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Write On!
January, 2008

Greek Ghosts

Follow The Bouncing Ball
A quick checklist of creativity
By  Ken Robinson

hat is that little ball, dancing across your vision as you stare off into space?

Oh, you’re not staring, you’re writing. You sure? It doesn’t look like it. Having trouble getting started? Is nothing floating down to you from that ethereal realm of imagination? Hmm.

What about that odd little orb, dancing the jig, that keeps grabbing your attention?

What color is it?

Is it opaque or translucent?

Is it solid or wispy?

Is it rigid or wobbling?

Is it dancing a palpitating pas de deux or a woeful waltz?

Why is that ball of energy jumping around right here, right now?

Is it being forced to dance?

Can it escape from its forced labor?

What emotions are roiling inside it as it dances?

What will it do if it escapes?

Will it take revenge for being forced to nakedly dance an intimate part of its existence in front of you?

Or has it been broken down into a shell of its former self?

You should write all of that down. Why? For me, if I just can get started writing something, anything, I eventually find the flow. But getting started is the key.

Every time I sit down to write I’m afraid that I won’t have anything to say. Will anything happen? Where will it come from? What if I can’t write again?

I have no idea where our muse comes up with the stuff of dreams. And that really bothers me. I like to be organized. How can I be organized in my writing if I don’t know where the next word is coming from?

It is really frightening.

But I’m in denial about the whole thing. I put my head down and bull through that initial rash of panic and fear and get that pen moving as quickly as possible so I don’t dwell on it and become paralyzed.

Don’t dwell on what you can’t do. Find something you can write about. Why does your cat hate the vase it keeps knocking off the shelf? What does your dog see when it stands in the corner and stares at the wall. Who or what keeps making that noise in the attic? Whatever is on your mind, get it down.

Want to hear a story? Of course you do, that’s why you’re here.

This is a true story. After I had started writing screenplays, I read on a website that this guy, we’ll call him Talking Guy, wanted to start a film group and make movies. Talking Guy got five enthusiastic people to attend. They were all motivated. They got an idea, wrote a script, got a camera and were ready to go.

Suddenly Talking Guy had excuses for why we shouldn’t start “just yet.” We’d fix that problem, but he’d come up with another. After three or four turns at this we finally got fed up and made our own group and got started on the project.

It took us a while but we shot our first movie, it won a few awards, and has been shown as far away as Hawaii along side an Oscar winner. Since then we’ve completed three other shorts, have one in post-production, and many others in pre-production.

What did the excuses get Talking Guy? Nothing. Zip. Nada. He’s still doing the same stuff he was before.

There will always be handy excuses for not doing something. The people that use them are those that say, “What if I had . . .” as life passes them by.

So as the title of this column says, Write On!IN Icon

Regular IN columnist Ken Robinson grew up and lives in Oklahoma. After five years in Ireland, he's been writing screenplays for two and a half years. Four of his scripts have been optioned by Woofenil Works, two low-budget projects now in preproduction, as well as West Law. Email:

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© Freelance Writing Organization - International 1999-2049

Write On!
IN This Issue
LA Bound
Part II: Secret Origins Of A Screenwriter
Part I: Secret Origins Of A Screenwriter
Time Management
The Well Of Creativity
Flogged By A Rooster
Write Form
Why Be A Writer?
Hoping For Rock Bottom
Strong Characters

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Bald Ego
Mouse Over To Pause

Writer’s Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails we’ve known;
Each writer’s block is not a rock,
But just a stepping stone.

Poetry Is Not
Penned to the page
Waiting for us to admire.
It is only a lonely thought
Caught by tears on fire.

Silent Echoes
A quiet rhyme upon a page
Is what a poet gives;
Some gentle words whispered in trust
To see if memory lives.

Bard From Deadlines
What makes a poem finally work
Is not the time it takes;
It’s how the poet used the muse
To prophet from mistakes.

Be Mused
The art and craft of poetry
Are not so far apart;
The craft comes from the cunning,
The rest comes from the heart.

Fine Vintage
Don’t plant your poem on the page
As though you’re hanging drapes;
It’s shape and flow should come and grow
Like wild summer grapes.

Getting It Write
Writers write what they know best,
Their passions, fears, and dreams;
Writers rarely write about
What other call their “themes.”

Double Vision
A writer’s life is paradox,
It’s more than what it seems;
We write of our reality,
The one inside our dreams.

The echo of a promise,
The thunder of a sigh,
The music of a memory,
A child asking why.

Letter Perfect
Twenty six symbols arranged on a page
Can send a soul to heaven or torment it with rage,
Can free a fragile world or hold it in its net--
The power and the magic of the mighty alphabet.

The Write of Passage
The jump from writing just for fun
To getting paid for it
Begins when you first realize
You know you’ll never quit.

It is not the magic of his wings
That sets us free from our bond.
It is the muse within ourselves
That lets our words lift us beyond.

Photo Poet
Consider your mind the darkroom,
Consider your life the lens,
Consider your eye the camera
On whose focus the poem depends.

Rising Moon
A poem is a rising moon
Shining on the sea,
An afterglow of all we know,
Of all we hope to be.

Star Light
Writing a poem,
Reaching a star,
In making good art
We find who we are.

Spider Web
A poem is a spider web
Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.

The final draft upon the screen,
At last my poem’s through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

Read All Of Charles Ghigna's Poetry at

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