5 Devices I Demand From My Self As A Writer

Very often I find my Self tired or uninspired by blog posts about blog posting. Yet, I do find that it is necessary to imbibe and scour the thoughts of successful writers of this new media. Granted, our dear creator did not see fit to create all writers with equal portions of skill, and more than not, a success in a Capitalism is not based on talent or merit, but popular appeal, market attention, and/or fill in your own blanks. So, over the years, I’ve grown to scan posts before I actually read them, in hopes that they will contain 5 of the most salient elements I need to be satiated as a reader. Given these elements work to parch my needs as a reader, I’ve grown to demand that these ingredients be found in all of my written dishes.

 

1) Emotional Appeal

 

    It helps to be passionate about the topic you are discussing. Even more, it helps to know your audience well enough to know what they are passionate about. One of the devices in a writer’s tool kit should be the ability to make interesting connections, or analogy. This is at root of the poet’s simile or metaphor. Often it does not need to be very pronounced, in fact, it is better to be nuanced. Much of the success of the writing of the Boondocks is Aaron McGruder and his team’s ability connect what is seemingly unrelated in very comical and appealing ways. His use of a character, Lil’ Milton, that alludes to a real life child and his grandmother and using that news story alongside a theme based on “Juice” and comparing Lil’ Milton to the role of Bishop made popular by the late great Tupac Shakur was a remarkable manner of connection and emotional appeal.

 

Did you see what I did there?

 

2) Logically Sound

 

    Most of the writing we come across is an attempt to persuade. This means that the writing has to present an argument of one sort or the other. What I have noticed online in blogs is that many writers tend to lean on the ignorance or need to belong of their audience. This often makes for a logic that, although sound, not always cogent. Logic is the study of methods fr evaluating whether the premise of an argument adequately supports its conclusion. In this study, there are deductive arguments and inductive arguments. Deductive arguments are those arguments that we define as arguments composed of premises that guarantee the conclusion. Deductive arguments are arguments in which the premises are intended to make the conclusion more probable, without guaranteeing it. Now, there are also valid arguments where if the premises are true, then the conclusion is true. Then there are invalid arguments, in which it is not necessarily true that if the premises are true, the conclusion is true. This leads to sound and unsound argumentation. A sound argument is a valid argument whereby all the premises are true. An unsound argument is one that either is invalid or has at least one false premise.

 

That being given, and writers expecting that their audiences agree with certain positions without question, can lead to a litany of posts and essays being very unsound. In my experience, what makes an argument invalid is usually a lack of information or a refusal to consider certain perspectives on a topic. The argument that some present in support of a post-racial USA is that racism no longer exists. Now, this demands a few definitions, that if not defined, or if simply presented along accepted lines of thought, will yield an invalid postulation.

 

I can handle contradictions. A part of logic is the ability to inject a contradiction into any argument. What I seek as a reader– and what I seek to present as a write — is an argument that reflects a well researched position. At least consider the most common oppositions to your presentation. I do not expect every piece written to be a bit of exceptional polemics, but I do expect that you’ve considered more positions than the one you are presenting.

 

3) Layered & Below The Surface Commentary

 

    I did not expect such a smooth segue, but there it was. For more than just persuasive considerations, I seek works that dig beneath the obvious or the most common thoughts on a topic. I am a fairly well-read person, and I demand that it shows in my writing. When reading pieces that reflect no more than would could be gleaned at a barbershop, I quickly dismiss the writer as just writing for quantity purposes. I do not subscribe to the school of thought that demands that writers present materials that an 8th grader should be able to imbibe. I demand more of my Self as a reader, and thusly, I demand more of my readers. More importantly, I want to present more to my readers, and unless you are in the business of writing 8th grade fiction or textbooks, I would suggest you not treat your audience like teeny bops.

 

To be a good writer, I believe it begs a lot of reading. It also asks that I seek various sources of commentary on differing positions. Typically, those that I consider “beneath the surface” writers, are also the type of people that can suspend judgment and consider at least three completely different worldviews alongside their own. Although, I, like most people, find numbers sexy, I do not just seek quantified data, but also qualified data such as anecdotes and quotes from those that lend their perspectives to the topic. It just speaks volumes to me about how much a wrter appreciates their audience when they go the extra distance for them.

 

4) Sources Cited

 

    In the same vein, do not just hurl data at me without considering how much I might trust you. Cite your sources. Not just because you were told to do so in school, not just because it is ethical, but because I might want to follow that same rabbit hole and see what goodies I might be allowed to find. Especially for those that consider them Selves “bloggers”. Links are the internet. Google is a megalithic empire because of links. Connect your readers to those that you are gleaning inspiration and knowledge from. Treat your readers like adults. Treat your readers like they have a well-developed system of critical thinking that would cause them to question your sources. Treat your readers like they have a refined sense of curiosity and might be wondering what shoulders your feet have stood on. Do not treat your readers like enemies you have to keep secrets from. Plus, it only makes your writing that much more professional and authoritative when you present your sources.

 

5) Imagery

 

Humans are a very visual being. Our first set of writing communications were pictograms. Much of what is emotionally appealing is that ability to present visual cues, either through our vivid words or actual images or illustrations. Beyond logic and beyond layered presentations, we have to remember that life moves along a dynamic constant we refer to as time, and all of our present movements cascade into the future. We are escape artist by function. Regardless of the writing, it should take me out of my present space in some sort of fashion. Whether that be giving me action cues to improve my well-being, or to create a completely fantastic world that does not exist outside of the collective imagination: writing should move us from our present states.

 

I expect vivid words that lift life from the page. I expect brilliance of thought that details and explores the writer’s perspective. I want to read works that play with ideals I have not imagined. And in my desire to read such, I demand that I also write in such fashion.

Committed to the Asylum – An Intro to Peace

i’m the type to align words with war when the world don’t seem right
asked the Father for the right to use my writing as a way to make a way in this place
traded the faces of Jackson and Benjamin for scripts, leaving scripture to be washed by tears from my pen
the sin of trading a gift for gold left my present depleted
so I began to seek
wanted to return to the way of the ink
the Sun Tzu of the former link
click the Bic and see what web it weaved
left my thoughts like a blot on loose leaf
blogs never seen me cuz Mead owned me
I was a slave to the art
turned my words into a sword and slayed the naysayers who dared to say something
kept pumpin until I got dumped by employers
well more like I jumped ship cuz it was never my mission
they say you work for pay well it was easier to pray for work
that way I knew it was from God
took no time for me to go stupid, went on a true flip from corporate climbing to being a flight risk from city to city
nickel and diming, selling icies while trying to make it in that glittery limelight where musicians sell their craft to witches and stick their dicks in prostitutes for praise/
went about my way and made it home
once again, the rolling stone trespassed the gates of hell hoping to make a deal with Satan just to keep him at bay
no not sell my soul but separate my fate from the fantasy of making it in the land of “can we get free, will I grow old as a slave?”

took two years to see what liberty means/

consider this submission my voluntary imprisonment/

committed to the asylum for the sake of seeking peace/

the return to papyrus sheets and quills dipped in blood to make it real/

watch how trill it gets with the thoughts that I spill/

shouts to Owl for making the deal with a mental criminal who knows no subliminals/

literally speaking, I’m figuratively leaking/nothing bleak shall inherit the earth cuz worth after birth is like placenta, just girth/

push that weight out with every word I let out/

asking the Father for a breath as I died a long time ago when I sold my gifts for a bit of bread/

the rats took my cheese after a particular tax season so instead I cash my checks and keep my dough in the oven for a reason/

I’mma leave this, but blessed be the ones who read this cuz after all the ego, being schizo is a relief/

i’m committed to the asylum in an effort to seek peace but if destruction comes before I’m healed then pray the Lord, my soul, He keeps.

 

Amen.

I Am Me By Universal Law…

There is a guy who played with hot wheels and tonka trunks during his childhood. He only had a couple and had to trade other children for theirs in order to possess more. He spent a considerable amount of time playing “that’s my car” while growing up. He didn’t study Neitchze like myself, or ponder the ideas of Elijah Muhammad like me, but he studied the make and model of all of the lines of Mustang and Impala. He can tell you which types of exhaust pipes you should purchase, just as fast I can tell you which speech a particular quote of Malcolm came from.

And when I went out and got a degree, he went to work and bought a real car. He put as much work into that car as I have put into this blog and my literary career. He put those big rims on his car, like I’m putting all of these big thoughts into your head. That guy is one of my best friends.

My interests don’t have to be the interests of every member of the black race. That should not be a consideration, actually. The customs and cultures of every people on the face of the earth at some point converge the material. Is the Mexican any less a contributor to his community because he has mastered the art of car design? Is the white guy who has been practicing his pitch since he was in the backyard throwing wiffle balls at his father’s hands any less a contributor to his race because he plays baseball?

My “blackness” is not a limit, it is not a “scope”. There is no range of expression. I am black. The apple is an apple because it is. We as a people who have been forced to unite under very trying conditions should still not be forced to have to act and like the same things. As a political group, sure, there are things that I expect…being able to dance isn’t one of them. Sorry.

There is this dichotomy within the American Black community that has to be addressed. My background doesn’t infringe on my foreground, the universe is the greatest artist and writer. My story is perfect for the universe. My degree, my educated-ness doesn’t stop me from walking through the projects and my family waving at me.

Sure, I can write in syncopated seconds, and enunciate every syllable with a crispness that would make Frederick Douglas proud. I can also cook crack and bring it back with at least a two third measure extra on it. Now what?

My political ties to the Black peoples of the US do not infringe my habits, or hobbies. I define Black. I add to and take from that definition by my presence and activity. I create the new paradigms that others will CHOOSE to conform to. I borrow from other cultures what I feel like, and remix them with a Mile Davis cut, and give them to you in my Malcolm X voice.

I am Black by social conditions, I am ME by universal law.

Infinite Development

Building on the last article I posted, I was thinking about my own book, “The Better You.” If you haven’t purchased a copy, I would really like to suggest that you do. In that book, I actually explain how I myself got the book to exist, and how I got it sold. I am now in the process of reworking the steps I outline in the book. The book itself is a workbook, and what I am now using my own formula to do is to get the book self-published. I realize that I will need to write another book, that will outline the new principles I am learning, and applying while getting the book published.

I typed all that in order to get you ready for this next statement: You can never grew enough. You can never stop developing your better self. If you choose to, then yes. But it really is your choice. I believe highly in seeing things in a new light. As a person who has seen the worst that life has to offer, I often have to pull back from a situation and reanalyze it. I have to ask myself certain questions.

Is the situation truly that bad?

Is there something I’m not seeing?

Is there more to this than what is surface, or superficially revealing itself?

Is there a way that I can reframe this?

What are the positives, or the beneficial elements of this particular situation?

What have I learned from this situation?

What can I take from this and apply to another situation that I feel comfortable handling?

The list goes on. The major lesson that I ask all my readers to garner is to have a relaxed and balanced attitude. Trust me, there is no situation in existence that deserves your panic mode. A balanced mind is a sharp shooter on the roof who has been assigned the mission of eliminating all enemies in your walk. Will they always get the enemy, no. But it is better to have them there, then to have some frantic killer trying to get rid of your enemies. Your obstacles need to be defined by a flexible standard. There is simply no way you are going to overcome setbacks and concerns with panic. As I wrote in my book, yes, there are many lessons that come with the chaotic mindset, but if you form the habit of trusting the chaos, then you will only dive further into chaotic situations. Trust the ordered mind. Trust the soul at rest.

My name is J. Farand. I am the Owl of the Owl’s Asylum. This is my story. Thank you for paying attention…

Definition of the Definers…

Been involved in several very enlightening conversations today. In all of them I realized the need for more tempered thought in the Black community. I am not a pacifist. And I am not one, because I choose not to be. And in that not choosing to be, I demonstrate my right to self-determination.

Self-determination….

What many people have lost in this life is the ability to decide which course they actually want to take. Many of us, some of the most successful of us, have found that we have been living according to the dreams of others. I am apart of that number. I lived a life of rebellion because I believed in the code of the streets. I admired the ghetto entrepreneurs, and I felt they had the things that made life worth living. Now, that I have become them, I am not so sure. I have dedicated my life to creating. Whether through the visual graphics I produce, or the written word, or even through the oral recitation of my works…I have decided to create new paradigms. I am determined to be my SELF. To record what I believe to be the best of my SELF. To report of the misfortunes of my worst SELF. But to always grow and move toward my better SELF.

I have been told that the SELF is like the old model of the atom: having the neutral, positive and the negative. I can see where that discussion is going, and yet I also understand that we all have to define what it is that we deem as negative. We all are GODs of the manifest. WE all are extensions of the ever-defining Definer. And thus, it is our duty to ourselves to define that which will be negative and that which will be positive. Life has blessed the thinkers, and creators with on certain thing about humanity…there will always be enough conforming to the rule makers, the question is whether you are a rule maker, or another spotted goat in the herd.

It is your choice…I’m still slanging red pills if you need one…