Writing can be hard. It can be easy. It can be fulfilling, and soul crushing all in the time it takes to complete a sentence. One sentence can bring outright elation only to send ones opinion and self worth to crumble faster than it takes to realize the movie you sat down to watch is as appealing as a 300 pound gorilla fart.
Yet, if you’re stubborn and power through the ups and down of your personal rollercoaster of emotions, and complete a manuscript… Well there really is no way to describe it. At least that’s my take. I’m somewhere in the range of elation of completion to mourning the death of a relationship. Here was this friend you had spending countless hours with, thinking about, talking with, constructing and deconstructing, and so on. Then it’s over.
Thank God and Oh Shit all in one swoop.
Of course there is the rewriting to come, but that’s a different step in the process of completion. I’m talking about the first draft here. Hopefully there is something there to take the place of the sudden void left from finishing the pet project you had for such a long time. Then comes the, “Now what?” stage. Especially if you, like me in this instance, haven’t come up with something to take up the long hours usually spent staring at a screen hammering away content and dialogue. I still have ideas, but they’re more like scenes between strangers I overheard in a restaurant. It’s interesting, but lacks that certain spark of interest needed to make me want to succumb to creating that world. It’s just a couple of people talking about the arrangement of their sock drawer, or something just as boring.
Stephen King said that the beginning of the story is always the scariest part. That initial sit down just before you write out the first words of this whole universe stored up in your mind trying to break out through the slow process of typing. Maybe that’s my problem. Maybe I should kick myself in the ass so it shoves me right into that scene of socks, then make shit happen so the characters have to show you what they’re made of. If it doesn’t work out then say fuck it, and move along to the next scene and make shit happen there, and so on.
For the longest time I was obsessed with wanting to write the best and greatest story, the so-called great American novel idea of writing a book. It was supposed to really say something that made people sit back in awe. This is what I would like to call the aspiring writer stage of my life. I spent more time thinking about writing than actually writing. I talked about writing and wasn’t doing it. And, as a result I accomplished nothing. Somewhere I realized I should worry about the great American novel. I should just write and if it’s good, or crap, or whatever then at least I have something. Something is better than nothing and aspiring to be a writer is a whole lot of nothing. Planting oneself in a seat, hammering away at the keys, getting shit written down is something, and something can lead to anything. Stop worrying about trying to affect the world with my thoughts and just have a good story. That’s all anyone really wants. A good story allows for a bit of escape. But, in order to have a good story you have to write shit down.
Sometimes, you have to get all the bad stuff out before the good stuff can start to flow. Either way, getting something down on paper, that’s the goal. That’s what this blog is partially about. It’s a way to get shit done and see where it leads me. If I can’t come up with a good story at the moment, then I should write anyway and see what happens. If I can’t make a world then make shit happen in this one and see how I handle it.
Until next time,