Plug for an article I wrote on my other blog about the recent Alec Baldwin kerfuffle. I honestly have no idea why this in particular inspired me to write so in-depth, but it did. Feel free to ignore, or click through if the discussion interests you.
I like some of Baldwin’s work. I had not followed the earlier kerfuffle, because, sadly, I have grown so jaundiced about public figures that “So-and-so said something homophobic” barely raises a ripple.
So I read the article.
A thing I have often said is this: everyone fucks up. The real test of a person’s mettle is how they react when called out on it.
I don’t think this article is going to win anyone over. In fact, I find myself thinking less of him for the article (not an apology, no!) than for the original incident (and we’ll get to that. He certainly does).
I am tempted to do a line-by-line on this, but it would be tedious for me, and tedious to read. Let me summarize, though, with some reaction as we go.
The title, "Good Bye, Public Life" kinda sets the tone. It’s not going to be about what he said or what he meant, it’s going to be about how being a celebrity sucks. Okay, it does suck in a lot of ways, sure, but it’s not going to win any sympathy to head it off that way.
I flew to Hawaii recently to shoot a film, fresh on the heels of being labeled a homophobic bigot by Andrew Sullivan, Anderson Cooper, and others in the Gay Department of Justice.
"Gay Department of Justice"? Jesus Christ. I know he’s trying for hyperbole and humor, here, but come on. Starting off by presenting himself as the victim always goes well. I keep wanting to chastise him for writing a non-apology, but it is clear from the start that this is never intended to be an apology. It is a chance to try to make the people who called him out feel bad, because he’s a nice guy, and knows gay people.
“So, since you’re awake at night and posting on FB, I tend to read through your blogs when I’m bored on my grave shifts. My work computer has a filter that’s based on flagged terms and phrases, and I just figured you would value knowing that your blogs get tagged as Italian Pornography. Hahaha!”—Sara Love, a friend of mine on Facebook.
Liquid Sky was the touching tale of an invisible UFO in search of some heroin that came across a New York City apartment in the 1980’s, and decided to toy with a New Wave drug dealer and her androgynous fashion model lover. Well, it…
I am actually pretty jazzed about this. Liquid Sky is super-obscure, but I fell in love with it immediately when I saw it in the 80s.
Love to see how it is handled for a modern audience.
Me and a few other people were talking at the end of last year about doing a Lynch based zine of some kind, but for whatever reason it wasn’t able to happen. Instead I thought I’d do #DrawLynch and then maybe material for a zine could be taken from that.
So the idea is that you can do a portrait of Lynch or take inspiration from any of the various projects he’s undertaken as long as Lynch is in there somewhere.
So either email me at email@example.com or post your entry on twitter with the hashtag #DrawLynch preferably copying me in to the tweet.
A C: I am trying to find the answer to How do I write a novel too!! plenty of ideas… no clue how to do it… classes locally??? any advice?
Scott Maddix: Well, personally, I have already written one, have a manuscript for another, and strong beginnings for a third. When I am not in depression, writing is a great joy to me, and often a way to put myself in a good mood. Something I look forward to.
For me: I’d take some creative writing courses, if you don’t feel confident about your skill, sure, but READ a lot, and WRITE a lot. As three-edged-sword says above, the key is to find what it takes to JUST DO IT.
For me, the sort of breakthrough moment was the year I did NaNoWriMo, determined to simply make as many words as needed. I wrote thousands of short scraps of stories. Out of those, a few fully-developed short stories arose. I collected the best of them into Chunnel Surfer II.
With the confidence of a few short stories, I then felt like I could tackle a larger story, and wrote Patchworld (that’s the manuscript), a more traditional novel. Still needs a significant edit, and that’s a whole other set of skills. That’s what the classes are going to be good for. But for the writing, Just Do It is actually, yes, the best advice. Give yourself permission to write crap, put words on the page, even if you’re writing laundry lists or copying out books, it’ll get your brain and your fingers used to the task. Write things in the “wrong” format: poetry, screenplay, interoffice memo, video game script. Practice writing in the style of your favorite authors, as well as writers you don’t like so much. Then as it gets comfortable, start to segue into writing complete stories.
For every completed/published work, I’d say most writers have thousands of false starts, scraps, scribbled ideas on the back of napkins.
I also like to keep an “ideas” file, where I keep those napkins, pictures from magazines, news articles, etc. So if there’s a lull in my creative outflow, I can sort of browse through and get ideas, maybe pick two or three unrelated things and try to imagine a story that includes all of them.
Ask yourself “what if…” a lot.
Read a lot.
Have lots of experiences. Watch movies. Go to the mall and eavesdrop. Spend a day at the park watching people, imagining backstories based on their clothes and how they walk.
Have friends willing to read your stuff in its raw form and give you feedback — but be sure to allow yourself to ignore it! But still, it is useful and important to LISTEN to your first readers. If you find one that is really good at analysis and feedback, who won’t just say, “it’s great, honey!” — hang onto them. They are precious.
Read some more.
In a few weeks, or months, I’ll be able to get back on that horse, but for now I can only want to want it, and wait.