Doesn't this look like the perfect writing hideaway for brilliance? I do not own this photo, found on Google Images.
"Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those doing it.” ~ Chinese proverb
I should warn you, this is most likely going to end up as one of those rambly posts that may or may not have something deeper beneath the surface of said rambles.
~_^ You should know me well enough to handle this by now. If not, take a breath and then try again. There's something here worth reading, something to make you think, at least.
As some of you know, the fall semester has begun for me and ironically, while it may seem like summer is the best time in the world to be writing my fingers off, it seems that only when I have absolutely no time to write--that I end up writing the most.
This particular quote is honored to be the little spark that started off today's wonderfully rambling post. Read it and think about it for a moment. No, really think about it.
How many times have you actually started something, all excited and hyper about it (yes, I actually do "get" hyper about really lovely, creative things and I'm told my randomness etches up a few notches), and then you just can't wait to share it.
After all, there's nothing that says it must be kept a secret and you're absolutely dying to share your brilliance with the world, so you're excited to share it with whoever can spare an ear at the moment.
So off you go, rushing about, so very thrilled with this new idea of awesomeness and just to be sure about it, you seek out one person--whose opinion you value--and then you launch into your spiel.
But it doesn't turn out the way you expected. In fact, as you're about halfway, no, not even that far, say, a third of the way, you realize that what you're speaking must be an entirely different language, because they're not matching your enthusiasm and they don't look anywhere near as happy as you felt.
Because by the time you've finished, your lovely, pretty idea has been neatly ripped to shreds by the fingers of self-doubt and haste. Suddenly, your happy, sparkly little bubble feels like it's nothing more than a dirt smear on a concrete wall. Dirty, unworthy and pointless.
Ah, been there?
It's a rather lousy place to be.
The most obvious solution in the world would be not to share your idea at all, but that's no fun. The next would be to have a friend as off-the-wall as you are, to bounce such randomness off of, but they are rare, far and few in between.
You could write it out--but sometimes, as a writer, the last thing you really want to do when you pounce upon a half-formed idea, is to write it down before it's done, you just want to voice it aloud, seeking whatever kind of validation for it that you can get your grubby little fingers on.
Okay, fine, no one's fingers are grubby, but you get the picture.
So what to do?
How about nothing?
No, I don't mean period. I mean, how about you don't do anything right away. Live in the moment, savor the thrill, the raw excitement and the pure creative energy and tackle that new idea head-on with nothing but you, your wits and your nerves of steel.
Know that idea inside and out, poke holes in it. Fill the holes up. Think about writing it out or putting it on paper. Do or don't. Laugh when it dares you to speak it aloud. Then iron out the little kinks, wrinkles and seams until you like the way it dances in your head.
Inside your head is the most perfect place, because your mental workshop will have absolutely everything you need to straighten out pesky plot holes, nagging characters and lame endings. In your mental workshop, you can make it into something you're proud to show off.
When you've got it down to that, then take a shot.
Write it down. Voice it aloud. Scream it from the rooftops, if you must.
And realize that the outcome is decidedly different.
Whereas before, you weren't quite sure about your idea, of making it work and all of that fuzzy, newborn, word-vomit stage---now you have something better. You have something that is already the product of your best thoughts (seriously, do we ever bother with our mediocre thoughts? Hmm? No. I didn't think so. It's always the bright flashy ones.), something that has already endured your worst--think of all of the tinkering you did in your mental workshop, that was you ripping apart all the unworkable bits and shaping it into something better.
Now you have something that can defend itself when you share. Now you have something that you aren't puzzled over---*cough* Validation *cough*--now, you can stand tall and proud when you share your idea. Even if it is about giant squids, purple inkpot plants, fuzzy notebook covers and five wheeled bicycles.
Now you have something different--you have confidence. Sometimes, it's the really crazy ideas and people that change the world. We've seen evidence of it, especially in history that seems to repeat itself quite regularly. So, go ahead, try this the next time you're getting smacked about the head, just because you spouted a mouthful of randomness.
Just think of it this way, just because everyone else doesn't understand it, doesn't mean that it's stupid or useless. It just means that you'd better hurry up with creating the language that explains it and to start training a few other translators to help share the workload.
It means that when you're doing something impossible--don't stand with your mouth open, your eyes all wild and crazy, little pitter-patter heart shattered because some nameless idiot just told you that it was impossible.
The best answer to that, would be to smile and keep on doing your creating. Maybe they're right, maybe that particular draft won't work, but hey--you'd only know that for sure after you finish it, wouldn't you? And only you would know how to take apart said horrible draft and either trash it, salvage it or cannibalize it into something better.
Sara Harricharan ^_^