Into The Parisian Whorehouse
“Everyone holds his fortune in his own hands, like a sculptor the raw material he will fashion into a figure. But it’s the same with that type of artistic ability as with others: We are merely born with the capacity to do it. The skill to mold the material into what we want must be learned and attentively cultivated.”
- JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE
Some time ago it became clear to me that if we want to become apple slicing, psyche smashing, sword fighting masters of ANYTHING, we have no choice but to fully immerse ourselves in the study of that thing.
In an almost insane kind of way.
It’s one thing being born with a skill or ability, but without the single-minded motivation to educate ourselves in how to USE that ability, play with that ability, juggle it, twist, bend it, destroy and restitch it back together again, we’ll never truly master that thing.
Or realise our full potential within it.
For me, realising my writerly potential via this novel, means also entering an apprenticeship and ongoing SERIOUS study of words and language and story.
That may sound boring AF.
Please stick with me for a moment.
By serious I don’t mean a stuffy, scientific, studious sort of study.
I mean a kind of “sneak into a drug and prostitute infested underworld of Moulin Rouge style language zone” sort of study.
A “line up the tequila
and flood your neural pathways with hedonistic expression”
type of research stage.
One of those
and swim through
night sweats of verbal symbolism” phases …
“spin past metaphor meteor showers” …
“free dive into deep seas of imagination
and then wake up under a city monument,
with someone flicking a coin at your head” explorations.
The study has got to be fun.
And enough to keep you coming back for more.
In the stories about great Masters and Mavens throughout history, there’s always been this initial phase of immersed learning. During this time, their inner potential is developed and baked in the hot oven of experiment and play. Often this period of time is overlooked for, on the outside, little seems to be happening. There are no fireworks or great displays of work or achievement. But inside, like the chrysalis of a butterfly, magical things are occuring. Under the surface, behind the scenes, their minds and abilities are undergoing a great and magnificent transformation.
Then, eventually, once a person has drenched their brain in enough learning and creative juice, that juice will start to ooze out of them quite naturally.
This is how I see it, anyway.
If a person lurks long enough in a rouge-tinted nightclub, eventually their thoughts will bubble like a bohemian Parisian’s,
their limbs will find the rhythms
and their red-glossed lips will begin to mouth different words.
To become Parisian, we must dwell in Paris.
To become the writer, we need to live in language.
To become a maven/master of something we have to drench ourselves in the thing.
So, that’s where I’m headed.
A complete and utter, head-first immersion into the study of story and language.
It’s quite a drowny sort of feeling (in a good – thank god I know doggy paddle – sort of way).
This is what I’ve done this week to flood my days with a heady monsoon of wordage:
Downloaded Audible and turned my vehicle and laundry folding time into a Timotei advert of creativity and imagination.
Listened to Find Your Creative Voice by Lisa Congdon
Got half way through listening to Fahrenheit 451 by the LEGENDARY storyteller, Ray Bradbury.
Read The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham.
Read two thirds through Born Fighter by Ruqsana Bugum.
Written for 2 hours each day.
Goals for the week ahead:
1. Continue working on the structure and scene breakdown of the story.
2. Drink more coffee.
3. Finish Fahrenheit 451.
4. Start Daemon Voices “On Stories and Storytelling” by Phillip Pullman.
5. Go to bed really early for a few nights and restore my brain cells.
6. Work on my Demeter character profile.
Is there anything that you’d love to master?
Anything that calls you so powerfully that you’d happily flavour your days with its hedonistic pursuit?
Anything you’d happily immerse yourself in, with the view to changing your world?
Any brilliant works of fictional genius that you’d like to recommend?
Something? Something? Anything?