May 10, 2010

GUILT, GUILT GUILT By Gary Morgenstein

GUILT, GUILT GUILT
By Gary Morgenstein

Guilt works every time. No, I’m not talking about forgetting a loved one’s birthday. I’m talking about writing, confronting that most awful of foes – the blank page. Since I’ve launched my own radio show, co-hosting the weekly “Purple Haze” on blogtalkradio.com/media blvd, I’ve learned the different kinds of blank pages any creative person faces.

When you’re writing, you must drive yourself to write. Simple as that. No excuses. No prisoners. If you don’t have the drive and ambition, if the characters and the story and the dialogue and the visuals aren’t impelling you to whatever method of transcribing you use, then you aren’t an artist. Pure and simple. There are names for those who simply live in imaginary worlds and talk to themselves, but writer isn’t one of them. Not that writers don’t talk to themselves!

When you do radio, you confront a different kind of blank page – your audience. You see nothing. You have no feedback. You must create a world, as I do with my wonderful co-hosts Frederic, Kenn and Shaun, of controversy, insight, humor and personal chemistry. Of course, when you get a caller, you are making contact, reaching out.

Like when you write. You’re not writing for the masses. You’re writing for one person. You have no idea who that is. You can’t imagine them because the possibilities are endless. You have to hope, as you begin writing, that you can make a connection, touch someone emotionally. Nothing is as rewarding to a writer than when a reader says, I loved your book.

That is what transcending the first draft is all about. Not writing The End, though that is critical. Approach your art by conveying what you feel. I believe strongly in the words of Robert Heinlein, who wrote, Obfuscation is the last refuge of the incompetent.

Clarity is the most powerful writing tool of all.

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Gary Morgenstein is co-host of the Purple Haze radio show, Thursdays at 9PM/ET at blogtalkradio.com/mediablvd. In addition to his dating and relationship book How to Find a Woman…Or Not, Morgenstein’s novels include Loving Rabbi Thalia Kleinman, about a divorced man who falls in love with a beautiful woman rabbi; Jesse’s Girl, a powerful story about a father’s search for his adopted teenage son, and Take Me Out to the Ballgame, a political baseball thriller, as well as the baseball Rocky The Man Who Wanted to Play Center Field for the New York Yankees. His prophetic play Ponzi Man played to sell-out crowds at the New York Fringe Festival. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, surrounded by lots of books and rock and roll CDs. He is Director, Communications, for the Syfy Channel.

Please visit him at gary.garymorgenstein.com.

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