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April 29, 2008

Pushing through.

One lesson I'm learning here is how to face despair, or lack of inspiration, or just general laziness (or the potent combination of all three.) Yesterday and today, I forced myself to just write the Tovenray story. I'm becoming a real believer in the advice to "finish it badly." That's infinitely better than not finishing it at all. Once you have that initial lump of clay at least somewhat formed into something, it's much easier to refine.

If you don't write the pages, you have nothing.

I've found that there is no "quality" correlation between pages that are hard to write and pages that are easy to write. Sometimes the easy stuff is brilliant, sometimes it needs to be completely re-worked. Same with the difficult stuff.

"Finish it badly" is really just taking the pressure off so that you finish it at all. In reality the chances that it's actually bad are the same as any other time.

It's a discipline. A very difficult discipline to develop, because there are so many aspects of creativity that it's always tempting - especially for me, who loves the thrill of inspiration - to just wait for God to walk into the room and let those magical moments do all the work for you. But those bursts of inspiration are pretty rare. To be a consistent storyteller (or songwriter, or anything creative) you have to develop muscles that force God into the room, even when you don't believe there is a God. Even when you don't believe there is a room.

Yesterday and today, I rewrote the 19 pages I had already written (cutting them down to 14) and then wrote 8 shiny brand new pages, too. Not bad. I'm back into the story. Another crisis averted. These times are actually monumental for me, because as an inspiration junkie in the past... it might have been another six months before I started writing again.

Posted by jason on April 29, 2008 12:11 PM

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