Excerpts from Reasoning With Vampires
A combination of a question mark (also known as the “interrogative point”) and an exclamation mark (known in printer’s jargon as the “bang”). Usually used at the end of a question asked in an excited or agitated manner. Sometimes as ?! and sometimes as…
From “Martin K Spektor, 73, Creator of Interrobang”, printed in The New York Times on 16 February 1988:
The mark is said to be the typographical equivalent of a grimace or a shrug of the shoulders. It applied solely to the rhetorical, Mr. Speckter said, when a writer wished to convey incredulity.
For example, the interrobang would be used in an expression like this: ‘You call that a hat?!’
“For someone with a continuous drive to create music, Lightbody was shocked to find himself suffering a crippling bout of writer’s block last year.” – Mark Savage, BBC News
There’s an article on BBC News about Snow Patrol’s new album Fallen Empires and singer/songwriter Gary Lightbody’s writing process. It’s fascinating to read as writer’s block is not something that’s talked about often, almost like it’s a harbinger of bad luck on the same level as mentioning Macbeth on stage.
It’s something that’s hit me like a truck more than once in both writing and musical terms, but I’ve been lucky. Since I’ve never been reliant on it for a steady income I can decide not to write for 2 or 3 months, even 2 or 3 years, and all I have to worry about is finding a new hobby to fill my spare time.
To have a career that relies on your own creativity is a whole new kind of pressure – you’re not writing just because you want to, you’re writing because you have to. The change to having a deadline to meet and other people to please is a shock to the system after years of only pleasing yourself. I experienced a little of this when I was a part-time freelance photographer and had to take wedding photos that not only met my own exacting standards but also provided a suitable reminder of the beautiful, fairytale event for the bride & groom.
As far as I can tell. the only solution to a lack of inspiration is just to work through it. It’s the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) approach – write for the sake of writing and focus on quantity rather then quality. Eventually you’ll hit on something that points you in the right direction like a sparkling, motivational gold seam.
“The best advice I got, and this sounds ridiculous, was ‘writers write’. Avoiding writing is the worst possible thing to do – but that’s what I was doing. I was too frightened to even pick a pen up. So writers write. Even though it sounds so prosaic, it’s absolutely true. You do it until it works, and that’s what I did.” – Gary Lightbody
Read the full article at BBC.co.uk
NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. The idea is that you start on the 1st of November, aim for quantity over quality, and by midnight on the 30th of November you have a novel of about 50,000 words (about 175 pages).
It doesn’t matter if half of it doesn’t make sense, you’ve got as long as you want for edits and rewrites so the important thing is that you finish it. It’s a perfect project for anyone who’s ever thought “I could write a book, it can’t be that difficult!” or “Look at Twilight, if that can hit the best seller list anyone can do it!”
From NaNoWriMo.org :
In 2010, we had over 200,000 participants. More than 30,000 of them crossed the 50K finish line by the midnight deadline, entering into the annals of NaNoWriMo superstardom forever. They started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.
Sure I’m running a choir, organising a concert, starting an agency, planning several photo shoots and I’ve only been in my new job a week, but who can resist a sell like that?!
“Dammit I’m mad” by Demetri Martin
(The entre poem – yes, the entire poem – reads the same forward as backward. Genius, no?)
Dammit I’m mad.
Evil is a deed as I live.
God, am I reviled? I rise, my bed on a sun, I melt.
To be not one man emanating is sad. I piss.
Alas, it is so late. Who stops to help?
Man, it is hot. I’m in it. I tell.
I am not a devil. I level “Mad Dog”.
Ah, say burning is, as a deified gulp,
In my halo of a mired rum tin.
I erase many men. Oh, to be man, a sin.
Is evil in a clam? In a trap?
No. It is open. On it I was stuck.
Rats peed on hope. Elsewhere dips a web.
Be still if I fill its ebb.
Ew, a spider… eh?
We sleep. Oh no!
Deep, stark cuts saw it in one position.
Part animal, can I live? Sin is a name.
Both, one… my names are in it.
Murder? I’m a fool.
A hymn I plug, deified as a sign in ruby ash,
A Goddam level I lived at.
On mail let it in. I’m it.
Oh, sit in ample hot spots. Oh wet!
A loss it is alas (sip). I’d assign it a name.
Name not one bottle minus an ode by me:
“Sir, I deliver. I’m a dog”
Evil is a deed as I live.
Dammit I’m mad.
A psychological disorder that inhibits an individual’s ability to articulate his or her thoughts by temporarily forgetting key words, phrases or names in conversation. First identified by Carl Jung in 1913. Very prevalent today but highly variable in it’s severity.
So, there you go. It’s not just me being forgetful it’s a proper, you know… thing.