Avant-garde

The avant-garde (/ˌævɒ̃ˈɡɑːrd/); from French, “advance guard” or “vanguard”, literally “fore-guard”) are people or works that are experimental, radical, or unorthodox with respect to art, culture, or society. It may be characterized by nontraditional, aesthetic innovation and initial unacceptability, and it may offer a critique of the relationship between producer and consumer.

Let’s simply define avant-garde as anything different from what’s conventional, because if it were defined similarly to the way the military does it, then after Tristan Tzara every single poet should have started using bits and pieces of newspapers to write their masterpieces. Museums would only showcase dadaism and surrealism.

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Six Tips on Writing from John Steinbeck

In 1940, John Steinbeck was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his novel, The Grapes of Wrath. In 1962 he was also awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. The same year he wrote a letter to actor and fellow writer Robert Wallsten, in which he offered six tips on writing. Continue reading Six Tips on Writing from John Steinbeck

Famous Writers and Their Addictions

“Coleridge was a drug addict. Poe was an alcoholic. Marlowe was killed by a man whom he was treacherously trying to stab. Pope took money to keep a woman’s name out of a satire, then wrote a piece so that she could still be recognized, anyhow. Chatterton killed himself. Byron was accused of incest. Do you still want to be a writer -and if so, why?” – Bennett Cerf

Some of the world’s most famous writers have been addicts, abusing almost anything, from coffee and alcohol to sex and drugs. They often wrote about their addictions, about the way the human conditions is degraded by them.

Here’s a short list of famous writers and their vices: Continue reading Famous Writers and Their Addictions

Are You In Love With Your Own Writing?

“A word after a word after a word is power.” Margaret Atwood

There’s this thing called verbal narcissism. It’s pretty much the ability to game a wall, if it comes to that. To sell sand in the Sahara Desert.

It also means to be so in love with your own words that it could mean talking on and on about things that few people ever care about. Or it could happen that you do deliver a strong message, but you’re using so many words to do so, that it’s all distilled to the point of making people want to smack you over the head with their keyboards. Continue reading Are You In Love With Your Own Writing?

You’re No Leonardo DaVinci and That’s Okay

I was doing a bit of research into Pablo Picasso for the showcase of his earliest works, and I read that he created some fifty thousand works during his life. Fifty thousand. If you were to do one per day, it would take you some 136 years. A hundred and thirty six years…

Do you understand the level of commitment that is required of one if he desires to become phenomenal? One of the best? To be considered a genius by his peers? You literally have to break yourself in half. To be so obsessed about whatever it is you’re doing that you end up sacrificing a lot of other stuff.

Yes, you can have anything you want, but you’ll have to give up on (almost) everything else to get it.

Now, Leonardo DaVinci.

Areas of interest: invention, painting, sculpting, architecture, science, music, mathematics, engineering, literature, anatomy, geology, astronomy, botany, writing, history, and cartography. The father of paleontology, ichnology, and architecture. One of the greatest painters of all time. Credited with the invention of technology we never properly developed until hundreds of years after his death, such as the helicopter, the parachute, or the tank. Continue reading You’re No Leonardo DaVinci and That’s Okay

How Much Does it Cost to Self-Publish a Book?

How much are you willing to pay?

Okay, all jokes aside, “how much” depends on a lot of factors such as:

  1. Your particular set of skills (can you do your own cover/interior formatting?)
  2. Relatives/people you know (if your cousin’s a book designer/freelance editor…)
  3. How big of a book you have (yes, this affects the overall production cost, especially when it comes to editing.)
  4. The quality you’re aiming for
  5. Whether or not you’re planning on having both an e-book version and a print version of your book Continue reading How Much Does it Cost to Self-Publish a Book?