What Prudence sees when Lucy is in the sky with diamonds:
I’ve done a pretty bad job getting Candy Striper Strange (CSS) and “The Fifth Wall” (TFW) completed, and I’ve found that the reason why I never get anything done is because I don’t have my foundations set (just like when I suddenly stopped posting Instagram photos on @MiaDjojowasito midway through my Japan trip in July 2018, and then I couldn’t just start posting photos from Jakarta before I posted the rest of the photos from Japan chronologically, because then a part of the story would be missing—so I got stuck in the middle of July until about November IIRC).
It’s always the Root Chakra of whatever. Whatever from my Instagram feed, to the stories I want to write, the social media accounts I want to run… If I don’t tie all the loose ends at the Root Chakra level of that whatever, the rest of it gets scattered… I need the structure.
When you think about the chakras, they form a logical structure that, IMHO, you can apply to everything—from works of fiction to the architecture of a business model.
I think if people just stopped being so narrow-minded and judgmental, and actually took the time to learn instead of prejudicing something they know nothing about, they’d probably benefit from it. To me, it’s not simply “woo-woo” and superstition. It’s structure.
I feel the same way about astrology. I don’t think people need to necessarily BELIEVE in astrology to benefit from its logical system… I mean if every single human being just took time to work on themselves in every aspect of their lives/theme that came with every New/Full Moon, we’d be very well-rounded people.
I’m dead serious. If you tricked a small-minded bigot like those celebrity “scientists” into personal a development programme where you focus on career/reputation (New 🌙 in Cappy) in January and then work on family (Cancer New 🌙) in July without labelling it “HASHTAG #ASTROLOGY EXCLAMATION MARK OMG!”, it certainly would not hurt them!
It’s like if you tricked me into eating vegan food. Would I be upset? OH HELL YEAH—mostly in a “don’t patronise me and tell me what to do asshole” way. Absolutely. But would it hurt me? Nope. Not necessarily (it certainly did Venus Williams good and I thought Bali Sanctum food was delicious). I probably wouldn’t go vegan (or follow any strict diet, for that matter) like she did to manage her Sjögren’s syndrome, but I could use some structure in my life:
1. Root Chakra
Keywords: Safety, security, the material world, sense of belonging, and survival.
The root chakra is the foundation of everything for a work of fiction. Both inwardly (how you create) and, later, after you’ve reached the higher (5th and above) chakras, will affect how your work interacts with your audience (if you have an “audience”, or just the friends/family who consume your work).
These foundations can either come in the form of:
- The basic elements of the actual content of you work of fiction (premise, characters and other moving parts, the location, setting/period); or
- The structure in which you function as a writer (for someone who’s very ADHD like myself, this is very important—I’m not someone who can simply function with just one MS Word file, and I hope people who are blessed with that ability realise how lucky they are).
This structure where you work your writing process can be:
- Scattered ideas in your paper planner/notebook.
- A dedicated Tumblr blog like this one: https://candy-striper-strange.tumblr.com/archive (also serves as a mood board).
- An AO3 “Meta Series”.
- A master post (on a blog where you talk shop, or even a Twitter thread where you write down and timestamp every idea you have in real-time).
Here are my two Twitter master threads for CSS and TFW:
For example, with CSS, I haven’t really established the foundations yet, I need to explain what CSS’s magical powers are, what her responsibilities are, how her personal dynamics with others are, her limitations, what each planet represents in her little universe, why it’s important that she knows how to pause time, her jurisdiction…
But then I couldn’t even get that off the ground because I had some mental health problems and I couldn’t function and then I left CSS’s Tumblr abandoned. But now I’m well again, and I want to get everything in order, get my ducks in a row.
I’ve only planned on announcing her civilian name and making her updated Tumblr account public again for #CNY2019. Once the old drafts have been posted, I can then post any newer ideas in real-time.
(And if I can’t make up my mind on how to handle/meta the more substantive “meta” stuff, I might keep the 26—31 individual posts private to later reveal as “Easter eggs” every now and then, or scheduled for every Sunday, on Twitter. Just because I really believe in the power of “marinating” your work and letting the spices seep in, and not forcing ideas in the meantime. If I had forced myself to sit down and finish TFW in late autumn last year, it would’ve had a different opening paragraph, and I like this current one that I thought up in January 2019 better.)
Basically, my point is, I’m still trying to get my ducks in row. Therefore, the Root Chakra isn’t open and can’t align with the next chakra (the second chakra).
This is the hardest part.
In the beginning, not having a civilian name for CSS made it hard for me to create stories about her (it felt kind of like trying to do ballet positions barefoot, without the slippers) whereas with TFW, I’d established that my characters’ names were Patrick and Prudence—based on a character I played in a play (never bothered changing them, never will). It doesn’t matter to me.
With TFW, all I really had to take care of was the premise (the premise of the TFW is actually the premise of TFW which I will be posting on March 12 this year).
In TFW, the premise is everything. It’s actually more important than the characters themselves, that single descriptive line (which, I know if you know anything about writing theory, sounds disastrous—but hopefully when I post it on AO3 in March, it’ll make sense to everyone else).
And, yet, despite that, I would say that TFW is the more character-driven story and CSS is the more story-driven one.
You don’t really have to have all the elements of a work of fiction for every single story you write… Hm. I think it should be okay? There are no rules, just principles.
I procrastinate a lot, but it’s not really a lack of follow through, but a lack of foundation which makes it hard for me to move on to the next level of the creative process, which is…
2. Sacral Chakra
Keywords: Emotions, creativity, the arts, and the acts of actual creation (the crafting, the writing, the process).
I guess in the body of a work of fiction, this would be the story line. And so once I get that Root Chakra foundation laid, I can actually put her in situations and plots and tell a real story.
This chakra is blocked with CSS because I can tell, you I only have these two storylines with CSS at the moment, meh:
OTOH, “The Fifth Wall” is already completed plotwise (beginning, body, ending—I had the ending before I had the first line, and now I’ve written my perfect first paragraph). I just need to fill in the details in the blanks with that one(just so that everything makes sense to everybody else, but I already know what I want to do with it, I’m good).
3. Solar Plexus
Keywords: Individuality, the mental plane, originality, Self-esteem, drive, ego (the ego isn’t always a bad thing).
To be honest, when it comes to writing fiction or drawing, the 2nd and 3rd chakras are a bit of a blur for me.
I guess the first three chakras are the ones where you build character (this one is where you build personality and focus on relationships since it also deals with the ego, and think about how they interact with other characters—their dynamics, their relationships, their friends, their enemies).
I tend to do guided meditations aimed at the Solar plexus when I need some self-discipline myself (because otherwise I procrastinate). I fire energy (hence my lack of thirst). I need to have better drive.
I actually read tho that if you go overboard and “overstimulate” the Solar plexus, you’ll end up with self-criticism and perfectionism. And that having a sense of humour is good for your Solar plexus (the booklet that came with my mudras meditation cards said so). I suppose it’ like how too much sunshine can be bad for you IRL too… SPF is good. It’s very important to keep them all balanced, really.
4. Heart Chakra
Keywords: Conscience, compassion, kindness, love, trust.
But I don’t think this necessarily means that everything you write had to be “love and light, namaste, baby!”
You can write about the dark side of life too, but it has to have the feels.
I’m not good with the feels. I’m afraid I might sound too touchy-feely or sentimental. Not that it has to be that way.
But I’m trying to explain this without having to say, “your work of art has to have a heart” because that sounds cheesy as hell (like mozzarella cheesy that’s all gooey and sticky and stretchy too—my Venus/MC in Aquarius no likey). But you get the point. It has to touch people in some way. Even if it’s about some rotten existential crap. In some cases, this could mean there needs to be a grounded element of the story that normal Homo sapiens on earth can connect to (maybe even relate to) even if your character is an alien. People have to feel something. Maybe. IDK. I haven’t really figured this one out, but I’m taking note and these are my notes.
Another thing that the Heart Chakra rules is trust (I’m telling you, this entire logical system you can apply to everything, including a business plan/model).
Once your heart chakra is open and you’re not (not closed off), you’re ready for expansion…
5. Throat Chakra
Keywords: Knowledge, truth, self-expression, communicated, and dissemination of information.
Once you’re settled with the first four chakras, you’re ready to share (publish, post). Duh.
It rules speaking up, honesty, and “speaking your truth”. And when it comes to speaking, I personally live by those quotes:
- “Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses.” —Boethius
- “Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.” —Plato
And when I have something to say it drives me nuts (which is partly why this year’s New Year resolution is to live life in real-time instead of bottling things up or writing things in my “social media planner” and they just end up being time-irrelevant by the time I’ve mustered the courage to post it, and I even set up a twitter account just for that resolution—but that’s another topic for another time).
6. Third Eye Chakra
Keywords: Insight, special knowledge, wisdom, intuition, clarity, vision.
After you’ve published and made public your work, your work visible. It may reach a large audience or a small one, depending on how it goes naturally (sort of beyond your control, although you can try to market it to a large, generic audience).
Or how you want it to go (for instance, I’ve decided that I write CSS for people who are already astrology-literate and were always spiritual—I’ve made it very clear that I stay in my lane and I’m not trying to “convert” anyone).
Whether you intentionally limit your target audience, or you don’t, it’ll hit some people in a particular, very personal way (and anyone can feel a connection with your work whether your some random Z-lister or even an anonymous fanfic writer online).
Only certain people can “see” your work, but the ones who can see will relate. And with familiarly grows attachment. For example:
- If you have a character with peripheral neuropathy (or whatever condition that mimics its symptoms) you might attract the attention of a girl with Sjögren’s with a peripheral neuropathy comorbidity.
- Or a cat behaviourist or author of kitty literature might be rock stars to cat ladies, but the rest of the population will be familiar with who they are.
These small groups of “seeing” people might develop an attachment to you. These people “see” in a special way, because they’re looking at you from a different angle, or they catch on certain nuances of your character or your product.
It gives you clarity, when you write a work of fiction based on these principles, hopefully it’ll provide others who relate to whatever relatable thing your work offers with clarity as well.
(I feel like my English sounds awkward today. Something in my brain just isn’t connecting. Sorry about that, bilingual problems.)
With the ability to see, comes the ability to see the dark side as well. And sometimes that dark side isn’t so pretty.
The Third Eye also represents visibility when I apply it to creating art. And in the age of Aquarius/Uranus (which rules teh Interwebs and teh plebs) we’re all getting an opportunity to get a feel of what it’s like to be famous (something traditionally only the opposite sign, Leo, had). I’ve been blogging since I was 15 and my entire life has been one “love-bombing” after the other even before love-bombing was a thing (I mean why do you think people use dating apps/sites where using your Googleable real name and sharing contact details/social media handles is prohibited). Even at the Third Eye level, being seen through a tiny keyhole by a limited amount of people can have consequences.
I mean they may be small consquences: a mean/snide comment someone left about your work, a downvote, your friends changing on you and deciding it’s okay to start using you all of the sudden when they used to be cool with just hanging out with you, even lack of views can sting.
I guess that’s why some people hate YouTubers and social media celebrities so much, because it’s so… common. Now if you don’t make it, you can’t blame an agent, or “I can’t afford the living cost in LA”, or say, “the play’s social media marketing sucked”, or whatever, so if you don’t make it, and nobody’s looking at your work, not even at the Third Eye level, it’s probably just because your content sucks (and if your content doesn’t suck, you just suck at social media marketing and SEO and all that). It’s like a real-time reality check and nobody likes a reality check. Especially the really realistic ones even when they don’t even happen IRL.
I’ll shut up about that now.
7. Crown Chakra
Keywords: Collective unconscious, oneness, humanity integration, unity, awakening.
This is a level above the 3rd Eye Chakra, and unlike the 3rd Eye Level the Crown Chakra connection’s higher awareness level reaches a larger number of people. IDK, I guess some people’s art just touches more people somehow, it’s not just the girl with the wobbly hands, but like everyone. This is when you get to be mega famous.
A real-life example of artists with works of art that have reached this greater amount of people is The Beatles. Everyone knows them. Everyone’s familiar with their music.
This is (the collective unconscious, collective consciousness, whatever) where you supposedly download all the good stuff.
You’re practically permanent A+ list at this level.
When your work has elements of the first 4 chakras aligned, you’re good, I think.
And then you’re ready to share.
But whether you reach that Third Eye or Crown Chakra level, is up to others and it’s beyond your control. For example: I’m a very unlikable hooman being, if I forced you to like me, I’d just make you hate me even more. So I try not to push it. (I’d prefer to be known as a one-hit wonder who knew when to stop and not overstay her welcome, not everybody gets to be The Beatles, a ’90s supermodel, Audrey Hepburn, or Alfred Hitchcock and I’m totes fine with that, I’ve accepted that fact of life. Shrugs.)
(Also, I think that’s maybe why some people’s thirst come off so annoying. Because when we force our presence upon people by trying to constantly stay relevant, or be in the spotlight, we’re kind of forcing ourselves upon people. And people like to have the option to choose and think for themselves.)
Not everybody gets to be The Beatles, and that’s okay. It’s even okay to create something (write a short story, draw a picture, even get cast in a low-key play) and never reach the Third Eye level. It’s okay to keep your doodles to yourself. Not everybody gets to have fans, and if that privacy and sense of calm of not being vulnerable and feel like your energy’s being sucked out of you just by being there for people to see, that’s fine too. You do you, Boo.
A lot of people want to open their Third Eye but they don’t seem to realise what it entails. Sometimes you get to see scary things, sometimes you end up disillusioned about everything because you see that nothing is really what it seems. And I think that’s a good way to see fame. You want recognition for your work, but with recognition comes attention, and with attention comes unwanted attention as well as pressure.
It’s also okay to not want that. Not everybody is naturally thirsty or has Sjögren’s.
So, the most important ones for your work of art/fiction/whatever (even as a business model) are: the Root Chakra, the Sacral Chakra, Solar Plexus, and the Heart Chakra (the first 4).
And then if/when you’re ready to share, then the Throat Chakra.
The Third Eye (being seen) and the Crown Chakra (being legit famous) are just a bonus.
Trying to reach the latter chakras without taking care of the first four is pointless.
It just won’t work.
Of course everything has to start with a foundation. It all does. And if that part’s not taken cared of, lots of things can go wrong…
For example, as a consumer, if a company messed with my Root Chakra by making me feel unwelcome—for instance, by belittling, being dismissive, or expressing bigoted views about to my beliefs or ethnic group/race—I would feel uncomfortable engaging with their company/brand, I might even feel threatened (at least psychologically).
I might feel resentful about spending money on that company (only spend money when my own biological brother makes me). Not only am I not going to spend money buying their toys/products, when I do I’ll be reluctant to show them off on social media (which, as marketers they want you to do, even if you’re a nobody non-influencer type with like 80 followers). In fact, if they keep pushing my buttons and go too far, I might avoid doing the free stuff they have to offer (like social media engagement, even refuse to follow them on social media).
OTOH, I think if you started a business that fundamentally just catered to my clients’ Root Chakras first, I think that business would do very well (which probably would mean you’d have to stick with a niche/smaller audience anyway, but that’s okay). For instance, if you started a translation business that specialised in catering to the spiritual community, and you marketed yourself as someone who wouldn’t judge people for their spiritual beliefs, I think you’d do well. You could earn their trust. IDK. It’s dream to be the go-to person to for translating cartomancy/astrology/spiritual stuff (I think it’s the only thing that would justify me investing in a copy of a CAT software like SDL Trados IDK). I wouldn’t just be like, “hey I know all the spirituality terminology”, but also I’d provide a welcoming, non-judgmental safe space for my clients. I actually believe that might work…
You just have to start from the foundation up. You can’t have a wobbly foundation otherwise it keeps falling apart and you can’t build it up higher.
And if you don’t want to go higher, that’s fine. Like, if your YouTube channel is built like a personal vlog diary, then if course nobody’s really going to watch (and, no, my awful video quality isn’t a self-sabotaging thing—it is what it is). What do you expect?
Me, I personally just publish my stuff online because it gives me a sense of “completion” (like a semi-closure, because after I’ve published, I usually will edit to polish a few times, and then I can move on). But I’m not too concerned how many notes I get on Tumblr or how many people subscribe to my AO3 account. Whatever.
Again, sorry for the awkward English today.
I was meant to polish CSS’ Tumblr posts before I make her Tumblr public again tomorrow on February 5 (at least get some CNY Easter Eggs ready, and some add-ons—although they’ve been tagged, so I feel fundamentally ‘structured’ a bit). But then I got distracted by ideas for TFW (although I don’t have to publish that until March 12) and so I ended-up typing that up all morning. (And for some strange reason, I seem to be able to speak English just fine when I write that short story. LOL!)
I used to run a personal Tumblr blog to deal with issues and brain-defragment, haven’t done that in a while hence the scatteredness. I guess I’ll have to start using this blog for that since I’m done being anon:
I do find it hard to organise a Tumblr blog when it’s password protected/the posts are private. The good news is, now I have 5,449 words on TFW now.
Made public on #CNY2019: Tuesday, February 5, 2019 (last updated 05:35 AM Western Indonesian Time)