I recently shared 7 Reasons for Using Videos in Your Social Marketing Campaigns. Many commented that it’s hard using YouTube effectively–a statement I agree with, as I’m pretty inexperienced in its use myself. Which is why I hope you find today’s guest post by Mahendra Bajiya useful! Mahendra is an entrepreneur and blogger who uses YouTube […]
It’s a word that we’ve all heard bandied about from time to time, usually attached to some famous figure in history known for inventing something important that has changed the nation—or the world—in ways modern generations could not contemplate living without. Take Steve Jobs for example. Mr. Jobs is considered a true visionary. He’s the father of the modern personal computer, a device with which a life without would seem unimaginable in this modern world. Or consider Henry Ford, automotive tycoon. Mr. Ford certainly didn’t invent the automobile, but he did perfect the assembly line, bringing costs down, allowing for the common people to afford their very own car—and through employment in Ford’s factories, a stronger middle class arose.
The Oxford American College Dictionary contains multiple definitions for this complex yet simple word. The definition I like best reads as stated: a person with original ideas about what the future will or could be like.
The Oxford could be very well be describing a writer. Writers, by nature, are visionaries. Writers, in the name of creativity, must envision worlds that do not exist, populated with people that are not real. But the above definition mentions only the future. What about the past? Can a writer be a visionary in regards to a time that has already faded? The answer is most certainly yes. We construct alternate accounts of real events—like making Abraham Lincoln into a vampire hunter. A program on an internet site’s streaming service poses a world in the 21 century seen through the lens of a Nazi victory in World War Two.
But being a visionary, it runs deeper than merely being a creative writer—or musician or artist. In a sense, everybody is a writer. If you write emails or texts, you are a writer. Here’s where the differences come into play. Not everybody is an author. Writers are not all authors. There are those who write down their personal thoughts and experiences in the pages of diaries or journals, never intending any other living soul to pry. Authors, they have to be bold and brave. They write to be read. If the words we seek to share with others are not visionary, you can bet you’ll hear from those who invested the time in sentences we’ve strung together.
Diaries, texts, personal correspondences; these are not meant to entertain the reader. These are merely there to convey a message or to act as reminder to the future self that, on this particular day, so-and-so made me angry or happy or sad.
Authors, writing to be read, must envision their story from beginning to end—before the writing process begins. We must see what does not, at this juncture, exist anywhere in this world. This will almost certainly require research of some sort—unless you’re creating your own Middle Earth setting. Research itself requires vision.
In beginning my work on Jazz Baby, I needed a road map through the 1920s. I am just past the half-century mark, having drawn my first breath of life in 1967. I had nothing by way of personal experience to shade my notions of the America of 1925. And we can’t just assume, either. Assumption is an enemy of the visionary.
As I started to dig into my research, scenes from my story began to construct themselves behind my eyes. Scraps of paper quickly filled with ideas found within the pages of an old U.S. history book; situations came to life while watching documentaries on PBS or The History Channel. They didn’t have radio in their cars until 1932—so scrap the scene where the characters are driving to New Orleans singing along to jazz tunes on the radio. So how do we fill that void? Dialogue! These characters are now forced to speak to one another, sharing hopes and fears, and in the process, introducing their deeper selves to those who would come to read the finished product. A visionary finds ways to stay on point when something like reality cuts in and says, um, that can’t be. We make it work. And we don’t just make it work; we use it for the profound or the poignant. Statements are made in those quiet moments between Emily Ann and Tanyon—statements that wouldn’t exist had I stuck a radio in that car.
Being visionary is about seeing what’s not there, seeing it in multiple views, and possessing the ability to determine the best view. It doesn’t work very well to write about characters of which we know little or nothing. Vision allows us to see these characters, to meet them, to discover the personalities behind mere words on a page. To the visionary writer, his or her characters truly come alive before they ever occupy space on the page.
The fact is anybody can write a story. But the visionary writes the sort of stories people will want to read. The really good ones build a following of readers just waiting for the next story to unfold. The best storytellers throughout history possessed vision. And it’s that vision that gives both the writer and the story life eternal. Those without vision, well, nobody recalls the stories they’ve told. Nobody remembers their names.
Have you ever pondered life’s deepest questions? Author J. Ajlouny has, and the results are hilarious!
Some interesting tidbits here from the blog of Joseph Ajlouny.
Andrew Boyd is a student of poetry, blogging, and story telling. Andrew became a self-published author on February 27, 2013. He is one who is honest to where he made people mad, yet they respect and respected what he had, have, and has to say.
A two-time kidney transplant recipient, Andrew is one who looks at the world in a way that gives and gave him perspective as to how his life would be shaped due to his medical experiences, as well as helping others by exuding inspiration and compassion to those around him.
He is a graduate of the Class of 1996 from Germantown-Lankenau Motivational Program Annex, where his writing prowess was born in the 10th Grade, and continued on while attending Arcadia University in 1996. After a writing hiatus in 1997, a trip to New York City in March 2010 reignited his passion for writing. While posting several of his writings on social media outlets, he also performs and performed spoken word poetry in the Philadelphia and New York areas. He is currently performing on Black Poetry Cafe’s (BPC) internet radio show “FEVER FRIDAYS”.
When the world needs your light, the supply is unlimited. When you need the world’s light, the service is disconnected. Shrouded in darkness, with not even a candle’s flicker to show the way, how does one heal?
Andrew Boyd’s result is to conduct his own Therapy Session. This fifth book in the WORDPLAY poetry series is a chronicle of crepuscules that Andrew has faced throughout his life, some unbeknownst to those who believed knew him best. What he hopes to accomplish through this psychoanalysis is the prescription to understanding, development and sustainable peace.
Sitting on the floor in front of a crowd,
My legs are crossed Indian Style,
Elbows on the knees.
Head bowed down and temperament apparent,
My microphone will melt with what I will say.
Hate is a strong word: never to be taken lightly.
There are many who do not use the word when
Expressing the feelings they have for others.
I Hate the fact that there is suffering,
I Hate the fact that there are immoral people.
I Hate that those who do the most harm are
The ones worshipping under the steeple.
I Hate how they lie to innocent parties.
I Hate that they rage on another.
I Hate how they do not hold themselves accountable
As they break the heart of their mother.
I Hate how people turned their backs to me.
I Hate that they feel they are seen as priority one.
I Hate that patience to them is a waste of time
Yet they look to me to jump the gun.
I Hate how people say that they are by my side,
Yet their actions speak louder than their words.
I Hate the fact that they lied to me that way
To the point where I show them my flock of birds.
I Hate that I trust some people early:
I Hate that part about myself.
There should be many people walking with shirts
That read “Trusting me is bad for your health.”
I Hate this life that I live:
I can only blame myself.
I Hate that I placed myself in these situations:
I Hate that I cannot see my worth and wealth.
To acknowledge that I Hate myself
Tells me personally that I see more than I care to see.
I need to stop hating the reflection in my mirror,
If I am to change things around and about me.
*Special Thanks to Monica F. Brown and Yasmin Correa for helping me with all things “WORDPLAY: Therapy Session”, from the inside of the covers to the cover itself*
Why do we write? It’s a simple enough question. The answer, well, that’s not quite as cut and dried. Every writer has his or her own reason for putting pen to paper in an effort to entertain, educate, or just let off a little steam.
I’ve been writing since about the age of eight. It’s just something I’ve always enjoyed. My motivations have changed over the years. Early on I wrote with the notion that I’d be the only one reading my work. I’d put down on paper some grand idea I’d find wandering through my head, an event from the day, or maybe a song or a poem. There has always been a need for me to create with word combinations belonging only to me.
In my teen years, for the first time, I wrote knowing that others would read my words. These writings took the form of record and concert reviews published in my high school’s newspaper. I went to a large school, with a student body of nearly 2500 members. People began to give me feedback, advice, compliments. I absorbed it all like a sponge. I felt a calling on my life; a calling to write.
To this day I am not able to make a living with this craft. And that’s fine; I didn’t take up my pen for financial gain. If and when it comes, that will be the clichéd icing on the proverbial cake!
I still enjoy writing. Whether it’s a novel, short stories, book reviews, or blog articles—like this one here—writing is my passion. I also find pleasure in writing communications to friends; letters that I’ll compose using pen and paper, stamp and envelope. I just don’t write every day the way I once did. Mood is my major motivating factor these days. Do I feel like writing something today? If I do, what form will it take? That’s just me, though.
Some writers must create each every day. Many even establish a daily word count. The day is a complete loss if they’ve not sprinkled a thousand words across their keyboard. It’s all selective depending on the individual.
Ann Frank needed to write. This girl’s existence consisted inside four walls of a silent room that became her family’s prison for many years. She wrote every day, detailing a life most human beings could never imagine. Writing is all Ann Frank had to keep her connected to the world—as dark as her world became.
Harper Lee didn’t need to write. Oh, sure, early on she wrote short stories, essays, and articles. But then she wrote a novel called To Kill A Mockingbird and basically walked away from the craft. Her sister claims the author knew she’d never again approach the level of success Mockingbird achieved—no matter the caliber of book number two. So why bother? Rumor has it there’s an incomplete book with the Harper Lee name attached to it. We’ll probably never have a chance to read it, though.
J. D. Salinger, though he ceased publishing his work after the mid-1960s, continued to write, taking a few hours each and every morning, creating stories only he had opportunity to enjoy. Upon his death, it was revealed that several of Salinger’s unreleased manuscripts would be published. The man loved writing but hated the attention his work drew from across the world.
Some people have never written anything outside of personal letters to friends and family. That doesn’t make them any less a writer than those with books or short stories on their resumes.
Everybody has their own reasons for writing—regardless if they publish or not.
Why do I write? I write because I have a passion to write—just not every day.
Why do you write?