The process of creative writing, from an uneducated, dyslexic idiot with no qualifications
If you’re sitting there staring at a blank screen, or piece of paper, not knowing what to write, you’re going nowhere.
Nobody gives a fuck if you have a BA, or an MA or some other qualification for creative writing; it ain’t gonna help – wondering what to write is nowhere-bound. You’re trying so hard, you get nowhere. You know where, nowhere!
Get up and go out.
Grab a beer on the way and drink it walking down the street. If you’re not tuff, act hard, if you are tuff, play the fool. Look people in the eye, so you can see through their windows, see what they really are. Start a fight, it doesn’t matter if you win, or lose. Or fuck someone, a real dirty fuck. Put some effort into it, make it epic. Do something visceral, act like a cunt, or do something you haven’t done before. Do something you’re not allowed to do. Go and steal something. Don’t be afraid.
Think differently around things, look at them inside out, upside down. Throw left, or right wing politics, or concepts of right and wrong out the window. Instead of being politically correct, noble, or moral, play devil’s advocate next time you argue. Fuck with other people’s ideals and sensibilities, twist ‘em up and get in their heads. Don’t come with a fixed point of view, but counter attack with flexibility of free thought, watching from above, taking out the weaknesses in their fixed ideas. Look for the feeble words in their arguments and swipe the ankles, like a hunter taking out the lame member of a herd. It doesn’t matter if you’re wrong. Words are magic.
Look at people, their strange interactions and weird relationships. See how bizarre life is, the structures and rules we create around us for some understanding of a so-called reality which doesn’t really exist. Open up all the doors you have bolted shut in your mind, from fear, or self-preservation of your sanity, or wanting to fit in with an imagined normality, until all the monsters are released and then, let them destroy you. Laugh at sad, or disturbing events and cry when you’re happy, while listening to electronic music of a nineteen eighties video game. All this is dangerous; your magic will grow stronger.
I remember when I was a kid at school and the art teacher told us to do something based on the human body. Now I wasn’t particularly inspired at that moment, I’d already done figure drawings and a few surreal pictures with figures in. I’d even painted a half-naked nun with an upside-down cross, morphing into a cock. Anyway, I was staring at this blank paper and I knew that was going nowhere, so I put down my pencil and punched myself in the face as hard as I could. My nose burst and I let the blood drip all over the page. I called it Nosebleed. The teacher and other pupils, were quite horrified, but I was rather pleased with it. I’ve still got it.
Don’t sit there wondering what to write, just write something, anything.
Write about when you got beat up in a fight, or that time you knocked someone out with one punch, or something strange that happened when you were drunk, or high, or about what a cunt your mother is, or how you bullied some poor kid at school, or got bullied, depending on where you stood in the absurd hierarchy and pecking order of these moronic animals that we are. Write about the argument you had the other day with your brother, or the best, or worst fuck you ever had. Write about the inside out chick you found still alive after your cat played with it and how you smashed it with a brick to put it out of its dying misery and how beautiful its broken guts looked, all flattened and feathery blood mess. Write about going down on a beautiful girl and as you go to kiss her pretty little pussy, a snake suddenly shoots out of it and bites you on the face. Write about something real, or just make it up, it doesn’t matter if its bullshit, or if it makes you sound like a prick.
When I write something, it’s usually because I already had the inspiration. It could be from a dream, or real events, or just an image, a vision, or an idea that just appears in my head, like magic.
I write mostly short stories, which are about fifty/fifty fiction/true stories. In between I fuck, fight, work, steal, drink, laugh like an idiot, get into trouble, hurt, get hurt and think. I generally don’t try to write anything.
I don’t like to strain. I never squeeze out a shit. I wait ‘till its banging on the back door, so when I sit down, it just falls out with ease.
I just get ideas beamed in and the creativity spills out like magic, or vomit. I write it down as quick as I can and it feels effortless and beautiful. Making art, or writing for me is an other-world experience. The effort comes into play if I work back over it. (I don’t always do this, but sometimes it is necessary to make the best of a piece). I have a friend who is a biker and this process always reminds me of a chopper. Take a motorbike and chop it. All the fairing off, back to the basic frame and machine. Then polish it up and bolt on all the fancy accessories. I sort of do the same by chopping out the introductions, the explanations, take out unnecessary words and strip it back to raw idea, the magic. Then I fuck around with the words a bit to allow them to flow better with a rhythm of poetry and punch. This process I find equally amusing and not at all a chore. I never stare at a blank screen, or page.
I remember in a film, or maybe a TV program years ago, someone said something along the lines of don’t try, just do, or don’t do. I can’t remember the exact line, or if it was Mr Miyagi, or Yoda, or Cain from Kung Fu. Probably all three said it one way, or another. Those words always rung true to me.
So there it is, don’t force it. If you’ve got it in you, it’s in there somewhere. It will come to you when you’re not expecting. While you walk the street, or at work, or something. I work in construction and I come and go when I please, but if you work in some shitty office when this happens, up end your desk and jump out the fucking window, run all the way home and hit that keyboard hard, let it all flow out the way it comes in on a beam of golden light and don’t stop for nothing, or no one ‘til it’s all run out. Even if you have to shit in your pants, just keep going until its done with you, because you’re no longer in charge, the idea has taken over, possessed you.
You are just the vehicle, the pathway for it to enter this dimension.
***Rob True was born in London 1971. He left school with no qualifications, dyslexic and mad, in a world he didn’t fit into. He got lost in an abyss, was sectioned twice and spent the best part of a decade on another planet. He returned to earth just in time for the new millennium, found a way to get on in life, married a beautiful girl and lived happily ever after. She taught him how to use paragraphs and punctuation and his writing has been a bit better ever since. Find him on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/robjtrue ***