A writer’s block! Dammit.
Truth be told I'm really not sure what I wanted to write about here. I just opened up the writing app and presented myself with a blank page and keyboard.
Several thoughts and ideas for short stories have flashed through my mind in recent days. Some of those, the better ones, have found their way in to digital form. Some day I may well pick them up and see how far I can stretch them.
I watched with interest recently an audience with the author Stephen King. He’s clearly a prolific writer and somebody that may well be on most people’s list of favourite authors.
When asked whether he keeps notes he simply said no. In fact he went on to say that keeping notes was a pretty good way to destroy a good idea. I think I understood his point. I guess he'd rather take the seeds of a character or plot and explore it on-the-fly with words.
I like this approach. It sounds fraught with danger but if you're a good enough and confident enough writer perhaps it's the right approach.
As an artist who enjoys to sit and sketch all kinds of weird crap I often think that in order to fully realise my vision I should create the piece in a single sitting.
If I'm still trying to wrap up the sketch a day later then I'm most likely going to be in a different place. That is to say I'm thinking differently. The emotions that inspired my sitting down the previous day with a blank sheet and pens might well have been flipped on their head today. I can't possibly put myself in the same place. It would all seem terribly contrived. For this reason I make a useless freelancer at anything. I'm a terribly selfish artist. I only want to flesh out my own ideas. In fact I dare to say I'm probably arrogant enough not to accept anyone else's views or opinions on creativity.
To this point I've written around 350 words in little over 5 minutes right here in this blog post.
I'm still comfortable with the process of writing and reflecting my thoughts in this single entry. If I were to leave it I would change my viewpoint. Continuing the same piece would seem like an exercise in trying to splice together two entirely separate pieces of fabric.
For me the only way to write is to allow it to become a stream of consciousness. A la Joyce’s Ulysses. This is pretty much in keeping with my view on creativity in general. Capture the moment, the thought, the motivation or the inspiration with media. Anything else is a manipulation that serves to falsify or "make plastic" that which should be untouched. Sure, I'm a purist in many respects. But I do believe in this. I enjoy dabbling with Photoshop and I enjoy playing with the filters available in the iPhone camera settings / apps. But I couldn't take any of it seriously. I wouldn't for example draw a picture and then scan it in to Photoshop and have it look completely different.
Writing in this manner fascinates me.
I could probably write a couple of thousands words in one evening if I was in the right place mentally and could hold the vision.
I'm a huge fan of Jackson Pollock's life and art. Unusual perhaps to suggest that I'm a fan of somebody's life but in Pollock's case he was the purist of artists. Everything he set down on canvas, certainly in his latter "dripped" years, reflected his own passions, emotions and frustrations.
He once remarked that whilst he's in touch or in tune with the painting it's likely to succeed. But once he loses touch with it, it becomes a mess.
I hear this. That emotional attachment that we create between ourselves and our work needs to remain strong. For me it exists purely within a single "session". I find it hard to pick up again a day, week or months later. I tend to want to start over.
So this was an exercise in simply letting my thoughts flow through my hands and in to a blog entry. I've not re-read it or checked for grammatical / punctuation errors and I don't intend to. It's how I'm feeling right now. A direct reflection of my thoughts.