The Narrative Wars 04: When We Disagree With Big Narratives

We don’t always agree with the stories we’re told. Some we brush off as insignificant while some require further inspection on our behalf. But sometimes we might feel compelled enough to go out and counter what we’ve heard. In essence, something has stirred us to action.

That being said, what are some things we do when we don’t like what we are hearing? And how might that response tie into the way we write and tell story?

The Narrative Wars 04: When We Disagree With Big Narratives

The Writer’s Lens – E51: Wrath And Writing

Two things that naturally seem to go together – anger and written expression. Many artists find their inspiration in the bowels of deep-rooted anger. And for good reason: anger can be a powerful tool in the hands of a writer. It can make us feel like we have direction; like, we have a grander purpose moving us forward.

Wrath, as it were, takes that angry feeling one step further – it gives justification to the anger we feel. A crime has been committed and is in need of being rectified. This episode is an exploration into how wrath integrates itself into our writing pursuits. And how that can be a detriment in the long run.

Like what you heard? Consider subscribing at Podbean, Spotify, or anywhere else you might find your favorite podcasts. Thanks!

The Narrative Wars: 01 – What Is Your Life’s Story?

Welcome to the #NarrativeWars

There are stories happening all around us. And they are all competing for our attention. Some are explored in book or film format. Others are occurring in real time. And some walk the line between fiction and fact.

In these shorter episodes, I’ll be exploring some big (and small) narrative ideas; starting with the narrative of our own lives. What does that look like? Is my personal story true of whom I want to be? Or am I trying to be something else, driven by someone else’s words?

These agreements can shape our identities. The story we are living can be out of a true self, or a false one. So with this episode, I start exploring this concept and why we latch onto certain narratives.

March Recap – “The Writer’s Lens”

Here are some of the episodes you may – or may not – have caught this month:

Interview 14: EG Graves, “A Mistaken Identity”

  • Eric “EG” Graves has been writing plays for much of his adult life and recently has brought another to the stage with Mistaken Identity. EG explains how stage plays and motion pictures can differ and where his life as a playwright began. Video link here.

Episode 48: How Can Envy Kill Our Creative Pursuits?

  • The first of the “Seven Deadly Sins” series I’m embarking on. How can these ageless vices affect our creative journeys?

Interview 15: Austin Gohn, “Discovering Rest In A Restless Age”

Episode 49: Can We Be Gluttons For Our Writing? 

  • How can an obsession with food derail our writing lives? Well, there’s more to Gluttony than food cravings.

Be sure to tell someone you know about The Writer’s Lens if you think he / she would benefit from tuning in. You can find me on YouTube and Facebook too. Have a great weekend, everyone!

 

The Writer’s Lens – Interview 15: Austin Gohn, “Discovering Rest In A Restless Age”

Austin Gohn is the author of the (now available) book, A Restless Age: How St. Augustine Helps You Make Sense Of Your Twenties.

My interview with Austin focuses on his path to publishing as well as his individual story – what inspired him to write a book for young adults and why the words of St. Augustine find relevance even in the 21st century.

For more on Austin, you can visit his website here or follow him on Twitter @austingohn

Interview – Audio only

Interview – Video and audio

The Writer’s Lens – Interview 14: EG Graves, “A Mistaken Identity”

A Mistaken Identity

That’s the name of Eric “EG” Graves’ upcoming play, which will be featured at the Breen Performing Arts Center in Cleveland, OH on Saturday, March 23, 2019. I was fortunate to chat with Mr. Graves prior to the release and get his thoughts on playwriting and how he came to become a playwright himself.

My interview with EG expands upon the story of the man behind the play and what inspired him to call it what he did (A Mistaken Identity). And as I discovered while interviewing Mr. Graves, one does not require a degree in performing arts, creativity or even writing to do something like this. Yet what one does require is a vision, a purpose, and some persistence.

Tickets for A Mistaken Identity can be found on Eventbrite.

Interviews, Interviews, Interviews….

In addition to providing dialogue on storytelling, I do interviews here on The Writer’s Lens.

If you prefer, audio, then check out the discussions that are happening here. I have conversations with all sorts of folks: artists, playwrights, filmmakers, other writers…among others.

And if you’re an audio AND a video junkie, then you can see myself and other smiling faces here. The same cast of characters applies here too.

Proceed with caution, but always proceed.

Till next time,

J.C.L.

The Writer’s Lens – E47: How Do We (Not) Handle Criticism And Feedback?

As a writer, I tend to handle criticism and feedback quite well. Nothing ever gets to me. There’s no negative press I can’t manage; no scathing review I can’t brush off as nothing more than white noise…

…or I could just be lying to myself. 

If you’ve ever written a story – especially something you feel strongly about – and had someone give you a negative reaction, you’ve probably felt like me: crushed. You may consider never writing again. You think it’d be best if the world never heard your voice. Your message. Ever.

That’s a tough place to find one’s self, but hey, you’re not alone. Even the most seasoned artists feel some pressure to appeal to their audiences. Yet putting our creative selves “out there” is only one part of the process; standing strong in the wave of responses is another. So, with this episode, I talk through some of the filters I’ve developed for dealing with the good, the bad, the ugly, and frankly, the apathetic.

And though you don’t have to use any of my tactics or filters, what I do hope is that you find this particular episode to be encouraging in your own creative journey.

The Writer’s Lens – Interview 12: David Ramos, The Long Road To Authorship

David Ramos has been writing for years. He’s published nearly two dozen books (thus far) and for his efforts, has built a small community of readers around him. He even has a new book on the way, Magnetic Faith, due out in March of 2019.

But, David didn’t just “fall into” publication. He sat down and made it happen. He learned what worked; he learned what didn’t work. And let’s be honest, he’s still learning as he goes.

David Ramos

And that’s the theme of my next interview with David Ramos on The Writer’s Lens – staying persistent and being disciplined about your goals. David and I discuss what it’s like to face rejection and how we, as writers, grow and develop as we continue to put ourselves out there. It’s a valuable life lesson and one that can’t be ignored if one is to cultivate a life’s work of writing and publishing.

For more on David, you can check out the links below:

Website – Ramos, Author

Facebook – Link

YouTube – Link

And P.S., don’t forget that David has a new book coming out this year called Magnetic Faith. It will be available through Amazon for purchase.

The Writer’s Lens – Interview 10: Willie Scott, aka FOLD

When it comes to using the term, “creative”, I’m still a newbie. I happen to think I’m creative (I’m a writer, after all) so tying creative and writer together isn’t a problem. When it comes to other creative types, I – like many others – tend to recognize someone for a single gift: making a craft, making music, writing, etc. These all make up the “creative” part of our persona. But is that all we are made for? Just one facet of creativity? For sometimes we encounter someone who is not only creative in one area, but in several different venues too.

Cue the guest of my next interview: Willie Scott, aka FOLD. (click here for the interview)

Producer Matlock (left) and Willie, “IAMFOLD” (right)

Willie is a return guest on The Writer’s Lens and in addition to being one-half of Better Than Blended and co-founder of TKI Publishing, Willie is also a recording artist. He truly puts the idea of putting one’s creative interests to work while simultaneously debunking the notion that we have to be so singularly focused on one aspect of our creativity, thus starving our other creative outlets. So in this interview, I explore with Willie all the dynamics that come with being an entrepreneur, a creative writer, a father, and a husband.

This was a fun interview for Willie and me and I think you’ll find it equally enjoyable.

For more on Willie and his music, you can check out these links below:

Better Than Blended – WebsiteFacebookInstagram

TKI Publishing – WebsiteFacebook

Matlock and FOLD – Facebook

YouTube
Matlock and FOLD – “Favor
Matlock and FOLD – “ICIT – In Christ I Trust
Matlock and FOLD – “Turn up