Saturday, October 01, 2011

Guest room not free...

I'm going to write something here today. Where to start? I dunno; Title? uhm....I can think of a title later. Right, ready, type something...*Beep* Damn it! Washing machine interrupting me just at the moment I'm about to type something when I've not typed anything for days I mean what is that trying to say? Haha funny world having a joke on me.

Laundry done for now, so now. What to type?

I've been reading writing books again, I've been watching TED videos on creativity. I've been rather ill with a terrible cough that better not be Whooping cough or I will punch Jenny McCarthy in her smug anti-vaccination face. Yet the other day I had an idea. It just hit me, as it would after a TED video about ideas and where they come from and how other artists work through the process. I'm not an artist - how very smug. To be an artist you have to actually create something that other people seem to like, before that you're just a hobbyist; subject to every ounce of disdain and discouragement leveled upon you by the world who deems artists as inferior until they actually become famous. Society is seriously fucked up, don't you agree?

I didn't agree with Ms. Guilbert about creativity being an external thing or a Dobby the House Elf whispering in a writer's ear at inopportune moments, but I played with the idea. I thought about it being an external process. I got bored and made tea.

I then tried Amy Tan's talk on creativity. She mixes creativity with science and it worked much better for me. Amy Tan, I'm loving her now. Had not dipped my toe into her world before but will now.

Everyone has their process on where their ideas come from. In this I think it's very nuture vs nature. It is not innate, it is not predestined. It's also, annoying as it is, not always linear. I wish I could discover a story from beginning to end all logical and twinging the emotions at the right points. But it doesn't, not ever. For me, it's an argument. It always begins with an argument. I get a vivid movie flash of a disagreement, an epiphany for one over the unfairness of the other. It's extremely clear, their feelings, their machinations, their lack of self awareness. It's voyeuristic. I can barely get the whole of it on paper before it's gone. That's it. That's all I get; a fight. I am then left alone to figure out how these two got to be in this fight in the first place, and then what happens after the fight. I flounder. I have pages and pages of fights. Fights in cafes, fights in the home, fights in the car. Arguments, clashing wills, blatant ignorance.

When you happen upon a couple in the full fury of a disagreement so that the world melts away for them and they see nothing but their opponent, you can't help but watch. How could you not watch? They fight and then it's over because one storms off. You may share the story over coffee but eventually it's gone except for the thought that those two were assholes. Really, those two people arguing in public are assholes. These are the people who my subconscious/conscious bring to me to write about. Now I ask you - is that fair? Well, I suppose it is. If we see these arguments in reality it can be uncomfortable for us to witness but in a book we are removed from it all as it's fictional. It may have actually happened and the writer was using real life in their fiction but the reader won't know that. Barrier in place, freedom to enjoy.

I don't like it when people fight. I do like a good debate, a good exchange, wit and charm. But what to do with these people? That's where I get a bit stuck. I shouldn't feel responsible for them, like Amy Tan's example of if you save a man from drowning, you're now responsible for him; no. I don't want to responsible for them - but am I?


Rox said...

Who's in your guest room?! :)

I think it's a fine line between artist and hobbyist, I guess it depends on who is dishing out the compliments and what their own level of creativity is.

Do you have a fear of the ugly, messy kinds of conflict you write about? It could be your way of working through that.

You should punch Jenny McCarthy in the face anyway, just for shits and giggles.

Glad to see you posted!

Victoria M. said...

Hey, I'm just glad you're writing (here, at least). Your research sounds interesting. I tend to think of an artist as someone who _has_ to draw, paint, write etc. Whether or not the artwork pleases anyone being besides the point. My mother and I were just talking (arguing) about this very thing. She thinks talent is a rare/magical thing. I think technique can be learned by anyone who is interested and disciplined enough to bother. That it's the drive to create that seems rare and hard to define (to me, anyway). Interesting topic! Glad as well you have posted :)

Lyvvie said...

I couldn't figure out why Rox had asked who was in the guest room - not even thinking of the title to this very post. I think I wrote that as a last effort to get this posted and to say the "Muse" was around, whatever that may be.

I agree with you completely Victoria! Everyone has the ability to do something creative and/or artistic but it's up to them to put in the effort to become proficient. Nothing comes easy to anyone; that's a myth. Unless one is a savant or some other rare or unusual quirk; like Marilu Henner and her ability to remember everything. Everything. Apparently she's only one of a handful of people like that in the world. The rest of us have calendars and alerts on out mobiles.

Artists are everywhere so really, it's not that rare a quality. It's a cultivated skill.

Desire to do that skill, that's a different thing. Where do we find the need to practice something that more than often, we get zero encouragement, zero acknowledgement and zero praise. To practice something that can becomes burdensome either financially or of our free time but often both? Especially if we suck at it! That describes me and knitting right there - I'm not a great knitter, but I persist in doing it, spending money on yarn that fills up my closet, on needles that fill a box, downloading PDFs and starting and stopping many times over and trying to get my head around the whole thing...

Hey, why can't I approach writing like I approach knitting? Now there's a thought for the day for me to chew over.