Setting the Mood

Light some candles, flick on your favorite smooth singer, and sit back and relax it’s time for some- writing?

This image was used alongside my short story at Since the site has been closed- I can’t find the artists name. This isn’t my painting, but someone extremely talented.

Whoah, that’s not right, is it? Ah, you thought I was going somewhere else with that right? ūüėČ Well setting the mood is also a great activity to do when you’re working on your draft. Music and atmosphere can resonate through your ears and out through your fingers letting out some of the most passionate writing you can muster or it may just distract you. Different strokes for different folks they say. I’m 50/50.

I remember when I was thirteen a friend of the families gave me my first Mp3 player; that was sometime in 2006. The world had opened and gone be the days where a bulky portable CD player would hog up my pocket space. This 512 mb gadget housed eighty or so songs and I quickly used it to add a soundtrack to my reading of the time. The latter Hogwarts years blasted by alongside the ferocity of Disturbed, the darkness of Marilyn Manson, and the angst of Linkin Park. This also led me to write many rip-off poems and lyrics that still loiter on crumbled notebooks pages buried somewhere in my desk. This sort of music helped me shape the world I was reading.

Now for creation; for many years I wrote in absolute silence. I was under the impression that any song with lyrics may influence or distract my writing, so I instead pursued a pure¬†environment¬†void of outside stimuli; essentially a step up from an isolation tank. Though sometimes it’s hard to enter the mood of a dark tale when the sun is blaring through your windows and the sounds of neighborly children are chirping outside of your windows.

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I Ride my bike, I Roller Skate, Don’t Drive No car

“I Ride my bike, I roller skate, don’t drive no car. Don’t go too fast, but I go pretty far. For somebody who don’t drive I been all around the world. Some people think I done alright for a girl” – Melanie

Or so goes an old song that one of my coworkers in the meat department sings as he cuts meat and gets dressed in blood. He talks about the 60s and 70s when times were different. When people smoked pot in public and the world almost changed, but didn’t. He talks about Vietnam and the VCs and the racial hostilities back home. It’s quite interesting, but that’s not what this post is¬†necessarily¬†about. It’s more about the song by the folk singer Melanie.

I don’t drive. I ride my bike when I need to go far and I walk when I’m feeling like I need to. I’m pushing 20 and for some reason driving itself has eluded me. I didn’t get my permit until I turned 18 and the reasons behind that lie in my foolishness throughout high school and the pointless endeavors I followed. I tried to take a legit driving test last year and failed. Wah.

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Where No One Listens

It’s 2012 and it seems that the microphones are surrounding every single move we make or words we say.

Journals are also great for writing lyrics. Yessir

No, I’m not talking about the government or some conspiracy theories that are likely true; thank you Patriot Act. No. I’m talking about the internet and its social implications.¬†Everything¬†we do online is available for the world to chronicle, archive, and read forever. I love blogging. While this blog is more niche` than others, I still find that many of my ideas I am able to share and explain without the need to feel¬†insecure. However, there is also downsides to this public nature: the decline of journaling. Journaling?Yes their may be a better verb to use, but I like the word. How many people actually write in a journal? Too few.

I just picked up a cheap¬†composition¬†notebook from the dollar store and I’ve started some writing. I barely¬†hand-write¬†anymore, so this is a pleasant change. I found an article 101 Reasons To Write a Journal, and it goes over 101 different reasons to start writing in a journal. Some of them are obvious: recording ideas, expression emotion, and plan future things. Others are less obvious: learning to trust yourself, discovering hidden talents, and unraveling romantic confusion. It truly is a great list of things, very enlightening.

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How to Work Two Jobs and Write (without going crazy)

More and more people around the world are forced to work two jobs in order to¬†counterbalance¬†the rising cost of living and avoid the pitfalls of poverty; I am one of those people. I was unable to attend this fall semester of school (for reasons I will explain in another post I’m sure) and to save up money for a car and my own place I have taken the plunge and found myself a second job at Toys r’ Us. Now here’s where things get cloud; I work at Stop n’ Shop in the mornings, Toys r’ Us on some nights (bound to get much worse come season), partake in a semi-social life, and freelance write! Ah where is all the time? Continue reading

Keeping Up the Pace

Well I missed a blog post yesterday, but what are ya gonna do? I had an idea for a pretty solid post and then of course, the joys of pointless labor kicked in. I worked at Stop n’ Shop until 1 and then Toys r’ Us until 9 at night. Lame. Well I’m not going to get all socio-political on you and explain the modern slavery of a non-resource based economy so I’m going to hop right into this madness. The madness of writing. To those who don’t really think writing is in fact madness may I explain to you the actual act of the craft (as far as fiction applies): you create people and places in the confines of your brain and then you write them down on a piece of paper. See when normal people make up people in their heads we call them crazy, but we’re not normal people are we? Oh no, we are writers and normal is as far away from reality as we choose to be.

The other day on the blog¬†I mentioned how I wanted to build my writing pace up in preparation for Nanowrimo, which if you don’t know is a writing event where writers around the world attempt to write a novel in 30 days. I began my pace at 1000 words a day and have been on and off with that. Definition? I’m only at 3000 words! I know, I know. I’m working my way back up to 1000 words and will be writing 1000 words tonight, tomorrow, and the day after. In On Writing by Stephen King, he mentions a writer who everyday of his life would write for several hours and when he would finish a manuscript, he would toss it aside and start another piece of work. This is the routine I want to start myself on and I know I will succeed with hard work.

Over the next couple days and weeks you will notice massive changes in The Gray Pen. I am hard at work at solid content, a domain name, new pages, special events, author interviews, guest posts, and tons of other good stuff. Keep your eyes pealed.

Thank you to my readers for sticking through the ups and down with me. How’s everyone doing with their own writing? Would love to hear it.


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