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I hope you go back to it. The set-up of an adult man frightened by a baby was terrific.

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Oh man, I get you. Got a story I started a few weeks ago I was really enjoying writing. Then I got stuck. Tons of bits and pieces fine on their own but a mess when stitched together. Left it for a bit, went back to it. Tweaked a lot, and it still reads crap.

But I’ll finish it. Not sure that’s the right approach but I’ve got this goal in my head that whenever I start a short story I have to finish it. I think of that as an exercise. To get fitter. Writing-wise. Every story has its own challenges. And learning how to overcome every little issue it comes handy later on.

Dunno though, maybe it’s just me and I got this totally wrong.

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Or maybe you’re just a passionate writer.

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A good question. Having a peer group makes a writer accountable. So if posting helps, please post.

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In the past when you mentioned having New Order music videos on in the background while writing, was it the editing of the actual videos or the music itself that was the reason why? I think it was the fast paced editing of the videos but please correct me if I’m wrong

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In many ways it was the sloppy, carefree sensibility of the videos that appealed to me. They were made to live short lives -- like newspaper articles -- so they weren't burdened by expectation. And like television commercials, they seemed to demonstrate the principles of Minimalism: Limited characters, limited reinvented themes and objects, condensed content without dull transitions (the quick-cut video seemed to echo the "list" stories by Amy Hempel).

Another aspect I liked was the endless experimentation. That, and the combination of motion and language. Videos usually had a dance sequence, but either the artist was always moving or the camera was. Videos -- like most music -- were also intuitive and didn't dictate their meaning, but instead had to evoke a sympathetic physical/emotional response in the viewer (be it lust or dancing or sadness or joy).

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I used to have music on everywhere, all the time. Then, I just stopped. Especially in the car. I usually have the windows down because I like to smell the air, but the engine and the wind are all I need. Couldn’t agree more.

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That car is your friend. The car is where you talk to yourself.

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I write alot in my head on the road and on the bus. Someone in workshop suggested a dictation application was that Cris. I find myself jotting down quick notes in grindlock but that isn't very hands free of me.

I enjoy writing on the bus. Maybe I just spend a Saturday or Sunday on one.

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Not me… Definitely not my style (chaotic and mostly analog) haha I think it was Rose

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Solid advice. 😊

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Jul 20, 2022·edited Jul 20, 2022

…radio off, a/c off—- windows down. I scare easily. Heat coming off the semi next to me waiting at the light with a concession trailer in tow. Tense traffic. Love this!!!

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Now I feel like a star student, because I’ve been doing that for years… Of course I also love the traveling and finding new places, meeting new people and all that. But the lonesome hundreds of hours of driving in silence have helped me in many different ways; from being able to organize my thoughts, ideas, priorities, and even my feelings to drawing inspiration to write from whatever I encountered on my path. I’m still far from the great writer I want to be some day, but I’m also certain that I’m thousands of miles ahead from where I’ve started — which driving so much has taught me so, both in a literal and a metaphorical sense.

The three hour drive to and from Portland every week could be longer and I would still be grateful for it.

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As someone who drives 3 hours each time to attend your writing workshop, I appreciate your post on Turn Off Your Radio. Sean (my co-driver from Seattle) also prefers live conversation to the radio. I find my writing time has to be balanced with free thinking time. A long car drive, a work shift as a Shopper, or a night's sleep have been the best times for putting my stories together.

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This is truly good advice. Time spent alone is gold to the self. Pay attention to the passing flow that accumulates during downtime. Your mind will speak even if it isn't being listened to, so listen to it. However, "the radio" is probably outdated to most, Chuck.

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I do this all the time with music on. I get a lot of writing plotted out during drives. Also a good time to plan my D&D campaigns and practice my RP for the game. Will have to give music free a try sometime!

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As a child of divorce, I’ve been using drive time to make up stories (disassociate mostly) since I could imagine images. My dad drove 3 hours to pick me up every other weekend. He didn’t believe in rigs with bells and whistles, so there was never a radio even if we wanted it.

We sang Johnny Horton songs or looked out the window and as we got close to the Greer Grade (Yes Chuck, I’m from near that beautiful river), the flow state always grabbed my little mind. Something about knowing exactly how many switchbacks there were until home.

It wasn’t until recent years (I’m all grown up and my parents no longer fight over who gets me for the weekend) that I discovered voice notes as a tool for streaming thought or collecting pieces of dialogue that shine.

Gone are the days of scrambling for a napkin and pen. Or remembering a notebook.

Thanks Chuck, this is a good reminder. I’ve been spending too much time streaming self-help podcasts lately. Time for some quiet.

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I still use the term "quiet phobes" because of you. And I need to listen to less podcasts and take more walks.

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I used to be a long-haul truck driver before I knew I was a writer. I would write story after story in my head and just burn them all because I never wrote them down. I like to assume that they were no good because the ideas didn't stay for the ten years it took for me to start writing.

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Reminds me of that famous Pascal scribble, “All the wars ever fought in the world were the result of man’s inability to sit alone with his thoughts in his car.”

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