Musings: On Constraints, Cupcakes & Prayers…
“The more constraints one imposes, the more one frees one’s self. And the arbitrariness of the constraint serves only to obtain precision of execution.” Igor Stravinsky
For every ailment under the sun
There is a remedy, or there is none;
If there be one, try to find it;
If there be none, never mind it. W.W. Bartley
Doe: What should I write about?
Joe: What tone or style would you like to adopt?
Doe: I don’t know…
Joe: Have a cupcake and then say a prayer. Creativity will come visit.
Doe: Really? Even for the constraint of Writer’s Block?
Joe: Yes… a bit slow on the uptake, eh?
“The shallow consider liberty a release from all law, from every constraint. The wise man sees in it, on the contrary, the potent Law of Laws.” Walt Whitman
Help Me To Remember by Samuel F. Pugh
O God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work,
help me to remember the jobless;
When I have a home,
help me to remember those who have no home at all;
When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer,
help me to destroy my complacency;
bestir my compassion,
and be concerned enough to help;
By word and deed,
those who cry out for what we take for granted. Amen.
Doe: What genre should I write in?
Joe: What exactly is your piece’s point-of-view?
Doe: Seriously, I don’t know…
Joe: Have a few more cupcakes, say a few more prayers, remember to pray for others and the rest will follow.
Doe: Hmm mm I think it’s working… Is it the sugar? the constraint? Perhaps, the prayers?
Joe: Sure thing. Now listen… Constraints, like obstacles, force us to consider other ways of doing the same old thing. Need to Create? Get a Constraint.
More below… 😎
“The constraints of melodrama can be a great blessing, because they demand that all the characters involved – as absurd and extreme as they may initially seem – must stay utterly rooted in their own reality, or the whole project collapses.” Stanley Tucci
Aztec Prayer by Anon
Lord most giving and resourceful,
I implore you;
make it your will
that this people enjoy
the goods and riches you naturally give,
that naturally issue from you,
that are pleasing and savory,
that delight and comfort,
though lasting but briefly,
passing away as if in a dream.
The Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr
God, grant us the…
Serenity to accept things we cannot change,
Courage to change the things we can, and the
Wisdom to know the difference
Patience for the things that take time
Appreciation for all that we have, and
Tolerance for those with different struggles
Freedom to live beyond the limitations of our past ways, the
Ability to feel your Love for us and our love for each other and the
Strength to get up and try again even when we feel it is hopeless.
Doe: You’re a genius. What else can I do to help my writing?
Joe: Try something new. Write in dialogue or avoid it.
Doe: Sure, thanks! This little chat helped… Anything else?
Joe: Use only active verbs. Or better yet, write something made up of rhetorical questions.
Doe: Hmm mm So if I write rhetorical questions and obviously respond to them, I’ll be in like Flint?
Joe: Well, maybe not Flint, but you could rock it like Alice in Wonderland; especially if you use a fairy tale as the framework for your writing.
Doe: That is incredibly C 😎 😎 L! I’m learning slowly but surely…
Joe: Right! Before I forget, don’t use adverbs so often or use exactly one adverb after every three sentences.
Doe: Thx buddy! You rock! Maybe I’ll borrow an idea from Ernest Vincent Wright “Now, any author, from history’s dawn, always had that most important aid to writing: an ability to call upon any word in his dictionary in building up his story. That is, our strict laws as to word construction did not block his path. But in my story that mighty obstruction will constantly stand in my path; for many an important, common word I cannot adopt, owing to its orthography.”(Ernest Vincent Wright, from Gadsby, 1939, wrote a story of more than 50,000 words that didn’t contain the letter e)
Joe: You are welcome… just watch the lipogram, will ya!? 🙂
What are your thoughts? What constraints are you experiencing of late? What will you do abut it? Do you use specific techniques to help you overcome? Do share! Thank you. 😉
This post was inspired by a post from WP Daily Post: Constraint by Daryl L. L. Houston. Sometimes we confront a similar anxiety in writing…
Positive Motivation Tip: Embrace the constraints and then get creative to find your way around the limitations… Grace resides there…
- One close to my heart – The Serenity Prayer (bafedilemafologele.wordpress.com)
- Like a Rock! Well, maybe … (cmquest.wordpress.com)
- The Serenity Prayer (midlifekrisis.wordpress.com)
- The Prayer Maniac (lifedelicacy.wordpress.com)