Helping Others in Literary Pursuits

Museum of the Hand

Museum of the Hand

I’m a mood writer. You might have read that before.  I usually create a full-fleshed and “real” story in my mind, from start to finish, and then when the mood strikes me, I’ll type it all up. It’s all self-contained in the first entry, except for the requisite revisions, etc. Sometimes, I’ll have a dream, just as I did for my psychological erotica short, “The House of Doom, Dreams and Desire”, in totality and vivid detail. Upon awakening, I immediately went to my computer and recorded my subconscious thoughts. It took approximately four hours of non-stop keystrokes which later left my fingers and forearms in agony, but I felt it was worth it.

There are other times, although I’ve written up a synopsis or outline for a story, despite loving my characters and the power of their emotions, I simply cannot write. Not one sentence. It can be frustrating, for it seldom coincides with “extra” time I have, when I don’t have pressing obligations elsewhere. It’s confounding to have several hours in which nothing is planned and my location is quiet, and I can’t think. Conversely, when I have several different people or projects demanding my attention, or especially a few minutes before I have to leave for work, I’ll come up with an especially brilliant idea and my thoughts are liquid fire! I know I could create something wonderful, but there’s no time.

It’s been suggested I obtain a micro-recorder, to dictate my ideas when I’m on the go, or when I am unable to go. If you’ve read my Reflections entry at Queer Magazine Online , “I’m Still Alive’, I’ve had severe health difficulties for the past year: congestive heart failure and chronic pneumonia, among other things. And I always seem to go into the hospital on a holiday, the last was Christmas 2010, or when I have other things I need to be doing like university course work. In January 2011, I spent twenty-one days flat on my back and barely cleared 1200 points out of the 1900 needed for a passing grade in Health Psychology. Usually, I have perhaps one or two days up, and then seven kaput, as we say in German.

Sometimes I feel quite discouraged. When people ask, “why don’t you have more books on the market”, or “why not longer works” or questions along these lines….they are not cognizant of my own background story, just as a character’s might be explained in a novel. It is during these all too frequent periods of illness that I turn my attention to others.

31 October 2010, I began my review and interview site, “Flying With Red Haircrow.” I take in all genres in electronic formats, including independent titles, which many review groups refuse to accept, for a variety of reasons. Some are valid and I understand, for with the newer self-publish sites like Smashwords, literally anyone can have an ebook cranked out. I  must admit, yes, some are quite bad (though I have not chosen to write a review on them, so they are not in my completed results). Yet, some are really outstanding and I have been privileged to read them. I don’t believe that simply because they are self-published they should be penalized. It’s hard to get reviews or attention to your self-published works. I know, I have two of my own. So I started “Flying” to help provide feedback to some of these worthy authors who are given tough calls where no one wants to listen to them.

18 January 2011, I submitted my review site to Smashwords and other locations across the web, and received an outstanding flood of requests, but my health continues to hamper clearing my queue. Confounded again, but I am determined. I’ve particularly enjoyed the refreshing response from many of the submitters. They tell me why they wrote a story, or what it means to them, background information about themselves or their ideas. Sometimes they send poetry they’ve written but not submitted elsewhere. I value each and every expression, their trust in me. My requirements listed do not promise to like someone’s work, and some have commented on my frankness, but not in a negative way. Certainly, they have the option to submit or not submit, but they can be assured of fairness and objectivity. They can be assured they won’t be “blown off”, mocked or dismissed.

Sometimes I cannot write if I feel unwell, nor speak of love when I am not in love. Many days I cannot even get out of bed, but whenever I can,  I help someone else achieve their writing goals. I can speak words of encouragement to those struggling with all kinds of issues from the personal to the professional.  Some days it can seem like the whole world is against you, when petty snark and pointless dramas are all that seem to swirl in the online skies, but that’s when I go back to what I care for and the many people out there who may just need someone to talk to. It costs me nothing.

My Words of Encouragement for Writers

“Do not define yourself by what you perceive as your own failure based on someone else’s announced successes.

That you thought, that you considered and reasoned and worried and hoped, shows how much heart you really have, because you care. Not just about yourself, but about the world around you, and how you are perceived, and that’s not a bad thing when it’s done in a positive way.

If we don’t care what anyone else thinks of us, and have no guide for our expressions and actions, the selfishness of our thoughts can only bring sadness to the world, and in the end, to ourselves.

If we are blown from thought to thought, place to place, emotion to emotion with no solid and positive anchor then we can be negatively affected from what anyone says even if it is opposite to what we were are working or building towards.

I speak not of arrogance, or self-acclaimed wisdom or direction, nor anything which tries to tell someone else to act without first listening to and being aware of the full range of cognitive motion and behaviours.

We have to be focused at some time. Even if we naturally have times when we have lusts, needs, desires, and very necessary wants, we have to be able to come back to the reality of necessary things: give love and positive emotions to others, release negative feelings by expression and then letting those dark emotions disperse into the ethers of joy, to go about our daily lives without trying to insult anyone, to lessen anyone, to make someone feel badly just to broadcast our own needs.”–Red Haircrow

6 Comments

Filed under Writers and Writing

6 responses to “Helping Others in Literary Pursuits

  1. Thanks for this, I know so many writer who wants to write books, but don’t have that confidence from envy individuals.

    • I can agree with this. While I very much understand the announcing and promoting of new books or projects, when it’s somewhat overboard, it can be a little exasperating or disspiriting for others. It’s a matter of balance and respect. For myself, I concentrate on my own work and helping others when I can. I am happy with their successes.

  2. Karen

    I was one of the indie writers lucky enough to get reviewed by you, and yes I was fussing and worrying the whole time having never had my work reviewed before.
    It is very impressive and admirable that someone who often has their time cut short from illness takes what precious time he does have to help others.
    Reading your kind words about my book and knowing by what you said that you ‘got it’ meant the world to me.
    I know we should not judge ourselves by what others say but your review validated me and the years of work I poured into my book. I cannot thank you enough for spending your precious time on a ‘nobody’. The German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said that “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”
    Your actions speak loudly about your character and I am honored our paths crossed.

    Thank you again.

    • I think it is just a part of being human that we cannot help, in some way, “to be ourselves” based on the perceptions of others. As children, we look to and are naturally validated by others, those around us, especially our parents, so it carries over into adulthood. That’s why the experiences of childhood, things which occur can mark us so deeply our entire life. I don’t think it’s necessarily a fault. I think it is simply respectful to treat others in the way we also wish to be treated.

      You are not a nobody. I don’t consider anyone a nobody, not anyone on their earth or beyond. I do this for the love of, because I believe everyone deserves someone to care about themselves or their work, in some way. If I can help in any way, it enrichs my life and being also.

      It’s not often I can blush. You made me. I have to give you accolades for that. I consider it a privilege that you trusted me with your work in a very personal way.

  3. Pingback: Updates and News on Flying With Red Haircrow | Flying With Red Haircrow

  4. Pingback: Updates and (Early) Well Wishes for 2012 | Songs of the Universal Vagabond

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