Travis Hugh Culley

Goodreads Author


Born
in Tampa, Fl., The United States
Website

Twitter

Genre

Influences
Lao Tze, Plato, Ovid, Marlowe, Buchner, Geothe, Nietzsche, Husserl, Mi ...more

Member Since
October 2012

URL


Author of A Comedy & A Tragedy: A Memoir of Learning to Read & Write, Ballantine Books, 2015.

Author of The Immortal Class: Bike Messengers and the Cult of Human Power, Villard Books, 2001.






To ask Travis Hugh Culley questions, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Travis Hugh Culley I have several answers to this question. For starters, I think there are many kinds of writer’s block. There is the very real fact that sometimes…moreI have several answers to this question. For starters, I think there are many kinds of writer’s block. There is the very real fact that sometimes writing does not always involve continuous typing – as people think. Often writing is editing, and so there must be some room to consider the problem of “Editor’s Block.” With my latest book, I spent five years in the editing process, and there is no doubt that I have faced blocks in cutting a text back, rephrasing, and balancing the weight of certain sections by re-wording. Sometimes it was a chore just to sit there, rereading. In the both writing process and the editing process, I have had to make room for thinking. At times, I will spend weeks polishing sections, avoiding others. In these moments, I maintained the discipline of working, improving the book but the editor in me had to give the writer a break. When I moved forward, I felt the need to listen.

About a year ago, I spent three weeks just looking at one section of my book, and found that I was completely at a loss. I worried that this wasn’t just a symptom of “writer’s block” but only the lost effort of a broken writer. I faced failure, despair, and the impossible. I thought that I might have to retract the work and give up the project entirely, I sat and reached complete stillness. When I was ready, I wrote over a section I loved. I saw that I had become too precious, and couldn’t see that this one little link between two halves of a chapter was actually draining the rest of the story. I moved forward automatically, and in about ten words fixed a whole that would have otherwise sunk the ship.

I believe that writer’s block is only part of the process of completion. It may be a sign of having to go back a step, and it may be a clue that you have drawn some of the wrong elements in. It may be a confrontation with a question that a reader would not be able to avoid. So, I listen to the block like it is a mentor, a mirror, a prophet or a friend. There is nothing saying that a writer must always have something to write about. It is also true that at a point the work is done, and the next part of the process is to take a walk, or to go on a ride, to talk to a friend, and to encounter what I like to call “the ocean.”

There are also smaller kinds of blocks that I have faced, and this is where I will answer the question you’ve been waiting for. When I have the luxury of looking at a blank page, and I am setting new tracks for a reader, when the next moment is as fresh for me as it is for you (dear reader) I do sometimes rely on chance. In moments like this I will work with a metronome at my side, and I will write in synch with its rhythm. There are games which have provided interesting tools. For example Boggle or Scrabble. If I need a new clue to initiate a sentence, I can randomly draw on a letter from the alphabet, and imagine that my next thought will hang from this. Some letters line up, some leap, some return to a basis, others will help form connections. Some letters will reverse a thought and present a negative, and sometimes a complete reversal proves itself absolutely necessary. The random letter is often useful - just like flipping a coin - but remember: it is your right at all times to disregard outcome. That’s when I know: I am on to something wonderful.
(less)
Average rating: 3.69 · 404 ratings · 80 reviews · 2 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Immortal Class: Bike Me...

3.71 avg rating — 359 ratings — published 2001 — 7 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
A Comedy & A Tragedy: A Mem...

3.50 avg rating — 50 ratings — published 2015 — 3 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating

* Note: these are all the books on Goodreads for this author. To add more, click here.

Dear Readers,

I believe that fame is a phantom, and celebrity does not pay. If you would like to get in touch and see if I am a "real person" please be in touch. Make me a friend, or just ask me questions.

If there is one sign that you can hang me by, it is this one: ?

I want to hear from you.

Paix,
Travis
 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on June 26, 2015 10:04 • 52 views • Tags: ask-me-anything, contact, readers

Upcoming Events

No scheduled events. Add an event.

The Complete Work...
Rate this book
Clear rating

 
Religion and Culture
Rate this book
Clear rating

 

Travis’s Recent Updates

Travis Culley rated a book it was amazing
The Confusions of Young Törless by Robert Musil
Rate this book
Clear rating
Travis Culley is now following
16747
Travis Culley rated a book really liked it
Being and Time by Martin Heidegger
Rate this book
Clear rating
Travis Culley rated a book it was amazing
Columbine by Dave Cullen
Columbine
by Dave Cullen (Goodreads Author)
Rate this book
Clear rating
Travis Culley rated a book it was amazing
The Sane Society by Erich Fromm
Rate this book
Clear rating
Travis Culley finished reading
Nature's God by Matthew Stewart
Rate this book
Clear rating
Travis Culley finished reading
A Universal History of the Destruction of Books by Fernando Báez
Rate this book
Clear rating
Travis Culley is currently reading
The Complete Works of Primo Levi by Primo Levi
Rate this book
Clear rating
Travis Culley rated a book really liked it
Nature's God by Matthew Stewart
Rate this book
Clear rating
Travis Culley rated a book it was amazing
A Universal History of the Destruction of Books by Fernando Báez
Rate this book
Clear rating
More of Travis's books…
“Life sucks, but work is really cool!”
Travis Hugh Culley, The Immortal Class: Bike Messengers and the Cult of Human Power

“We cannot teach children the danger of lying to men without feeling as men, the greater danger of lying to children.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau

20024 Boulder Public Library — 53 members — last activity Aug 12, 2011 02:53PM
Staff of the Boulder Public Library and any interested readers!
26989 Goodreads Authors/Readers — 29286 members — last activity 33 minutes ago
This group is dedicated to connecting readers with Goodreads authors. It is divided by genres, and includes folders for writing resources, book websit ...more
25x33 Boulder Book Club — 50 members — last activity Jun 02, 2018 01:38PM
Originally founded as the Boulder Book Club on Facebook, this is an experimental reimagining of the club on Goodreads started for the 17th selection. ...more



No comments have been added yet.