|my creative engine|
after my spate of creativity [really more of an unexpected burp] that led to making this short piece, i have been trying to make myself work on creative things every day. because the only way to keep the process happening is to just push it out there and hope for the best. i know this to be the case. i know that when i've sat around, waiting for the muse to poke me in the ear, i've ended up on some truly epic dry spells and have been left questioning my purpose, my life and the universe, all of which usually gives me a headache.
i have a headache now, which should tell you about my frame of mind.
what i've discovered more recently, after my revelation about a decade back that i needed to keep writing every day [which i haven't been doing, which might be part of the problem], i've realised that some of the time, the worst thing that can happen to you is that you have an idea and then you try to start writing it. i know i've gone through this sort of thing before. i've written about the pain of wanting to write something that seems really good in my head, but just doesn't work in practice. and i've dealt with the frustration of having something come out that just seems like my brain has gotten lazy and tried just regurgitating stuff it had come up with before. at the moment, i'm kind of struggling with a combination of the two.
i hadn't planned anything out, but just set to work trying to write something based on a loose idea [possibly a loose screw] i had in my head. the original idea was to make it into a very short, creepy little tale, kind of like this one. the trick is that i knew exactly how i wanted it to end and i had the beginning in mind. so if it's a piece of micro-fiction, that doesn't leave me a lot of space to go astray, right?
sigh. you know damn well i wouldn't be writing this blog post if everything had worked out fine.
i was aware of a problem shortly after i started. i opened with a man waking up in a terrifying situation, with no idea as to how he got there. a decent enough way to start, except that i already did that in a big way in "the tower", the opening story [hence the one most likely to be read] in interference. so this is going to be my thing now "wakey wakey! you're in a whole arseload of trouble, buddy!" but it's not like no other authors have ever repeated themselves, right? how many times have i had to endure hemingway talking about the stupid bullfights? maybe men trapped in horrifying situations are my matadors.
but then, as i pranced forward, i realised that there was a lot that i was writing, far more than i'd originally intended. i really wanted to communicate the horror of the situation, but i also wanted to do it in a way that was sort of funny. i'm like that. i'm working on a sock puppet show about stalin's purges.
of course, i don't mind if something gets longer than i intended. that's happened to me a lot. it's how i've written some of the things i like the most. but what occurred to me as i kept heaping words on my idea was that none of it was in any way leading me towards the ending i'd envisioned. in fact, it was pulling me in quite the opposite direction. the more i wrote, the more i realised that the ending and the beginning i'd had in mind would only work together if you didn't think about it very hard. subject to any kind of scrutiny. worse still, the funny bits, as typical of me as i like to think they are, were undermining the whole idea.
so why had i included them?
i had to think about that for a little bit, but then it hit me: because without them, i had no interest whatsoever in what was going on. here's this poor guy in a horrible situation, a situation that i put him in for my own purposes and i'm trying to move his story forward, but in the back of my mind, i'm wondering what else is on my mental television. my excitement to keep at it was so low that i had to take a nap at one point because i was falling asleep. i think this poor gentleman might be stuck where he is until i can work out that conundrum.
i'll keep the fragment that i've started, because i keep all of my fragments on the off chance that i'm less embarrassed by them in the future. i don't want to keep working on it, at least not right away, because the more i work on it, the more i'm working my way into a deep hole. all i know is what i've put as the title of this post: if i can't bring myself to care about what's happening to this guy, there's no way i can expect that other people will.
and so i face a tomorrow swollen with the possibility of new ideas, new creative adventures and new failures.