By Adam Lovinus
By Lilledeshan Bose
By Gabriel San Roman
By Rachel Mattice
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Daniel Kohn
By Nate Jackson
By Mike Seeley
DEAR EXENE: I'm a writer at my wits' end. A few months ago, I started writing my first novel, and for the life of me, I can't seem to get past the 30th page. It's this kind of dark, comedic, drug-filled saga based on the life of a longtime friend of mine who spent years as a roadie for some of the biggest bands in rock & roll, a career that turned out to be one hell of a ride and cost him pretty much everything in his life. Anyway, the story is not my problem. I think I'm the problem. Classic writer's block—though I must admit I've never had it this bad before. I've gotten to the point where if you lined up all the words I've erased in my computer right after I've typed them, it would create a string of crappy writing that would wrap around the globe. As a fellow writer and an artist who has been at it for decades, have you had to deal with writer's block much? If so, do you have any time-honored techniques to get past it?
DEAR RAY: Over the past few months, while I have been reading these letters, I have discovered many things and been moved by the concerns and fears and problems we all face. We are a fear-based society, so afraid of hurting our partners by telling them the truth; afraid of our own creativity and even more afraid it will fail to materialize; afraid to admit, or confront, or look deep; and afraid of rejection. Do not exist in a state of fear.
When will we start standing up for ourselves, against the rude, the abusive, the sexist, the dangerous, the unpredictable charlatans and con artists who populate our world? What about the mercenary, the politician, the corporate, the greedy, the exploitative? We don't want to think about fixing the world; it scares us to even think about the state of our uncivilized planet for a minute. The future is what we fear.
Over and over, we search for ourselves, the real us is that person we are not allowed to meet, nurture, express or love. Wanna find your true soul-mate? It's you. Love yourself. And it's easy; it only takes 60 seconds! Just close your eyes, and say softly, "I AM." That's it. Just say it until you feel it. "I AM. I AM. I AM. I AM. I AM."