Welcome to the blog of Mark Baron, also know as Woeg, the Woegman, or any infinite variations thereof.
In no particular order, I am a writer, poet, father, husband, history geek, coffee enthusiast, graphic designer, technical illustrator, technical support geek, gamer (tabletop and video), and reading addict. I’ve had a few poems published in small presses, a few short stories that have won a few low level contests, a few stories written for game world development, and countless freelance art and design projects.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted here, I know. Life rather got in the way…but I’ve missed this place. I’ve missed this outlet. So I’m back, and I’m going to commit to what I had before…
To write something, every day. At least 350 words a day. A lot of it will be flash fiction or poetry. Some will be writing tips that I’ve gleaned from years of reading, study, and writing. I probably won’t have any personal posts here, this time around, and will have marked the ones I did have up as private.
Regardless, I hope that you, my dear visitor, find something useful here.
Last, I should give fair warning. Parts of this blog will be not safe for work (NSFW), adult content (AC), and contain mild to significant swearing (no clever acronym, just be warned). I will try to mark the more risque elements appropriately, but be warned, this page is not, in general, intended for audiences that would take offense by such things or have their innocence in any way shattered.
Now, a bit more about why I write…
What does writing mean to you?
Writing, to me, means the use of words to weave a tapestry in the mind, to take a string of syllables and turn them from a mere form of communication into a change to glimpse the nature of the human mind, spirit, identity. Writing, to me, is making love to human nature with the most powerful tool that nature has ever given us.
What do you write?
Everything. Humor, satire, sadness, happiness, anger, regret, hope, horror, peacefulness, hatred, pity, pride. I try not to pigeon-hole myself into any set genre, though I can’t deny that I have a strong leaning towards fantasy and soft science fiction. Still, sometimes it’s horror that calls to me. Or romance. Or just plain life…ha! Is there any such thing as a plain life?
Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere. From the books I read, the movies and shows I watch, the conversations I have. From watching my children play and grow and learn. From wallowing in the past, and reveling in the future. From poetry. Good poetry. From friends and family. From life, really.
When did you first fall in love with writing?
When I was around 8 years old. I was a ridiculously advanced reader; I read at a high school level at around the middle of second grade. I devoured books like the sun-parched sands of the desert devour a precious drop of rain. SO many books. Eventually, I realized that I wasn’t content with just reading them. I wanted to write them. BOOM! Instant love affair, that continues to this day. I won’t say that it doesn’t wax and wane. All things do in life. But it has remained constant for thirty years now.
How important is your writing space (if you have one)?
Eh, not very. I live in a house with a wife, four children, two dogs, a cat, and so many friends that are over so often they may as well live there too. I really don’t have the luxury of a writing space, so I’ve learned to be able to write wherever I have to. Right now, I’m answering this from my little laptop on my living room couch, a bottle of mead beside me. Tomorrow, I may write from the comfort of bed, or the cramped cubicle of my day job. Learning to write anywhere is something I think all writers should do. In the words of Henry David Thoreau: “Write while the heat is in you. The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with. He cannot inflame the minds of his audience.” Hard to do that when you can only write in a certain place or at a certain time.
What’s the best writing advice you’ve been given?
Give yourself permission to suck. Understand and accept that you are going to write crap sometimes, maybe every time, for your first draft. Accept that it’s ok. Embrace that it’s ok. The important thing is getting it down and getting it out. You can worry about editing it up to look pretty later. Even the prettiest diamond started out as one ugly hunk of rock.
What’s the first piece of writing advice you’d give someone?
Do it for you. Don’t do it for anyone else. Don’t do it because you think you’ll make a kajillion dollars or because people tell you that you should do it. Do it because you want to, need to. Do it because you feel driven to share your mind with everyone and no one at the same time. But do it for you, or you’ll never get around to finishing anything.
Why should people write?
Because writing is the only thing that makes us human. Other animals sing. Other animals use tools. Other animals have strict social structures and strange customs and rituals. Other animals have sex for pleasure and not just reproduction. Only humans write, though. Only humans tell our stories in a way that they can be preserved conceivably forever. Write because you’re human.
Writing is . . . (start each sentence with ‘writing is’)
Writing is fun. Writing is hell. Writing is stress-relief. Writing is stressful. Writing is happiness. Writing is sadness. Writing is commitment. Writing is procrastinating. Writing is anything you want it to be. Writing is human.
I write because . . . (start each sentence with ‘I write because’)
I write because I’m a mean, pissy bastard when I don’t. I write because I love to tell stories. I write because it drives me crazy, the crap they put on TV. I write because it drives me crazy, how much better that guy told that story than I did. I write because I think I’m pretty good at it. I write because I need to. I write because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t like myself as much.
What is the best thing about writing?
Finishing something. Even a first draft. God, it’s the best feeling in the world. The only thing second to it is the feeling of knowing you’ve written something good. Something people are going to like, to read, to share. To touch a conceivably infinite number of live with a few short words scattered on a page. How amazing is that?
Why do you love writing?
I love writing because I love life. The two are synonymous to me.