What do you do when you don’t feel it, when creating art feels like 10 parts chore, 0 parts joy?
I’ve only written one blog in the past week so what should I do? Try to force something out that will make the stats climb again, build interest, blah blah blah?
The truth is that I’m not that interested right now. I mean, I am but there’s big wide world (of sports?) out there to explore and I sat in the house for the better part of a year. It’s time to live, go on adventures, find inspiration that will fuel the writing.
Which means that it isn’t time to write some transparent, paper-thin crap that feels like a reach at best. All my artist friends will be able to relate to the following:
There’s a project that’s been marinating in your skull for days or months or even years. At some point your brain says, “go to work, get it done!” You set up the workspace, get your mind right, pull the trigger…
And nothing. Nothing worth saving, anyway. Full-on epic misfire. Looks and smells like garbage so it must be garbage, right?
Yeah, probably so. I tend to relegate those to the “file of shame” somewhere deep, deep within the subterranean bowels of “My Documents” because it isn’t going to excite anyone else if it doesn’t excite me first. I put on my spelunking gear every three months, text my mother and tell her to call the cops if she doesn’t hear from me within the next 48 hours, dive into the filth to perhaps find half a hidden spark.
I respect folks like a friend who happens to be a great writer with a KILLER idea that I wish she would have started on yesterday. She’s been marinating on it for years (if memory serves) and I gave her a hard time because she hasn’t pursued it… yet. Her response?
She isn’t ready… yet.
I get it. Why write crap that might turn you off to the point that you bury a great idea and forget it ever existed? I’m not talking about winning prizes, getting published, whatever. Writing for the pure pleasure, like an artist with a sketch pad that only sees the light of day when they’re either inspired or need a smile.
Artistic creation satisfies my soul in a way that nothing else can (aside from watching my daughters grow into wonderful, strong women). Drums were loud and public for me. Drumming is WAY easier than writing because you get to hide behind 50-100 pounds of equipment on the back of a stage behind singers and guitarists, the most narcissistic, insecure creatures ever to walk the planet (after politicians, that is). Writing is quiet, more intimate.
But it becomes very public (and narcissistic?) for me come January.
I suppose a number of the literary agents I query will rip me to shreds and that’s cool which reminds me… man, I have such respect for every artist who put themselves out there for public consumption and scrutiny.
And what if every agent on the planet does reject me and my little query letter, doesn’t even want to read the first ten pages of Chapter 1?
I’ll come up with an even BETTER query letter, hide behind a pen name and hit “(RE)SEND”!. I already have my nom de guerre picked out:
“Mongo Slade”. Funky, isn’t it?
Remember, it’s a big man’s world and there are no punks… ZERO tolerance. Life’s short, don’t be a coward. I tried… it was a bad look, didn’t work.
So much for being disinterested with nothing to write about. This leads us to the answer to the question du jour:
What do you do when you don’t feel it, when creating art feels like 10 parts chore, 0 parts joy? You fake it til you make it til you create from the heart and let the chips fall where they may.
As long as it’s an honest expression of how you felt at that given moment… nobody wants to be lied to.