Friday, May 24, 2013

Finding Friday. May 24 2013

In an attempt to get some amount of regularity and usefulness to my blog I've decided to start a weekly segment.  Contrary to the title, it's not actually Friday that we're finding.
It's on Friday that we're finding...
a reason
your dream

I'm writing a novel.  It might get published.  It might not.  It might end up a turd.  That's not what matters.  What matters is that for every word I write, every idea I capture and save, my creative need is fulfilled.  I'm moving forward.  And I've learned that (this is specifically for you) you're either moving forward, moving backward or standing still with the world moving past you.

I didn't know I wanted to write until a year and a half ago.  I started off wanting to make video games.  As I grew older (and this process took longer for me than it does for some) I realized I wanted to do more than create games, I just wanted to create something.  I had no idea what.

The way I discovered this (and I'm leaving out details of "standing still" and "moving backward" for the sake of saving you time) was very gradual.  I noticed that certain things gave me a weird feeling in my stomach.  Such as
 - Looking out the window of a moving vehicle at scenic locations, especially forests, plains, hills, mountains, rivers
 - Certain soundtracks, especially from video games that I played in my youth... before each exciting burst of imagination came linked to frustrating, mental invoices (this may require expanding on)
 - Quotes from really smart people
 - Quotes from really dumb people (especially ironic quotes...)
 - Office equipment (as odd as that sounds, seeing blank paper and notebooks and sketch pad has ALWAYS given me a feeling of longing... I should have realized it sooner)

I began jotting down these things that struck me.  I didn't know why at the time.  I was just collecting a stockpile of ideas... bricks with which to build.  In this way, I learned what inspiration truly is.  I knew too well the sore longing and gradual heartache that results from just letting inspiration walk past.  I was sick of it.  It was like like sitting on a bench, waiting on my best friend, then ignoring him when he arrived because I was obliviated by the blinders of routine.
The fact is, your friend Inspiration is going to walk by and you're going to feel regret.  Again.  Then you're going to tell yourself,
"Hey, I have to be realistic here.  Someone's got to take care of all the bills, the yard, the kids, the dog, the car...  One day I'll have more time to kick it with my friend Inspiration."

No you won't.  Not unless you start right now.

Do you really think you're the first person to have two a full time jobs, seven kids, two quadriplegic cats, weekly toe-hair therapy, and daily death-metal yodeling lessons?
You're not.   
Someone else has their hands as full as yours and they're fulfilling their creative needs as well.

Keep it simple first.  Just get a notepad, or do what I do now and use the notepad function on a cellphone.  Take notes, no matter how insignificant or impossible.
"I'd love to add a shelf to the pantry"
"I'd love to build a deck and get an above ground pool for the backyard"
"I'd love to be able to jog at 60 mph and leap over trees"

For you writers, painters, sketchers, composers, and inventors, the question is not, "Which of these could only exist in a creative work?"  They all could.
With enough forward movement, they could also all exist in your life.

You've heard this a hundred times but The hardest part is starting.

Are you snatching inspiration as it arrives?

How do you capture inspiration?
Do you 'notepad' as well?


  1. You've discovered the secret - there will never be time. You have to seize it NOW.

  2. The old phrase comes to mine "Life is what you make it." No one else can truly make you happy at the end of the day. There are people that can enrich your life and bring you joy, but if you are not being the person you were meant to be there will always be a hole.

    I used to "notepad" when I worked at the city, but not I do a lot of mental notes, I am lucky that my brain holds onto a lot of it.

    1. I agree with that entirely. Take responsibility!

    2. Oh, and I'm not lucky like that... Quite the opposite for me. My memory is about as sharp as a marshmallow.

  3. Dude, your muse was reaching out to you BIG time. Glad you grabbed hold and started creating! I def notepad. I get hit with story ideas all the time and jot stuff down.
    You know what's cool about video games is that so many have a story nowadays--you could always write for the game makers. that'd be an awesome job!!

    1. Pk, that. would. be. awesome!
      Some of my favorite authors do that.. I'd love to get into it.

  4. It's very good to write gems of inspiration or story ideas down, otherwise they fade away...

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Getting feedback on your writing is very important. The trick is to find a writing site or group of serious writers that are your level or better (so you can learn). If you want to test groups, put in one chapter and see what kind of feedback you get. 99.9% of writers don't steal other writers' ideas. They're always convinced their own ideas are better!

    1. That's totally reassuring to hear! And that last sentence rings true...
      Now to find a group

  5. Carp diet. I think that is how you say it.

    1. "Seize the diet," I heard her say.
      "Life will not always be this way."

  6. People will do what they really want to do. If we make it a priority, we will get it done. It's the difference between wishes and real goals, and the latter must be a burning desire.

    1. If other people are at all like me, they need a little direction. Not that I'm claiming to be the end-all on the subject.
      Capturing my inspiration was a long process that easily could have ended far worse.
      The effects of burning desire minus direction can be quite incendiary.
      (horrible pun, I'm sorry)

  7. I also have that longing when I see paper and pens. I tell people I have an office supply fetish.

    And excellent post! Today, I gave the kids each a composition book, took one for myself, and set a timer for 30 minutes. I told them it didn't matter what they wrote, but that they had to write for 30 minutes. My 5-year old filled 3/4 of a page, my 8-year old filled at least two pages (he wanted it to be private, so I don't know how many there were besides what I glimpsed at one point), and I filled 15 pages, continuing to write for another 30 minutes after the timer went off. It felt so good! I've been working and doing writing-RELATED things, but not writing, and I didn't realize how stopped up my mental insides were. I plan on doing this with them daily. It was wonderfully peaceful, all of us just sitting there writing.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

    1. That sounds awesome. I've spent too long away from physical note pads.
      I need to set aside a half hour and write! (And then go over the time limit!)

  8. You go around and start talking to people, you'll find so many want to write a book. In fact, this world is full of people with that great novel inside their heads waiting to be shared with the world.

    Maybe a percent of 1% of those dreamers will actually start. And then a smaller fraction of that fraction will actually finish.

    It ain't easy...

    1. Yeah, and to me this is true for more than just writing books. I know people who's talent level is far outside what they do everyday of their life.
      It's like they're waiting for something to happen or just afraid to try... afraid to fail.

  9. Oh wow. This post was great. A good kick to the pants whether you're startinr failed.

    1. Thanks Riann. Good to see you round these parts

  10. Starting really is the hardest part!

    Allison (Geek Banter)

    1. Yep. I'm torn as to whether I prefer writing or editing... With editing, the path is already forged.