These are the manic ramblings that go through my head at all hours of the day or night.
Ahhhh. The cure for my restlessness: inspiration.
I wrote today, first time in awhile. It wasn’t much, but I haven’t been feeling qualified to do much more than list on eBay, jog, and catch up on episodes of the Simpsons that I missed over the last 10 years (turns out I stopped watching about halfway through Season 11, the last episode I saw being the great “Max Power” ep. Quality).
It calmed me: that perfect, pleasant exhaustion of the nervous, fidgety energy that too many Coke Zeros and nights alone can work up in you. It felt good, like flexing a muscle you forgot you had. I’ve never really struggled with writer’s block in the traditional sense; I’m never short of ideas. Rather, my issue is always motivation. It’s easier to sit around and watch TV, or goof on the internet, to just lie perfectly still under your bed, staring up at the wooden planks above you and try and figure out how long it will take for those planks to finally give out and crush you. It’s harder (and scarier) to just sit at a desk and type out words or fiddle with knobs, or try and get that perfect guitar tone. You trade the possible wrenching existential horror of potentially failing at producing something legitimately good for the assured vague ennui of knowing you didn’t even try.
But ultimately, procrastination is more toxic to your soul than producing something subpar. So many people obsess over creativity, thinking it must be this covert, silent, and ultimately efficiency driven process and that anything less is a waste of time. These people tend to labor under the delusion that they’re going to immerge from their caves/cabins/subterranean bunkers with this fully formed, Brilliant New Idea and people will just coo. It’s like a bloody magic trick, complete with it’s own “Ta-Da!” moment.
I find that style of “creativity” very tiresome. It usually has this heightened sense of gravitas and involves a lot of hype, both for yourself and for your potential audience. It’s like talking about all the bands you could be in, all the scripts you could be writing, all the paintings you could be… painting.
Maybe there are people out there who make it work for them, but it’s not for me. Creativity is a very satisfying process for me as long as it’s simply process driven. Simple, small steps as often as you can manage. Just do it. The second part of that slogan really should be, “It’s not like it has to be good or anything. It just has to be.”
It’s nice to know that, when you set your mind to it, you can still make it happen. It feels good to be able to will my ideas into the world. The muscles fall into their old rhythms; curved, gnarled fingers hunt and peck. Guitars screech and squeal. And I can sleep soundly tonight.
Not too shabby.