Learning to write ” deep in the pocket!” A lesson from #Stevie Ray Vaughan

I was listening to a Canadian Music station, as I was roaming around doing my last bit of Christmas shopping, and the announcer introduced Stevie Ray Vaughan and his famous Pride and Joy song. I admit, Stevie Ray is one of my all time favourites, and so is his song, Pride and Joy. My only regret, is that he died too soon for one so talented.

Bonnie Raitt, another wonderful Blues player and singer, once said that she felt Stevie Ray would “light up the sun,” when he played. She was that impressed by him. Well, I have no metaphor that could match that. The radio announcer claimed that Stevie Ray had the ability to play, “Deep in the pocket!”

I was fascinated by this saying, and I had to do a Google search on this saying, and what I learned from one musician description was that it meant to hold a rhythm without too much flash – a laid back feel. Another site claimed playing Deep in the pocket meant, “playing solid with great feel!”

That was it, that is exactly what I want to do in my writing. Not too much flash, but the telling of a simple story, and to let the reader relax into it. To just give them that laid back feel.

I believe this saying, about a rhythm, could be used in writing, and it could be used in life. But I leave it out there for everyone else to interpret their own way. In the meantime, I’ll be turning on my Stevie Ray Vaughan tunes, and attempting to find that deep pocket of writing that I can relax into.

A late blooming writer tries to balance blogging tweeting and writing

I admit, I am new to blogging and tweeting. This was something I only was made aware of at a writers conference, called When Words Collide, back in August of this year. My experience with Social Media up until that time was with Facebook. Sometime in late October I established a twitter account, then late in November, with the help of Carrie Mumford, I established a blog account, and to my dismay, my personnel writing suffered!

Yes, I was spending my time looking at other people’s tweets, who had the best, the best tips from writers, editors, and the best sayings. Then I was pouring over other people’s blogs, and really, there are some great ones. I have subscribed to several regarding other writers and their struggle to write, edit, and publish.

Then one day, it was actually last week, I realized I needed to get back to writing. I normally write 1,000 words a day, 5 to 6 days a week. It takes me about 3 to 4 hours. Sitting here, one word coming after the other, then whole scenes popping into my head. A wonderful process.

To get back to the writing process, I found I needed to find a balance between all the wonders of social media, and my own personal writing time. I finally decided that writing would take precedence, as it must. I leave the wonders of social media to one hour a day, and the concentrate on the beauty of writing the rest of the day.

This has been a great experience, and if anyone has experienced this same challenge, I would welcome your comments.

A late blooming writer is asked the quesiton, “do you ever wish you’d started earlier?”

I was asked this question last week.  Getting my haircut, nice and trimmed up for Christmas, and my upcoming 60th birthday, the young hairstylist asked me what I did.  “I now write books,” I said.

She was mildly impressed, and asked me what I wrote, and what genre.  Turns out the young lady was as Sci-Fi fan.  Then she asked me the one question I may have asked myself, “do you ever wish you’d started earlier?”  She probably got that from the long locks of grey hair falling to the floor that I was not just fresh out of school.

And here is the answer I came up with, I was too involved with so many other things in my life to write.  Sure I thought of it many times, driving down the highway when I was in sales, or on long flights on business trips.  So many things got in the way, so much noise in my head.

I was offered, by my lovely wife, the opportunity to just write at the age of 35.  Yes, I could explore the world of free-lance writing, write a novel, even go to Journalism school that had accepted me.  And get this – she would support me.  How many people get this opportunity!  Not too many I assure you. I tried for three long months, and so many things got in the way: writers block, writers angst, and basically writers avoidance.

Now, 25 years later, what is different?  I have finished a Novella that is soon to be published, have another Novel ready for final proof reading, and working on a third novel that I am half way through the first draft.  I know what is different.  The noise in my head, it’s calmer up there.  I’m no longer worried about the deadlines of my business, or investments, or meetings.

It is now just me, meeting with a keyboard, creating characters, and one scene after another.  Could I have started earlier, maybe, If I were someone else.  Perhaps John Grisham, he started his writing after his daily work as a Lawyer.  Stephen King worked in a closet in his laundry room in his double wide trailer, while he worked as a teacher.

And me, well I had to wait until I was ready.  I am sure every writer has their own timeline, the day that the stars aligned, and they could work with the characters in their heads.  I have been a very late bloomer.  Something that I deal with.  But, my time to write is now, what I write now in the present is all I care about.  The past is gone.  I can not look back, and can not even look ahead.  I can only look down at my page, as one word after another appears before me, and be very glad that I started now.

I wish all of you, who started early or late, or started and stopped, and started again, I wish you all good writing, and if you have a story of your journey to write, then I would love to hear it.

Good Writing and good journey,

Lyle Nicholson

A late blooming writer finds his Muse

I admit, I knew nothing about this thing called the Muse, when I started writing again in 2010.  I heard it existed, musicians had it.  I thought that’s were the word came from.  Poets supposedly wrote about it, but unfortunately I’m not a big fan of poetry, so their musing were lost on me.  Sorry about that last sentence.

I found a wonderful reference to it on TED, this was from Elizabeth Gilbert.  I found it on a website from Cally Jackson, and I thank her for placing it there, as it was a great inspiration, and discussion on writers Muse.

As for myself, a writer coming late to this party, I thought finding my muse would be easy.  Wasn’t it just telling a story, and letting the creative process flow?  Apparently not.  Some times I write and what appears on the page is outright drivel, and sometimes it is inspired.  There are times, I let out a sigh at the words before me.  They actually look good, like someone else wrote them. Is that muse?

Well, I’m still early in this, I’ve finished my first Novella, called Dolphin Dreams, which is still at the publishers, and waiting uploading to Amazon and various other eBook sites, but here is what amazed me.  I started writing the Novella as an adventure story, and it turned into a fantasy, with a love story intertwined.

Now, how does that happen?  Do we not all control what we write.  Are we not the master and commander sitting in the chair, fingers flying on the keyboard while characters and plots emanate from us?  Well, I thought so…at least at first.  Now I realize I’m part of the process.  Sure, I have ideas, fantasies, and dreams.  But as I sit down to write, things start to change, characters change.

I have found this part fascinating.  I would love to hear comments from others on this as well.  I know we are writers, but are we also a conduit for a creative force?  The word inspire, comes from the Latin, “to breath in,” are we breathing in and breathing out as we write, and are these words before us a mere image of something in our deeper selves.  Ops, now that be a little deep.

So, as an aspiring writer, finding his muse, would love to hear from others on this.  Inspiration, is always a welcome insight, and if you have a moment, check out the YouTube video from Elizabeth Gilbert, it is twenty minutes, but really well worth it.