Kris Leliel, mystic and creative spirit, loves to write about metaphysics, the occult, and literature, especially horror. Their debut horror short, "Autonomy Bleeds Black" is available on Kindle and other eBook platforms.
One technique I learned in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is talking to yourself as you would a friend when you’re having a rough day. When I gave myself a rest day yesterday, I felt so guilty and ashamed. It felt like I was purposefully being unproductive and negligent of my career. I had to fight myself not to get on the computer and write something or blog something because I knew my cynicism wasn’t speaking truth. Really, I was just bullying myself because I’m used to setting unreachable standards and beating myself up for not reaching them. Too many times that has left me exploited, drained, and just miserable. So I wanted to write a letter to myself and to you, fellow writer, if you have trouble resting like me.
No warm up today! I’m jumping right into the novel! Okay, so already I’m seeing that I need to work on character dynamics. Do you ever read your first draft dialogue or a section of dialogue that never got to meet an editor and realize how unnatural and awkward it is? Or sometimes the dialogue is really cliche and the energy between the two characters becomes muted; the statements sound forced and out of character. This is why I really like studying personality types. I do a mixture of astrology and the MBTI when I design my characters and breaking down how they express themselves, develop their motives, who they are friends/enemies with, and so much freaking more. Another thing I do is pay attention to the dialogue and acting when I’m watching a show and think about how characterization comes to life through their speech, mannerisms, and facial or bodily expressions since those are descriptors necessary for fiction. Combine that with context and you get a solid, believable scene.
Warm Up: I started with blogging about karmic patterns and then moved on to reading about karma itself just to make sure I really understood what it generally meant. This quote from Brittanica caught my eye:
Warm Up: Published an old, melancholy poem from my journal today called “A Plea to Death”. I really like it. It’s Poe-esque. Yay consonance. I did my best to pay attention to the metre/meter since I made each stanza into a limerick (which is kind of unintentional). Limericks are usually happy or funny so maybe that was a weird choice. Oh well. That happened. I hope that eventually I get over the nervousness in my stomach that bubbles up every time I post a new piece. I know it’s nerves, but it’s still awful. Insecurity sucks.
Sweet Death, please forgive me. I mistakenly thought of you intimately. Your terrifying transformations spur agonizing approximations
Today, I’m a bit off due to a weird night, which means I gotta be real with myself and take it easy without slacking off. When I’m like this, I head to YouTube and look for great videos that discuss or critique storytelling. I keeping getting “How Bojack Horseman Subverts Narrative” recommended to me so I watch it.
Warm Up: I published a poem called “Winged” earlier. I don’t know why my stomach is churning. It’s almost nausea, but it’s not sickness. I know it’s nerves, but it’s quite uncomfortable. So referring to the first entry… yeah I have a difficult time posting any kind of work as is sometimes. I don’t mind critiques or anything, but there’s something different about, this… You know what my problem is? Everything has to be a project. Everything I do has to be ridiculously complicated so it feels “wrong” that I did something simple, like publishing an expressive poem online rather than adding it to an elaborate collection of poetry that is carefully planned. See, I’m glad this happened because this is exactly the kind of thing that holds me back from actually developing my career. I make it incredibly hard and set these crazy high standards for myself so I’m forever lost in a limbo of neither success or failure. How ridiculous! I don’t mind putting in the work I need to do, but I really need to knock off the perfectionism nonsense. It’s a creativity killer.
Born to fly, wingspans stretch. Owning our fate with daring dreams. Ascending, descending, and blaming the gods