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Describing the Indescribable

August 3rd, 2013 | Posted by Veronica Louis in Authors | Writing - (3 Comments)

by Veronica Louis

The  Little Prince Illustration

Image: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

There are times when I’m upset, I turn to writing to break down my emotions into words, transcribing sentiments into strings of letters and spaces. Perhaps that is why the word indescribable has always intrigued me, because by definition it’s something that cannot be described. Essentially, using the word indescribable to describe anything is a paradox.

I believe that there are no limitations to manipulating words to express unique or “indescribable” sentiments. Just like the rapid brush strokes on canvas can capture motion and the photographic composition can reflect nuances of light, writing can depict the depth of one’s soul.

Perhaps that is why the classics stay alive, and comfort us like dear old friends, long after their authors have left our realm. A good book can never die because a good book captures the essence of life. (more…)

by Veronica Louis

Screen shot from Afraid of Eating.com “Why doesn’t she just eat?”

If I had a quarter for every time I’ve heard this phrase about my best friend who suffers from an eating disorder, I would be rich. It’s only when one takes the time to really see beyond the superficial and the stereotypes that one can start understanding the complexities and mysteries of life. And having an eating disorder is one of those complex mysteries.

The misconception that anorexics are a bunch of skinny teenage girls who just starve themselves because they just don’t want to get fat is prevalent.  It’s prevalent, but that does not make it accurate. It’s a collective fallacy. Anorexia and bulimia affects females and males alike, of all ages.

The fact is that anorexia and bulimia are real illnesses and physiological disorders, not unlike alcoholism. And if one cannot ask an alcoholic, “Why can you just not drink?” How can one possibly ask the opening question to this post to someone who suffers from anorexia? There is always a story behind the symptom. (more…)

by Veronica Louis

Photo: Veronica Louis

Photo: Veronica Louis

When I was in high school, back in the late 90’s, I had an English teacher that made us write in a journal at the beginning of every class. It’s only in retrospect that I could truly appreciate the benefits of such an activity.  I didn’t know it then, but that simple daily exercise helped whet my appetite for writing.

I recently came across my old English journals. I found an interesting entry on May 18, 1999 titled: “Why I Write.” This blast from the past was nothing less than amusing yet enlightening. That entry revealed that when I was 16, writing was a fun way to escape from “the daily pressures.” What struck me as funny is that the 30-year-old me sometimes feel that writing is a pressure. So it was great to be reminded that when I was younger, there was absolutely no pressure when it came to writing. Au contraire, it was what I did to escape it. (more…)

Photo: Veronica Louis

Photo: Veronica Louis

by Veronica Louis

9,999 hours to go!

I was first introduced to the notion of 10,000 hours in Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ album: The Heist. In their song Ten Thousand Hours (clip below), Macklemore raps: “I observed Escher, I loved Basquiat, I watched Keith Haring, you see I studied art. The greats weren’t great because at birth they could paint. The greats were great because they painted a lot.”

And voila! You have it. 10,000 hours is the theory that it takes that many hours to become successful or an expert in a field. The 10,000-hour rule was made popular in Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Outliers. In the book, through many examples he demonstrates how with time and practice experts are made not born. One of Gladwell’s more famous examples is The Beatles, and the considerable amount of time the band played together. In 1960 they were invited to play in Hamburg, Germany and there they had to play eight hours a day, seven days a week. By the end of their Germany stint, like Lennon described, they couldn’t help but get better and become more confident with the experience of playing all night long. The Beatles lyrics’ “It’s been a hard day’s night, and I’ve been working like a dog,” are a very fitting way to describe how much they worked to become The Beatles as we know them today. (more…)

Writers by Definition Write

December 26th, 2012 | Posted by Veronica Louis in Writing - (0 Comments)

by Veronica Louis

Write

Photo: Veronica Louis

In an interview in Writer’s Digest, author R.L. Stine said: “People say, ‘What advice do you have for people who want to be writers?’ I say, they don’t really need advice, they know they want to be writers, and they’re gonna do it. Those people who know that they really want to do this and are cut out for it, they know it.”

I think Stine says it all. Writers by definition write. And it’s better not to focus on the how of becoming a writer, and instead, like Stine suggests, focusing on the doing. Writers write, lawyers practice law and actors act. Mind you, there is no rule that states that you must be exceptional at law to practice law or be outstanding at acting to act, and the same logic applies to writing. Yet, like any other profession, the more you practice, the more prolific you become. (more…)