Wednesday, September 16, 2020

A noise in the head

In these times, how do you stay positive so that you can focus on what you write?

by Dietrich

I try to avoid anything negative – easier said than done sometimes. I don’t check out the headlines before I sit down to write. There’s not much that I need to know, and even less that’s going to lift me up. And I’ve learned not to go traipsing through my social media or email accounts before I get started. Undistracted by any of that noise, I sit at my desk, and I let whatever I’m working on take shape. I’m always motivated to get back to whatever the story is – and I always feel fortunate to be doing what I love to do.

"Imagination is more important than knowledge.” – Albert Einstein

We’ve all got stuff to deal with from time to time, and if I let myself get in a slump, then it would likely show up in my writing. So, I jump right in and shove all that mind noise out of the way, and I allow myself to get transported into the story, and I’m engaged. I do have a couple of things that help me get there, like my morning bucket of coffee, along with the music I like to play while I’m writing.

"There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they'll take you."  Beatrix Potter

Away from the desk, I get inspired by great writing, and I’ve always got a book or two on the go, with a stack waiting.

Here are a couple of recent summer reads that I found both inspiring and darkly funny and definitely worth passing on. Dana King knocks it out of the park with his latest in the Penns River series, Pushing Water – you have to read this guy. And although not a new book, I recently read Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Letham, and it’s top notch writing and a very funny and entertaining book.

Anything that inspires keeps me motivated. A lot of the time that means a great book, but it could be a film or a series too, or a trip to the art gallery to see some amazing pieces on display. And sometimes I just like getting away from the city noise and tramp through the woods or stroll along the water’s edge. 

“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.” – John Steinbeck

Humor helps to keep everything light, and I love to laugh. Give me a comedy series like Veep, a standup routine by Gina Yashere, or a funny book by Terry Fallis or some crime novel laced with dark humor, something by Donald E. Westlake or James Crumley.

I’m also looking forward to my new book Cradle of the Deep coming out early in November, and that gets me jazzed. Now that’s a great feeling – to be working on one story and knowing another one is about to be released. Yeah, life is good.  


Brenda Chapman said...

An uplifting post, Dietrich - a lovely read to start the day :-)

Paul D. Marks said...

Sometimes it's hard to stay above the fray and be positive, Dietrich. But it sounds like you're handling it pretty well. -- And I haven't read Motherless Brooklyn, but I really liked the movie so maybe that will have to go on my TBR list.

Dietrich Kalteis said...

Thanks Brenda and Paul.

Susan C Shea said...

I always enjoy the writers' quotes you post, thanks. As to being able to tune out the static and go for walks in clean air, I wish, I wish...!

Dietrich Kalteis said...

Thanks, Susan.