I’ve been reading a lot of really heavy articles lately.
Rape. Poverty. Racism. Transphobia. Forcible carrying of rape babies to term. Environmental degeneration. Serial killers and self-defense killing and prostitution.
I’ve been reading heavy fiction, too. Margaret Atwood. James Joyce. Stuff about quiet despair and subtle, incipient injustice and how easy it is to get used to systems that are treating people horribly.
One of the “life improvement” bloggers I read a lot by in my first year out of college, when I was concerned about being able to have a life I’d find worth living, broke his time down into “the three C’s.” They were “Consume, Create, and Connect.” Sometimes in our lives as artists or entrepreneurs or passionate people, we’re focused on learning and gaining exposure to what’s out there; sometimes we’re focused on forming relationships with other artists, entrepreneurs, or passionate people; sometimes we decide, “It’s my time to say something.”
I’m feeling like I’m in the “consume” category at the moment. Every day, it seems, I email myself another ten articles to read at home. I’m on an information binge, but I don’t know what the result will be. I’m not sure what I’m going to create with it.
I do know that right now, I don’t feel like I have very much to say, of substance, about the things that I’ve been reading. It seems like all of the things to be said have been said. And that makes part of me nervous. It’s the writer-part, the inner artist feeling the need to express and to produce at all times. It’s the part of me that looks at the writing career of Stephen King and thinks, “Damn, if I started now, even if everything went perfectly and all my work got published, could I ever catch up?”
It’s the part of me that started this blog, frankly. Assuming I would have or invent something to say twice a week, every week.
But of course, not every post can be inspired. Not every Stephen King novel can be “Carrie.” Some of them are going to be “Silver Bullet,” or his novella-length essay about baseball that he slips into one of his books of short stories. Creativity is not an isolated, endless fountain. It exists only in context with the world.
I can feel the restlessness build. “Something’s Coming,” as West Side Story’s Tony would put it. And it’s not even like I’m not writing–we’re practically done with the first (very basic) draft of “Pr0ne.” After I post this, I’ll get on a train to the studio to go write some more. But there’s something else, something I’ll do alone, or might do alone, or might just think of doing, that my subconscious has been laying the bricks for. I hope, when it comes, that I give it the time it needs to grow.
Until then, I’ll be reading lots of articles. Dreaming. Starting at my split ends. And trying to enjoy the itch that is an almost-realized idea, tickling the tips of my fingers, Tantalus-like, just slightly out of reach.