Sunday, September 11, 2011

It's Probably Incoherent (Because Most Posts About Writing Usually Are)

I don’t know when it became so hard to do what you really, really like to do. I’m not talking about the interference from work and school and the general responsibilities of real life. I’m talking about that fear of failure and that depletion of creativity that comes from realizing you’re not very good. How is it that stories go around finding people? I read all these inspiring biographies about people who just had an idea fall into their head. It reminded me of this documentary I saw one time where a smart little boy told his mom that he had seen her from Heaven and knew that she was the only one who would be able to raise him. Is that how stories work? Do they look down at the world from the cosmos and single out the one person who could best express them to the general public?

Or is it random happenstance? Is it eating too much chocolate before bed and then having crazy dreams? Is it constant perseverance: taking time to type meaningless word after word so that the document isn’t blank anymore? And can someone please explain to me how I ended up with all these characters and no story? I did have a story once upon a time ago and I remember thinking that it was the most important story in the world. I had this inescapable thing to project it out into the world. It demanded to be told and I was just the hands it used to compose itself. But now, I don’t really understand the story. Maybe that’s because I know how it ends now and it ends well for every party involved.

It’s like that favorite picture that represents a fantastic point in time that gets all wrinkled from constant use and exposure to the elements. Then, one day, you realize you have other great memories that need a space on the wall and so, gently, you take your favorite picture and put it into an album before tucking it onto the shelf. It’ll always be there when you need it but there are newer pictures that represent the same happiness. And the old one? Maybe you don’t talk to those people as much anymore. Maybe you got into a nasty fight with the girl to your left in the photo.

I don’t know. I just know that it’s the picture on the shelf now. It’s still beautiful and it’s still wonderful and it will always be remembered. There’s just other things you want to see on your nightstand.

And then there is all the other stuff. The general responsibilities. I’m so tired. I’m always so tired and I can’t always justify staring at a blank Word document when I hardly have time to breathe anyway. Maybe I’m not that lucky person that a story is just going to find one day. I just have my characters. And they roll around, joke around and flourish in a thousand and one different environments. But they don’t tell a story. They just are. Very much in the same way that I just am. And since when did I decide it was okay to start writing in fragments? Sheesh.

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