Writing a novel is one thing, but I still have this craving to create something that is completely organic. Let’s table the idea that creating something of your own is no longer possible and walk out on a limb of hope. Where to start? I’m not going to lie and say that writing the first novel was any form of the word easy, but it does feel like I cheated in some ways. The characters are based on people I know, I've been to the locations, and the events aren't completely out of the realm of possibility. The ability to picture things and describe them as they actually are, it cuts out the middle man of having to pretend them into existence first. That itty-bitty detail of organic creation, it can be as time consuming as editing!
Imagination is key. A five minute conversation with me would be enough to prove that even as a 32 year old “man”, a vivid imagination I do still have. And it’s not just sexual thoughts either, though the sex stuff does eat up a good amount of my mental RAM at any given moment. Creativity is my real drug. When I go without creative thoughts, whether it’s because my attention is focused on work or other stresses, I suffer withdrawals, I become visibly upset. Others may not be able to clearly see what is bothering me, but I need it, I fucking need it.
If ability isn't the problem, then what is? My inner-pragmatist wants to say that it comes down to effectiveness; why spend extra time doing something that can otherwise be hacked? You’re right iPrag, I wouldn't plow the fields by hand if there were horses in the barn. Not wanting to spend additional time on a task does not prove laziness, if anything, it leans to ingenuity.
Maybe what I’m really searching for is balance. A way to mix what I know is unique with what I want to be unique. One of the most comforting parts about writing stories that include my friends and our situations is that these stories are uniquely ours. Now I’m not going to say that each of us is a beautiful little snowflake, but our experiences: how we perceive them, how we remember them, how we let or don’t let them affect us. Our experiences make us variables, and if you get enough variables into an equation, the likelihood of a unique(ish) product greatly increases!
In a way, writing about familiar things is a creative safety blankey. Clutching tightly to things that I believe to be unique(ish), allows me to escape the fears of accidentally recreating someone else’s ideas. I don’t have to abandon writing about the things I know, but it might be time to get rid of the blankey… well… maybe not get rid of… maybe I’ll just set it next to the bed, for now, in case I can’t sleep.