Mental Vomit Judo

It’s Friday, and I thought this would be the perfect time to start up a weekly link roundup, as well as a possible small post attached. I was reading a post on a new blog I discovered called “Quill Takes Flight,” which reminded me of an old post I made on my blogger account back when I still used it. It’s a post I’m very proud of, mostly because of the excellent pun I created with it. That, of course, after the jump.

Here’s the links:

Publishing and publishing,” an inspiring post by my good friend Josh about the importance of big P publishing for writers, but also about the dangers of making it one’s main focus.

Perfect: Good’s Nemesis,” a great post on the previously mentioned “Quill Takes Flight” about the looming (and exciting) 2012 NaNoWriMo competition, and getting one’s proverbial butt moving on a project.

Out of gas or where do ideas come from?” A quick and excellent read about where ideas come from (duh), and the importance of character.

Finally, a post by the incomparable Taylor Mali, one of my favorite poets, with a very moving and quick poem from Tuesday.

Onto the post after the jump.

The way of the mental fist.

There’s something I like to call “Mental Vomit,” a term that I stole unabashedly from my old Fiction teacher, Jon Donald Billman. Mental Vomit is not, in fact, where your brain literally throws up, nor is it related to crazy people excrement.

In reality, Mental Vomit is a martial art.

The martial art of the writer. It is the ability to write and write and write without stopping to go back and edit. It is the ability to stop your inner editor from slowing you down. It allows you to put words on the page without fear, so that you may come back to them later.

Yes, sometimes these words will still come slow. Yes, sometimes they DO look like literary (not literal) vomit. However, the most important thing is that those words are present and filling up that white space that is so utterly daunting to the writer. It gets us in the groove, and it pushes us to that point where the words start coming a little easier. It pushes us to that one excellently turned phrase that makes us want to write more.

There is a little story I like to tell about the famed science-fiction author, Philip K. Dick. Philip K. Dick was said to have been able to lock himself in a room, write for hours on end, and come out with a finished draft in a month, only stopping for food and sleep. He was a rabid writer, by some accounts, and simply couldn’t be stopped once he started.

Some authors can do this. Most authors can’t. That is a level of Mental Vomit Judo that I will most likely never attain. Also, it’s a good way to alienate all of your loved ones.

What I’m really getting at here is the simple fact that we can’t all be Dicks.



4 thoughts on “Mental Vomit Judo

  1. Wow thank you so much for the shout out! Glad you enjoyed the post. I enjoyed yours as well… and now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to start snooping around through your archives and such. 😉

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