TMM: Apocalyptic Inspiration

Right now, in Romania the time is 00:01 AM. The end of the world has come and gone. Nothing actually happened. It snowed for a while. I’m getting ready to publish this article in a few minutes. I’m writing and listening to this song. It feels rather good to be alive, it feels good that I don’t have to worry about finding food in a post-apocalyptic world. I just have to worry about finding food in a normal world.

To be honest, I’m working on setting my mind free. I’m just typing, one word after another. And writing is, in fact, as simple as that. As is painting, sculpting; a simple repetitive action. Or something like that. As long as you don’t worry about what you want to say, about what others might think about your art; as long as you just do your thing, there’s nothing to worry about.

Creating art is not about trying to outsmart yourself. It’s about being confident enough that what you’re doing is right, that what you’re doing is the one thing you love doing most in the world.

That’s all.

Everything else is there just to make us feel that art is somehow related to quantum mechanics.

Well, it’s not.

On my blog I often referenced Finding Forrester as being one of the few movies about writers which offer some pretty good writing advice. The movie is kind of cheesy, painting the usual portrait of the writer as a hopeless romantic (to be read alcoholic), but there’s this brilliant piece of advice, offered be Sean Connery’s manly vocal chords: “No thinking – that comes later. You must write your first draft with your heart. You rewrite with your head. The first key to writing is… to write, not to think.”

That’s a valuable piece of advice. If you want to make something brilliant, if you want to create something wonderful, odds are that you’ll fail. Not because you’re not good enough, but because you put too much pressure on yourself. Unnecessary pressure.

I used to be like that. Writing for others, constantly comparing myself to the writers I had read and admired. Ultimately, I always felt like I was failing… I wasn’t good enough. I didn’t pay attention to the fact that words came more effortlessly each day, that I was able to write more and better and faster, all I could think of was the fact that there were other writers out there who were far better than I was.

And I wanted to write something great. Something really, really great. I spent a lot of time wanting to be great. I desired it too much.

It might sound odd, but we never create real art when we feel that we’re just pouring our heart on that piece of paper, or that canvas. It’s not when we feel words bleeding out of our soul that you create real art. There has to be a balance. You need to be there, in the story, but you also have to see it for what it is. Or what it could become.

We always want our art to mean something to someone else other than ourselves, but we also have to be able to take a step back and see where the road is taking us. Imagine walking down a street with your head down. Always down. You’ll never get the chance to see anything other than pebbles, cracks in the pavement, and the occasional penny or two.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “TMM: Apocalyptic Inspiration

  1. Thank you for this post. I really needed to hear that bit of advice, I’ve stalled too long on a book I started months ago and couldn’t get past the 1st chapter. But I have a long ways to go in terms of plotting. It’s a YA mystery. Sometimes we get so hung up on making every word perfect and we can’t move forward. That was part of my problem. And also that fact that with every sentence, I felt like it was terrible and every other printed book in the world was better. I work in a library and I’ve seen and browsed through the ‘competition’ out there, I was being a fool.

    “No thinking – that comes later. You must write your first draft with your heart. You rewrite with your head. The first key to writing is… to write, not to think.”

    I will remember this with each word I write and keep on my first draft.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s