Friday, August 27, 2010

Write Here, Write Now

It's time to fire up the Delorean, 'cause we takin' a trip back to the old school. This post first appeared on I love and loathe writing. It's a writer's life for me, so let's talk about it shall we...

“You lack discipline!” -- Arnie in Kindergarten Cop

Worms, and other distinguished creatures of the earth, welcome to the first day of the rest of your lives. That’s what you tell yourself every time you wake up. Yesterday’s gone for good, another day begins. What do you do? Whatever you want. Our existence rests on a delicate balance of external conditions, but once our most basic needs are met we always seem to want more. We’re human after all.

With our outer needs fulfilled our inner lives begin to take on our primary focus. As a general rule we’re all searching for the same thing: happiness and fulfilment, but failing those we’ll often settle for immediate pleasure or chronic numbness. Hedonism is enjoyable for a time, apathy gets old real fast, each lead to unsatisfying ends (feel free to disagree). Balancing present day happiness with the promise of achieving future worthwhile goals is a noble pursuit and a demanding challenge.

Did I wake up today and somehow convince myself that I’m Tony Robbins? No. What does any of this have to do with writing? Everything.

Creativity is a non-destructive outlet for achieving a meaning driven life. It’s not the only path available on the way to (may I be so bold) enlightenment, but is at least as good as any other. In the coming weeks I will hopefully skip joyfully, but more likely trudge arduously, down this road less traveled taking in the sights and sounds with the intent of understanding the big questions: why do people create, how do they create, what should I create? Writing will be the major focus as it is the topic of interest here, but the answers will be applicable to any creative endeavor (your insights are appreciated).

A final word of warning… “Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead” (Gene Fowler). This sentiment is typical of most writers — there are of course exceptions, people who breathe through their keyboards — but for most mortals, writing is hard work. How does that balance up with finding happiness? Sometimes you need to postpone a little joy now for a big payoff in the future. Like they say there’s no free lunch. Only you can decide if the journey will be worth it.To achieve anything of value though, discipline is the key, if you’re lacking, now would be a good time to invest. After all that, all that’s left is to take the plunge. See you on the way down.

Loren was born (and still resides) in New Zealand, where he grew up on a steady diet of TV and comic books. After years of consuming pop culture, he one day awoke from uneasy dreams and found that he had been transformed into a (wannabe) pop culture creator. His metamorphosis continues at [the site you're on now] .


Leah said...

I find that creativity usually doesn't come unless I sit down and put in the work. Sometimes I'll get a brilliant flash out of no where, but I get those flashes more often if I'm disciplined and consistent in working at it. I start wherever I am and see where it takes me, and meander through a quagmire until something triggers a flash, and then I go!

Loren said...

Hi Leah,

Too true. Creativity, in all its forms, is a verb. The muse seems more cooperative when we're willing to work. I like what Jack London had to say "You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club."