External Forces Of Writing

Drop it like it’s hot.

I don’t like to brag, but I’ve got a pretty sweet pen. It excels on all levels. Aesthetically, its silver body with gold trim is a guaranteed panty-dropper. Functionally, it is technologically advanced. Not only does it sport a robust, gold clip, capable of fastening on to even the most abrasive of surfaces, it also utilises a twisting mechanism to make the nib protrude and retract. None of this clicking shit. None of this plastic, Bic, third-world-pen shit.

Now, that’s impressive enough. But it gets better. The intangible worth of this pen is immeasurable. This is more than a mere pen. This is a symbol of status. This pen is Snoop Dogg’s pimp cup. Hitler’s moustache.

With this pen in my hand I go from Bruce Wayne to Batman. Clark Kent to Superman. Mediocre BA student to fucking… Mewto. I feel like a boss, like I should be hiring and firing mother fuckers left, right and centre when I bust out this inky bad boy. This pen gets more comments than a pro-Zeitgeist youtube video. Pens like this are the grillz of the stationery world.

That was a nice and concise introduction to a subject I’m going to be talking about over the next couple of weeks: the external forces of writing. By external forces, I mean the things in your work area (like the aforementioned pen), your physical surroundings, the things going on outside your head which have an effect on the writing you produce.

I guess the most vital external force is location. Where should one write? Over the years a number of people have suggested that I try writing in various outdoor settings. You know, mountains, beaches, forests, somewhere where you can really suck nature’s dick and swallow its inspirational juices. Fuck that. I like to write at my desk, on my computer, with some down-tempo tunes playing in the background. (More on music next week).

Quickly elaborating on creative work spaces… there’s a nasty rumour going round that a clean working environment promotes productivity. Lies. My desk is chaotic and arguably unhygienic, and I still manage to get things done amidst the stacks of paper and long-forgotten coffee mugs. You might be different. You might not keep an empty wine bottle on your desk as a decorative feature. You might not smile at the sound of countless food wrappers crinkling underfoot. You might not enjoy smearing your naked body with honey and rolling around in said wrappers making garbage angels. Garbangels.

In summary… write wherever you feel comfortable.

Another external force is time. When should one write? Well, for essays and academic writing, I’d say any time when you’re at your most alert; in the mornings and afternoons, most likely. For creative writing… it depends. I quite like the idea of matching the time of day of writing in the real-world to the time of day in the story.

For example, if you’re describing a midday setting, try writing it at midday. If you’re composing a scene that takes place at 4:00 a.m., stay up late and see what sort of feelings that time of day evokes. At the moment I’m quite attracted to writing stories set at night and as a result I tend to do a lot of my writing mostly at night. I find that the
darkness of the real world lends itself to creating the gloomy, immersive moods that I want my stories to have.

I’ve noticed that concluding a post with an irrelevant, edgy youtube video seems to be gaining popularity on this blog...

Hope you weren’t expecting one here.




Presentation Is Everything

Hey guys,

Ben took time off from his usual blog topics to talk shit on Monday so as I read his ramble I thought to myself ‘hey Hugh, you can talk smack wit da best of them, why don’t you give it a go’ and yes, I thought to myself once more, I thought, ‘Sure’.

It wasn’t until this week that I found the true joy of owning a 32gb iPod touch. As you know we have been working on the TVNZ brief these past few weeks and it just so happened that I had stopped moaning about how crap my life is for long enough to actually produce some pretty wicked looking ads for it. Then came the challenge. After slaving away on Photoshop and Illustrator for three hours, how does one do the work justice when presenting it to the tutor?

My answer wancers, was the iPod touch. I loaded that bad boy up with the images and trotted off to Uni. On the bus I showed my creative partner the work. Merrily flicking the images across the screen one by one I felt badass. Better yet, the work looked amazing on that sexy little screen (it hid some minor pixilation issues *now fixed don’t worry*). Stoked with what I had achieved I didn’t hesitate to be one of the first in this week’s line to see the tutor.

When it came time to present, my partner and I swaggered to the front and sat down. We explained to him the premise of our campaign and he was interested, we showed him the line and he was hooked, then, I pulled out the iPod touch and he was blown away. We were lapping it up, praise here, and yes, praise there. The idea was approved and now we are all feeling better. Apart from our ability, I think credit is due where credit is due for the iPod touch and the hand that it extended to us in our time of need.

I think these days creatives are almost expected to have these little tools in our arsenal. After all it is all about presentation as I quickly learnt early on this year when several of my ideas were harshly cast aside even at concept level because they were hand drawn. Which was frustrating since we are always told not to worry about our concepts and just produce rough scamps, the trouble is, if you can’t get your point across in a rough scamp then a really good idea could be lost because of poor (initial) communication.

Going back to presenting on my iPod, Ben said it was very “eat ass” of me. Jealous?

Moving on. The final point I would like to make about owning an iPod is the range of ‘sweet apps’ available to you to kill your time. This weeks Hugh’s app of the Week goes to ‘Cat Physics’ ... not gonna explain it cause you’ll just think ‘that sounds shit’ but it’s not. Play it.


I’ll leave you with this.


Finding Unicorn Blue

I actually saw a double rainbow while driving home yesterday. It was actually really very bright, and really very vivid. While the second rainbow was merely a faded replica of the first, it was still clear that this spitting mirror image was the second half of the total package. It was exhilarating.

I quickly rushed home to get a better view from the lounge. The rainbow shone in all its glory as it nestled over Auckland’s CBD. I could actually see every single colour including that mythical blue sitting somewhere in between the green and the yellow. What does it mean? A sign of good luck?

I could easily divulge this shit all day but I realise you really don’t care, and neither do I really. I need Jelly to write a guide on overcoming procrastination, it’s not all goal setting and time management. I need a plan when I write these things, a strategy if you will.

I want to push out content that you will actually want to read, both informative and entertaining. I could sit here and write about my assignments at school when realistically only 10% of you will actually know/care what I’m going on about. So I’m going to mix it up a little bit.

Our Progress So Far

Last week I left you on how Charles and I actually had a few solids for the PlanetFM brief and were feeling pretty chuffed about it. We had figured out the perfect way to hit the target audience and had fixed our tunnel vision sights upon it.

A drastic turn of events threw us on the flipside as our proposed ‘ideas’ were devoured and shat on from the Ice Dragon Queen (IDQ) herself. The lesson learned from the encounter was that not every somewhat decent idea can be campaignable, let alone any good, so don’t show up with only two ideas. We slumped back to the drawing board.

When brainstorming ideas, we’re taught to shit out our ideas on paper and quickly move on. If you get hung up over one you’re limiting yourself to a crap idea and no matter how bad everyone else seems to think it is (despite it's awesomeness), you still think you’ve plopped out a beaut.

I need to practice what I’m preaching and learn to move on. We need to keep on going for at least an hour until we’ve acquired a good 10 or so bad boys ready to work with, even the terribles because you never know, that tap dancing heffa stepping to Puttin’ On The Ritz could actually be quite the paragon. It doesn't help that the only real time we get together is during our breaks at school.

With the TVOne campaign due on Friday and PlanetFM brief nibbling us on the dick, we’re going to be living rough this week. Hopefully by my next entry I'll be able to finally publish some work. I fucking hope we can churn out something good.

No amount of study and hard work is going to conjure the magical idea powerful enough to slay the IDQ. Here’s hoping we catch a glimmer of that unicorn-blue somewhere over the Auckland skies this week.

The Entertainment

To hit the nostalgia spot.

And speaking of bricks...