The punch you don’t see coming

punchIn boxing it’s always the punch you don’t see coming that knocks you down. The punch you weren’t expecting, the punch you never thought would hit you. Life is just like that.

It’s the bizarre coincidences we never even dared take into consideration, with an even stranger ramification of consequences. And in the ensuing chaos, we no longer understand what’s going on, and we feel like drowning. Time becomes inconsistent: a second, a minute, an hour, a day… we can no longer tell what is what. Continue reading

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Not today…

riskI spent most of today sleeping. Not because I was tired, but mostly because I felt like doing nothing. When I finally decided to get out of bed and write some stuff, the power went out. Ironic, isn’t it? I had spent most of my day telling myself that tomorrow I’ll have plenty of time to write, and when I couldn’t, I panicked.

There are few simple truths in life, and one of them is the fact that we rarely appreciate what we have until we lose it. Until it can no longer be. We tend to take things for granted, and when those things are taken from us, that’s when we realize how important they were.

We’ve always despised the ghost of what can no longer be. Continue reading

How to become an artist

writerIt seems to me that we spend our childhood building our initial vision of the world. We do our best trying to answer as many questions as possible, and in our eagerness to understand everything around us, we name things and label them and we think that we’re absolutely certain that things are exactly how we see them.

And I also feel that we always return to this initial vision. Continue reading

Change

change“We are the prisoners of our own ideals. We have to follow a strict pattern, a set of rules and laws, and play the role society designed for us. We are taught that our choices don’t matter, that at best we are insignificant, and at worst we are invisible, shadowy figures wandering around a desolate landscape filled with rigid concrete boxes and bleak lights shivering in the night. I guess that what I’m really trying to say is that our freedom is limited only by what we believe to be the perception others have about us. ” – Jazz

I’m not an overly ambitious man. I’m not particularly good at most things. I’m rather a pessimist, who happens to have a few moments of idealism. I think I’m too small to change the world around me, and yet this doesn’t stop me from trying.

And I see this kind of thinking all around me. People waiting for someone else to change the world because they feel they’re not strong enough. A lot of people don’t want to make their voices heard, because they fear their voices won’t be enough.

That’s a big, big mistake. Continue reading

Impossible journeys

one_wordWhen I first started this blog back in April 2012 I had absolutely no plan whatsoever. I had tried blogging for a few weeks back in January 2011, but it didn’t work out because I couldn’t find any readers.

The thing is, the Internet is pretty much a bizarre world. Yes, you’ve got millions and millions of people, so the potential is there, but at the same time you can’t stop asking yourself how on Earth are all these people going to find you among so many others who are doing kind of the same thing?

So, instead of focusing your time and energy on what you’re doing, you keep trying to find something unique and brilliant, something no one else has ever thought of doing before. Continue reading

Magic

magic“Four years before I had written Soldiers’ Pay. It didn’t take long to write and it got published quickly and made me about five hundred dollars. I said, Writing novels is easy. You don’t make much doing it, but it is easy. I wrote Mosquitoes. It wasn’t quite so easy to write and it didn’t get published quite as quickly and it made me about four hundred dollars. I said, Apparently there is more to writing novels, being a novelist, than I thought. I wrote Sartoris. It took much longer, and the publisher refused it at once. But I continued to shop it about for three years with a stubborn and fading hope, perhaps to justify the time which I had spent writing it. This hope died slowly, though it didn’t hurt at all. One day I seemed to shut a door between me and all publishers’ addresses and book lists. I said to myself, Now I can write. Now I can make myself a vase like that which the old Roman kept at his bedside and wore the rim slowly away with kissing it. So I, who had never had a sister and was fated to lose my daughter in infancy, set out to make myself a beautiful and tragic little girl.” – William Faulkner, An Introduction to The Sound and The Fury

I’m sure you’ve heard of the term “art for art’s sake.” I’ve always considered it to be one of the most crucial stages any artist must go through.

It’s easier said than done, mostly because we feel life’s a competition. We play to win, and the pleasure of simply playing the game is not enough. Continue reading

Just write!


Odds are that one day you’ll start working on a story for longer than usual. Odds are that you’ll try to make it perfect, even when it’s clear that you’re just afraid to let it go. You’ll fear rejection and bad reviews. You’ll think you’re not good enough to write the story the way it deserves to be written. You haven’t lived long enough and stuff like that.

Maybe you do so because you feel this story’s the “one.” This is the story where you actually say something no one else can, where you leave behind more of you than you’ve done before. It’s the story that defines who you are more than anything else ever written. Continue reading

Quality vs. Quantity

Quality vs. QuantityA couple of days ago I read an article by a Romanian writer, in which he said that the way we perceive certain foreign authors in Romania is different than how they are perceived in their home countries. The reason for this is that only their best works are available in Romania, thus readers have a distorted perception.

Somehow, this idea that a bad novel can counter-balance a good one makes sense. It’s something that often happens with prolific writers: some of their stuff is good, some great, but a lot is also mediocre at best.

But the writer of that article said that the key to all this is to write for a couple of years on a collection of poems, short stories, or a number of novels and then only choose to publish the best of them. This solution is something I disagree with. Continue reading

The impossible

impossibleI’ve got this stupid game on my cell phone I use to play when I’m extremely bored. Basically all you’ve got to do is destroy colored blocks. And you have to earn a certain number of points each 2 minute round. And it progressively gets more difficult. And sometimes I find myself in the situation that I’ve got to earn a lot of points in something like 20 seconds, and I stop for a moment and tell myself it can’t be done. So I take it easy or just stop destroying blocks altogether and wait for the time to run out. And other times I try really hard to get to the next level.

Every once in a while we all have to face what might seem as an impossible task. Continue reading

Imagination

imagination“Imagination is the voice of daring. If there is anything Godlike about God it is that. He dared to imagine everything.” – Henry Miller

When I tell people I’m a writer they usually say something about a writer being required to have imagination. Or something like that. And I don’t think imagination is really that important. Yes, it’s kind of a cool thing, but I don’t think it’s a crucial factor to being a writer, or any other kind of artist, for that matter.

I often say that what we admire most in any form of artistic expression is the human element… that core we can all relate to (or respond to, or understand or hate.) All great stories are about people, about how they interact with each other and how they react to certain events. Continue reading