September 22nd, 2014

How to Write About Astrology — or Not

astrology_disasters

“Real seriousness in regard to writing is one of two absolute necessities.
The other, unfortunately, is talent.” –Ernest Hemingway

The internet has fostered the madcap idea that — given the collapse of print publishing and the world of editors and agents — everyone should be writing. Something.

Or recording music.

Or painting. Drawing. Doodling.

But — uh oh — so many can’t.

Years ago the author Toni Morrison exclaimed to whomever (whoever?) was listening that everyone in the world had a book inside of him (or her) that was just waiting to be written. Uhm, checkmate! Another author, the gadfly Fran Liebowitz, interrupted Ms. Morrison and said: “This may be true, but please don’t write it.

I agree. There is nothing more heartbreaking than when an amateur following what she thinks is her muse discovers that it’s simply the ominous groan of a foghorn declaring: “Danger! Treacherous rocks ahead. Think of your mortgage.”

One of the most egregious areas of online self-publishing are astrology blogs and YouTube videos. Here we discover why the masses consider astrology disposable and relegated to the back pages of Cosmopolitan magazine.

I’m amazed when I consider my career and what was required to first learn astrology and then become a good astrologer. Where did my stamina to attempt writing come from? It was a surprise. The one skill doesn’t necessarily confirm the other. One might read a chart but can’t write about it worth a damn.

So, over time I discovered that I had a knack for writing about astrology too. The keyword is knack — and, well, unfortunately knack-ness is not something that can be taught. Grammar and speling (forget about it) and The Elements of Style can be mastered, but not the inherent nature of a knack. Slippery as a glowing fish.

Mega-million bestseller Stephen King puts it like this — which includes the “good news” and the “bad news”:

This article is included in the new book Electric Universe: Signs, Signals & Spells. Order below!

For the past ten years, Frederick Woodruff’s AstroInquiry has become the ‘go-to’ spot for readers in search of illuminating commentary on astrology, popular culture, spirituality and the pitfalls of New Age charlatanism.

Woodruff’s 40-year career as a professional astrologer, artist, and pop-culture critic have honed a perspicacious writer who doesn‘t pull punches as he explores radical new views on astrology, the shortcomings of New Age magical thinking and the precarious minefield that dots our tech-obsessed cultural landscape.

Thankfully, he’s funny and also keen on suggesting creative ways forward for everyone.

And now there’s an e-book that collects Woodruff’s most popular and provocative articles into one comprehensive and engaging book. You won’t want to miss any of them!

This volume includes:

• The Truth About Mercury Retrograde
• Planetary Ennui: The Nostalgia for Samsara
• How To Make Facebook Your Slave and Preserve Your Creative Drive
• The Power, Beauty, and Wonder of the Horoscope’s 12th House
• Imbeciles at the Gate: How The Internet Destroys Astrology
• How To Escape From the Torture of Self-Help Hell
• Depression and the Solar Consciousness
• Secrets of the Heart: Love is an Action Not A Feeling
• Create Your Own Archetype & Call It You: An Escape from Evolutionary Astrology
• Redefining the Oxymoron of Sex and Marriage
• Death is the New Black
• How To Write About Astrology (Especially How Not To)
• Astrology, Ants, Hives, Essence, and Types: A Gurdjieffian View
• Final Notes About the Life-and-Culture-Changing Uranus-Pluto Square

Order your copy now!

 

 

Photograph: The Hindenburg in flames above Lakehurst Naval Air Station on May 6th, 1937. The National Archives.


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