The cult section of the literary world

The Tea House: Even if Purple Tastes Good

teahouseToday is brought to you by Earl Grey in the Mission.

Author Hal Duncan keeps a great blog called New Sodom where he writes about all kinds of things, including writing. Sometimes he even offers writing advice. My favorite piece of his writing advice follows:

Don’t eat the crayons, even if “purple tastes gooooood.” No, really. Put that down; it’s not meant for that.

This simple childhood rule also applies in adult life, whether playing computer Solitaire, browsing the interweb, checking email or surfing for p0rn. If you’re doing any of this you’re eating the crayons. Stop it now.

But what’s the problem with eating the crayons? Especially if purple tastes good?

The problem is, if you’re an artist and you’re not getting your art done because you’re off doing all those things, you’re eating the crayons. And even though the crayons may be incredibly delicious and make magic in your mouth, they’re getting in the way of you achieving your dreams, following your bliss and basking in one of the reasons why you’re here.

Does this mean it’s not okay to play games, hang out on Facebook or check your email?

Of course it’s okay to do these things, but in a time-managed fashion. Artists need discipline. Artists need to make art. You’ll fill your soul and find happiness more successfully if you embrace your passions and rock the world as an artist than if you read that last Cracked article.

There’s several tools on the market to help artists be disciplined, manage their time and not eat the crayons. One example is Freedom, an internet blocking software productivity tool.

What’s your favorite tool for getting your art done? Or, if you’re finding the crayons especially tempting, what are some goals you’re making so you quit eating crayons and make your art?
Spike Marlowe has held a number of odd jobs, including working as a detective, a Bigfoot researcher, a writer for an internet content farm, a busker and as a performer in a wild west show. These days she’s a writer, blogger and bizarro editor for Eraserhead Press, with a focus on the New Bizarro Author Series. Her first book, Placenta of Love, is available at all the usual locations. You can stalk heronline at her website or on Twitter at @spikemarlowe.

One response

  1. Internet is definitely my crayon. I now have the time to write more but have not been taking advantage of it. To break out of it I need to find a writing spot. No way can I get real writing done at home because my little studio is already my “chill out and laze around on the internet” zone. I tend to be more productive on trains and around people instead of holed up and isolated in my crazy cave so I just need to find a good, most likely, coffee shop to habitually go to right after work or before “eating crayons” when I’m on vacation, like right now. Great post! Artists need a lot of discipline and I’ve been thinking a lot about this and really taking my work seriously because I have been screwing around too much. It’s so easy to do here.

    October 23, 2013 at 5:10 am

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