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Majestic: Issue #12 Sunday, September 22, 2002

In this Issue:
Letter from the Editor
by Chrispian H. Burks
Misdirected Ramblings
Beckett Grey
To Write a Dream
Surachet Suvilaisunthorn
Why I Write
Rogan X
"If a man comes to me and says, 'Mr. Clemens, I want you to write me a story,' I'll write it for him; but if he undertakes to tell me what to write I'll say, 'Go hire a typewriter'."
~Mark Twain

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Letter from the Editor
By Chrispian H. Burks

That was fast, wasn't it? Nemesis went live and the feedback has been wonderful. Even some old friends popped out of the woodwork to tell me how much they liked the new look. Thanks! A lot of hard work and thought went into the new design and it is my hope that everyone enjoys it as much as I do. But I'm not done, not by a long shot. I've got a new user control panel that's almost ready which will let you edit your profile, add your stories, edit stories and even remove them. You'll be able to check your stats, read private messages and so much more.

You may notice that this issue of Majestic has a central theme. Why do writers write? Is there some basic need they feel? Is it something much deeper? Are writers just people who need an audience? Or are the stories so strong that they must be told? This issue offers the perspective of three very different writers. You get a peak into why they write and maybe it'll get you thinking, why do you write? Discuss this issue in the forums! Want to write for Majestic? Take a look at our Publishing Schedule and submit your articles.

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Misdirected Ramblings
By Beckett Grey

There's no concise, neat little way to say this. I can't fit my addiction into a convenient package, or split it into seventeen simple steps any more than I can section off my personality or my lifestyle. Writing is...well, it's a thing. People do it for a million different reasons.

Okay. Maybe not a million. But a lot.

Well...yeah. There are a few big ones. Many people write for one of two major reasons, and their writing usually reflects which of the two they've chosen. Either: 1) To make money, or 2) To tell stories. Nevermind art and conveying messages, nevermind fancy-shmansy allegories for the human condition, to tell anything even generally resembling a readable tale, you must first have a story to tell. Simple as that. And when you get down to it, that's why I write. I like to tell stories.

I've got it all- okay, most of it- in my head already, sketched out in key moments and resonating scenes. I know what happens. I know why. It's a matter of organizing it, getting it down, and making it make sense- that's all. Worlds upon worlds exist just beyond the dubious fabric of reality, waiting for me to tell their stories, put them down on paper- and don't get me wrong, I don't view these places as worlds I've made up, these are very real people to me. I am merely a witness to their lives, and it is my task to record what happens. The problem comes in when I try to record. You see, I am not a great writer. I'm not even a good writer, I'm just okay. This means I write stories that are...well...okay. But okay isn't good enough, dammit! I am not doing justice to these worlds, these stories! I have never been happy with something I've written- it's never been good enough for me. I write every day, as much as I can, and I put everything I have into that writing- because (in the words of Richard Ames) it hurts less to write than to NOT write.

Writing is an addiction. Once you start- I mean really start- you can't stop. If I were unable to write for a week straight, I'd probably explode. The worlds in my head are growing by the minute- nay, by the second!- and every moment I spend not telling their stories is another moment wasted.

I'm afraid that's all there is to it, really. I write because I can't not write, and that is all I care to know.

And in the end, what else really matters?

To Write a Dream
By Surachet Suvilaisunthorn

With a little imagination, a lot of practice, and the strength to persevere, it is believed that one can turn his dreams into goals, and his goals into reality. I was never a believer of this idea, until recently. In fact, until now, I never really knew what I wanted. I went through four years of college thinking that the only goals that were attainable in life were the ones we acquired through education, ability, and connections. Of course these characteristics of life are absolutely essential in achieving our goals, but I was leaving out something of great importance. It is imagination that makes us feel alive. Art, music, and all things beautiful are created through imagination and dreams. Of course I always thought that to create these things, you had to be someone special, someone that I wasn't.

I've spent most of my life feeling empty because I have always told myself that imagination would get me nowhere without the proper talent or skills. I always considered myself average and ordinary; therefore I felt that I lacked the ability to create anything special. Artists, creators, now these were people who were truly gifted, and I was definitely not one of them. Although I knew this, I never stopped dreaming. The fact that I was always dreaming and at the same time telling myself I had to try to live life like everyone else was tearing me apart. I was trapped halfway in between the world of fantasy, and the truthful melancholy reality. I was often depressed due to the lack of motivation and inspiration to live in the real world. It was as if I built myself an invisible wall to shelter myself before even taking the first steps to the outside. Now I can truthfully and honestly say that I was wrong to think this way. Life should never be about limitations and knowing where we fit into the scheme of society. But instead, it should be about breaking these limitations, and climbing up over our own invisible walls. So the question is, how do we break or climb these walls?

When I was a child, I used to dream of great things. I dreamt of stories, people, and things that were precious to my mind but impossible in the real world. I guess you could say I was an imaginative child. It frightened me that as I grew older, these dreams did not go away. I began to wonder if this was a normal habit for a rational adult. Not that I knew what this term meant. Perhaps I still don't. But what I failed to realize was that maybe this term was as make believe as the heroes and villains in my fantasies. I've recently come to believe that not everyone needs to live according to the same standards as others. I mean if people were so rational, why is there so much pain and terror happening in the world? Why are current events that have been happening within the past year only about death and suffering? Shouldn't the right to live seem to be common sense to a rational adult? With this notion, I have concluded that nothing is perfect, and that there is no such thing as the normal scheme of things. Therefore I had no reason to be afraid of who I was anymore. In that sense I broke my own invisible walls and took the first step to turning my fantasies into goals. Why not embrace in dreams and at least give them the chance to flourish?

With that revelation, I have decided not to fear the uncertain, and to give my dreams and imagination the chance they deserve. So I said to myself "I want to be a writer". Of course this was easier said than done. I didn't know the first thing about being a writer. I didn't know where to start, what to write about, or about specific grammatical rules and standards. But what I knew was that I had a strong desire to express my thoughts, my dreams, and ultimately my soul. And I figured that was a good start. I began writing into a notebook everyday. I wrote songs, poetry, and basically about anything I was feeling at the moment. I must admit that it wasn't an easy task to start. I still struggle with it everyday. But what drove me to continue was the fact that every time I picked up that pen, writing got easier. Soon it got to the point where if I picked up a pen, I could just write. It would just flow naturally. Soon my dreams became clearer and started to transform and manifest into goals. Of course having a goal doesn't mean that you will achieve it. That is a completely different story. I've tried submitting my work to a few online magazines, but to no triumph. In one case, I got a rather nice rejection letter about how my writing wasn't stylistically what the magazine was looking for at the time, and that I shouldn't be discouraged to submit more. I'm glad at least, that they have someone on the payroll who handles those kinds of situations in a nice manner. I'm pretty sure that they sent the same rejection letters to everyone, but at least it made me feel better in a sense that someone was acknowledging my writing. That was about 2 months ago. I am giving myself more time to practice my skills before I start submitting anything again. Hopefully by that time, things will start looking up.

I still wait for the day when this goal will become a reality. I don't know if I will ever get there. And if I do, I don't know how long it will take. But at least I started something that I never had the courage to do before; I took the first step. This in itself is an accomplishment. I'm sure that there are many steps along the way, but sometimes the first ones are always the hardest. This might seem silly to some of you. And to some, it might be inspiring. Regardless of what this essay means to you, I urge you to do this. Think about what your dreams are. Think of the desire deep within yourself that was once locked away because someone said it couldn't be done. Perhaps it is not to late to unlock this desire and set new goals for yourself. I know that personally, even if I don't make it as a writer, I still would have learned a valuable lesson. It is better to try something and fail than to live your whole life knowing that you didn't give yourself the chance to be happy. As cliché as those words may sound, I believe there is some truth to it. So go ahead, pick up that key, and unlock yourself.

About The Author
Surachet is a recent graduate of Binghamton University, NY. He is currently doing social work, but plans to continue with his studies next year. He is aiming for a Masters degree, or perhaps even a PHD in Sociology. Writing is a newly founded love for him, and he hopes to be able to get published one day. email: pengster13@hotmail.com

Claws in Creativity eZine

Why I Write
By Rogan X

If you were the last person alive, what would you say? Would you write about everyone else (now gone) or would you put your own story down on paper? Just how selfish are you? Are the people who write about themselves villians or heroes? I guess that decision is up to you, as the reader ..

In order to understand why I write, you gotta have a bit of background first. So, here goes...

I grew up without a television to distract me and turn my mind to porridge. When I say "grew up", I'm referring to the most formative years of my life; between the ages of 8 and 16. Granted, I have a TV now, but I hardly watch anything but movies -- which is beside the point. Rather than glue myself to the glass teat like any other suckling, I would read. I grabbed any book which was nearby and just begin to read it, absorbing every line with gusto. I trained myself to speedread before I was 9, and was reading up to 4 books at a time. I found the multitasking to be quite delicious, as it afforded me an objective view of all the books I was reading, not just one at a time. When I was in junior high, I began to take my first clumsy steps as a writer. Haiku flooded out of me at breakneck pace. I set a goal for myself; to become as comfortable with Haiku as I was with exploring the dungeons in my imagination. It worked, I admit... In grade 8, I was known as a geek and a loser because I spent my time alone, thinking up the next five syllables. The crux of fictional writing, as I have observed it, is to display enticing information to the reader so as to suck them into the plot. Great writers do this with such an economy of words that it hardly seems like an effort. Personally, I struggle with words because I know so many. It is truly hard to choose the right ones! I have always aimed to convey a unique perspective to the reader. Something you won't find anywhere else, if I dare to be bold and say it aloud! I feel that I have accomplished this to a small degree with my poetry, and with my rants on a larger scale. I am so endeared to the word "rant", as I feel it applies wholly to my style (if you'd like to call it that). I jump from topic to topic, never standing still long enough to make total sense. Perspective... It is hard, living in the 21st century, to be unique. Most of the writing has already been done, leaving to us the spoils. The advantage that we have, however, is that we can draw upon a massive body of previous works for inspiration. To reflect upon a classic novel or poem is calming, and helps me to focus my own disorderly thoughts. If I had to refine my muse into a single sentence so you could better understand my motivation, it would be thus:

"I write because I am, I am because I write."

Sounds sketchy? Well think about it for a second! Humans have long relied on their creativity to advance themselves. It stands to reason that if a person is driven to write merely by their experiences in life, that is what makes them a writer -- their experiences, I mean. I have had my share of captivating moments, from the balconies of the Alhambra in Spain to the murky moors of Scotland. These moments mix together and become my medium, fueling my desire to share and combine the words, the images and their meanings. Granted, most of the material I have written focuses on my anger; at the world, at the people in it, at myself... This can only take me so far, and I know it. The next step is to refine the raw materials into something comprehensible to folks of all ages. I sincerely hope that I can accomplish this before I die and publish at least one book that someday will be read by an eager mind and fan the spark of creativity within. There are some lucid pieces I've had a chance to write, one of which stands out (in my mind, anyway -- you probably haven't read it). "Incendiary Soul" is the title -- it is about a young man who creates a woman to be his companion, and eventually loses her to madness. That's how I feel about a lot of things... They are made with the best of intentions, and eventually decay. Thus, I try to squeeze out my own thoughts onto paper before they degrade into useless slag. It is only by your words, committed to bits and bytes or rendered in ink that you will be known after your passing. Allow me to leave you with one last point: Writers don't do it for the money or the fame. Writers don't do it to point the finger of blame. Writers do it because .. Well .. Somebody has to!

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