Reading like a Writer

Truth in Fiction

Charming and Surprising Books

Traditional vs Self Publishing

Readers as Gatekeepers

Issues with Traditional Publishing


Escaping with Books ~ or ~ Escaping into Books

Now, I fully concede, any of those topics could be discussed again, and yet again; though, for now, I’m asking the Spirits of Blogging to come to my aid and inspire you to suggest other topics we might discuss here…

Are you game?

O.K.—remember, the general subjects that are allowable are Reading, Writing, and Publishing; but, any topic you can squeeze into those broad categories is just fine…

Will you help me…?

Can you spare a few minutes of your time dealing with a desperately complex world to offer your ideas?

I hope so…

But… If no one shares a comment with a topic idea (or, two…), I’ll shake my creativity awake and track one down……… :-)
If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…

For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
OR >>> Send me a free Voice Message

Even More Conversation about How and Why Writers Write . . .

So far, this conversation had posts on July 18th, 20th, 23rd, and 25thHow and why writers write

And, our discussion can continue today because the post on the 25th had a comment from an author in Germany, on the “Why” of writing:

“A Why –
“Now that is difficult. Why, for example, do I write instead of painting?
“When I was younger I painted a lot, so why have I taken to writing? There was a phase from my late childhood to my early teens when I worked on what I called “serials”. I think the idea came from watching serialized fiction on TV. For every ‘serial’ I invented a family and told their story over several decades, in one case centuries. On the top of the paper I wrote what happened in the year, then I painted a picture. It took a lot of research to find out what happened in the year I wanted to paint, what kind of clothes people were wearing, and I had to think about the people I had introduced and what should happen to them.
“A finished ‘serial’ comprised between twenty and several hundred pictures. So maybe I turned to writing because I can tell my stories in a more economic way using only language.”

It’s interesting to me that this author evolved from serialized, captioned images to telling her stories with only language…

This happened to be the 7th comment in our full conversation and each one was a totally Unique word-image of either the How or the Why of writers writing.

To me, it could be no other way, unless there’d been a series of writers from the most modern clique of genre-copycats.

Assuming we all have a unique soul (whether or not our personality is socially constrained), our creativity must be potentially just as unique.

But, consider the authors you may have read and admired for their creativity, then discovered their private lives were nothing you’d care to embrace…

So, some writers live their creativity, some create in spite of social encumbrances; and, the rest swim in the ocean of conformity.

Also, the ready availability of the means to produce a book by oneself seems to have let the conformists clog the streams of publishing.

But, I’m curious what some of you may have experienced…

I sit here in my basement apartment, scan articles on the Internet, read my books, and publish this blog—certainly not an expert on what’s actually going on in the publishing/reading world.

In fact, from my nearly constant scanning of the Internet, it appears there isn’t really much of a comprehensive view of the ratios of those three types of writers I mentioned—living their creativity, creating in spite of, and embracing conformity…

What’s your experience of the current book-world?

Plenty of brilliantly creative authors?

Some of those; but, a lot of socially-wounded writers?

Very few of either the “living their creativity” or “creating in spite of” writers and a swarm of genre-conformists?

But, of course, we still have a rich heritage of authors from many stages in humanity’s evolution—many streams feeding our ocean of books…

And, let’s not consider only fiction—there are those three “flavors” of authors writing non-fiction, too.

Perhaps I’ve given some of you something to ponder…

Perhaps some of you will be able to express what you’re pondering in a comment :-)

{EDIT} This comment arrived after we’d gone on to another conversation—It comes fromLate Night Girl

– I write to cope. I always wrote, even when my life was “normal” (whatever that is!) from teenage years on, clumsy, lots of silly useless things, but I always wrote. But my writing went traumatic and wrong for a while in the last 3 years. Long story….
– I also write to raise awareness, out my experience with workplace bullying and the huge misunderstanding of what (true) leadership actually means and the result of this “misunderstanding” being the abuse of power, which is so prevalent in today’s employment worldwide, especially with large multi-national and billion pound companies, where money incentives turns people into raging bullies. (Sorry, I am German where we do long sentences, keeping sentences short and placing the commas at the right spots is not my strength).
– And then I write because it is plain fun!

I don’t know, I just write as it comes. I don’t know anything about rules or Haikus or Sonnets, I just have a bunch of letters in front of me and my fingers start to dance on them.
I kind of live by one rule, like the Robin William character in “Dead Poet’s Society” instructing his students to rip out a certain page of their lecture book, and start thinking and writing for themselves. That’s the rule I write by.

If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…

For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
OR >>> Send me a free Voice Message

Still More Conversation about How and Why Writers Write . . .

This particular discussion began on July 18th and continued on July 20th and July 23rd… Why writers write

And, the reader comment that let me continue the conversation today was from an author in the United Kingdom:

“My writing is usually inspired by some kind of injustice. I feel strongly enough about something in the news or someone I have met, to try to write about it and change people’s views. I want to leave a legacy of books that reflect life today while at the same time trying to right wrongs – the way I found impossible as a local politician as I was always in opposition. From the way disabled folk are treated to the warning of scams on the elderly, each book covers an aspect of life that I wish I could influence.
I hope this is what you were looking for – Julie.”

I’d mentioned to Julie that the comments on the July 20th post were both about How writers write and that hers was about the Why

If this post encourages you to comment, consider exploring either the how or the why of writing, or both :-)

But, to respond to Julie’s comment, I feel my own writing is driven by a sense of justice, even if I focus on a character who’s breaking every precept of equity…

Julie’s comment about not being able to aid justice while she was a local politician is most interesting to me, a citizen of the USA; since, no matter the outrage I feel about the political situation in my own country, I work to avoid writing directly about United States politics—that would just feed into the turmoil and opposition and do nothing to induce a sense of unification… (though, there are times I complain when among friends—I’m also working to stop that since my friends shouldn’t have to put up with my ranting…)

In my stories, I put the politicians in an unidentifiable fictional world, even plop them down on planets orbiting other stars… That way, folks can have a discussion about their antics; but, it can be much calmer and more sane than an argument about personal politics…

But, why do I try to avoid enflaming folks’ political positions in my writing?

Because, oppositional politics is ripping my country apart and I’m just not the type of writer who wants to aid or encourage dissolution…

I feel I can hint and point at dysfunction while also showing folks who’re attempting resolutions; and, hopefully, I won’t trigger any real political storms…

I’ve never read Julie’s work; but, from how she’s written about her Why-of-Writing, it seems she might agree with me…

Obviously, it would be extremely rare to find only one kind of why in a given piece of writing—our whys seem more capable of mingling than our hows…


If you write, what are some of your Whys?

And, if you don’t write, what type of Whys do you like in your reading?


You may want to comment on the How of writing………
If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…

For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
OR >>> Send me a free Voice Message

Yet More Conversation about How and Why Writers Write . . .

This discussion began on July 18th and continued on July 20th… How I write

And, I’d expressed a wish in that last post:

“Please let me know, at some level of depth, how the craft of writing occurs for you…

“Not, perhaps, in the form of a ‘how-to’; but, in the form of the feelings that carry the writing to the page—the motivational urgings that form the words—the play of the soul that creates the message…”

There were two comments fulfilling that wish…

First, was an author from Germany:

“I’m not sure if understand your wishes, Alex. Let’s see…
“I remember that I was several times angry. In one case, I watched a documentary and I thought, ‘That is not the whole truth. It’s a strand of truth, but other strands are never mentioned. This is too easy.’ Shortly afterwards I started on what was to become my first published novel.
“When I look at my manuscripts, I think there was always a feeling that I had to find a different angle, that the obvious could not explain… When I write, I don’t notice much about my surroundings. I write until I come to a natural stop. And, when I reread what I have written, I’m often surprised.”

Obviously, she did understand my wish…

She’s a truth-seeker and uses her fiction to create situations that fulfill her desire for more complete resolutions of life’s issues…

She’s completely absorbed by the writing and pauses when she feels “right”…

I must admit, I, too, am often surprised by what I write—if not the totality of meanings, at least the way those meanings manifested…

Next, was the author from Australia:

“I think it’s very hard to define what ‘feelings’ carry my writing to the page. Generally speaking, it has to do with how I feel about a particular image and as time goes on that image comes to represent something metaphoric in my writing. This usually emerges slowly; and, as I feel that a certain image resonates for me, I’ll search around and examine other images that connect with it….But, it’s hard to analyse because, usually, the message I want to express only becomes clear to me as I see the metaphors developing. In that sense my writing is a journey and a discovery.”

This author’s use of imagery to call forth metaphoric meaning reminds me of a quote from Bahá’u’lláh

“I have summoned the Maids of Heaven to emerge from behind the veil of concealment, and have clothed them with these words of Mine…”

Also, the author lets images call forth other images, matrices of meaning—seemingly different from the German author who weaves truths to discover the words…

Yet, perhaps, the images of one author are the truths of the other…

There are many explanations for the amazing transfer of meaning from an author’s soul to the word-images on the page; and, many particular methods of transfer…

Still, though the exact methods may appear different, they’re variations on a single method of creation—what folks call “Writing“…

And, both authors, though seeming to approach the task with unique methods, are gifted with wonders—one receiving surprises, the other discoveries…

If it seems like I’m swimming around in a pool of changing meanings attempting to find an island of certainty, that’s exactly what I’m doing—exactly what I do when I write, whether it’s this post I watch unfold before me, or the stories I’ve written…

If you write, how do you experience it?

What’s your process like?

What are your methods or modes?

How does it feel?
If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…

For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
OR >>> Send me a free Voice Message

More Conversation about How and Why Writers Write . . .

Writer Our current conversation began on July 18th

Conversation posts are on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays…

It takes at least one reader comment to continue the discussion; and, there were three responses to the beginning of this conversation—three authors—one from the United Kingdom, one from Germany, one from Australia; and, for newcomers (and, because I began this conversation…), I’m from the U.S.A.

Here’s the comment from the author in the U.K.:

“Why do I write? To communicate ideas.
“How do I write? In spurts—when inspired to do so.
“Why do I write in these conversations? Because I miss being with fellow teachers and children who want to learn.
“Thanks Alexander.”

Again, for those new to this blog, I’m Alexander; and, if there were a way to actually measure it, I feel I have tons more thanks for the folks who step out of their day-to-day lives and commit themselves to create a comment to any of my posts…

Now, the author from Germany:

“For me writing is a way of explaining the world to myself. After the something I call ‘story’ has fermented long enough inside, it wants out. That is when I start writing. After a writing session, I read through my text; and, then, discover what has come out. There is the story, and there are the glittering facets that contain the whys and hows.”

And, the author from Australia:

“For me, creative writing is something I have always done since I learned to write. I do know my first piece of writing of importance was created when I was seven; and, from then on, I used writing as an outlet. Here’s some advice, don’t leave your first critical missive lying around for your mother to read if it is not complementary :-)

“Why am I still writing? I guess I am still trying to sort out my feelings…”

All those comments were from women—one who writes to communicate ideas, one who writes to explain the world to herself; and, one who writes to sort out her feelings…

As far as the How of their writing, one writes in spurts, one sees the how within the written story; and, one, if my inference is right, sees the how of writing as permitting an outlet to form…

I have a wish

My wish is directed primarily to those three female authors who shared their comments on the last post of this conversation; but, also, to any other writers reading this post… :-)

Please let me know, at some level of depth, how the craft of writing occurs for you…

Not, perhaps, in the form of a “how-to”; but, in the form of the feelings that carry the writing to the page—the motivational urgings that form the words—the play of the soul that creates the message…
If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…

For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
OR >>> Send me a free Voice Message