Translation: Procrastination

No new posts for a while. The writing world is a moving, powerful one, full of immense highs and bottomless lows of emotion. It’s also an unapologetic time hogg, demanding countless hours of hunch-backed concentration with fingers dancing spastically over the keyboard. Or poised, ready and waiting for the elusive muse like leaves holding still for a gust of wind to jolt them into life, which is usually more the case.

Unfortunately I have an affliction – I am addicted to keeping myself far too busy for  the high demands of the writing life during certain periods of time. This is one of them. Whether it’s the extra hours spent whittling away at my high tech career building lasers, or the ceaseless attempts at making beautiful women fall hopelessly in love with me, or the all important, instantly forgotten drunken conversations at the bar late into the night, there is always something to prevent the necessary input of creation. How I love and lament this addiction to busyness!

I am also an expert, nay, professional escapism artist. Or rather, I would be, if I could find someone to create the profession. You see, I have an unquenchable thirst for stories. All stories. Any stories. I believe every single piece of art ever created tells a story – that art in itself is in essence story crafting. Whether your sculpting device is a pen, or a paint brush, or a computer or a guitar or pasta and glue it is all in service of the same end result – we want to show and we want to tell. We want to share with the world something inside of us.

I want to do that. We all do to some degree. But I have a stronger urge, the urge to devour every story by everyone, no matter what it is. And so I’ll find myself standing for 20 minutes in front of a shop window at a particular piece of colorful contemporary modern art envisioning the story, or nose-to-page deep in an old-smelling book of fiction as the sun sets and rises unnoticed. I’ll scour the depths of dungeons in video games immersed fully in the unraveling woven tales, or be mesmerized by the thickening plots of my favourite TV shows and movies. I’ll even sit for hours just listening to the soulful tracks of my favourite artists and greedily lap up every emotion.

I’ll consume it all. Give me your stories. Hell maybe I’ll actually create my own some day. That is, if I ever get over this addiction to mental stimulation. This burning need to be busy, to be social or working or chasing women or lost in fantasy worlds or drinking or dancing or anything, anything it seems, other than giving my time to the writing life.

I just don’t have the time.
And procrastination is -such- a dirty word.

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You Can’t Write Horror on a Beautiful Day

Scene Manifestation.  Start. Horror. Still, cold night. Iced roads. Iced breath. Boots smashing through frozen puddles like hammers on glass.

It’s too nice to write here. It’s too sunny. The sunlight is pouring into the apartment from the cloudless sky outside, filling everything with that easy warmth love stories are made of. A bright blue aura over a labyrinth of clean cut high rises that makes you want to jump into lakes and eat gelato. That’s not inspiring. The only thing this weather makes me feel is lazy and unproductive. Disconnected from that world and disconnected from the world inside my head. How am I supposed to manifest this story with that sunny, angry love confining me to a place of frustrated happiness? How dare it be a beautiful day outside!

Perhaps I should wait until dusk to describe the scene properly. The stage I need for our opening act is cold, dark, and silent. It’s lit by moonlight and the distant glow of gas stations far beyond the malicious woods.  It’s so still each footstep seems to shatter grass and gravel under his boots, like thinly frozen puddles on one of those flash freeze city nights.
But you don’t need to know this, dear reader. I’m telling you a story, not painstakingly feeding you the every labored thought of a writer without a muse. But the story can only come to life in the darkness. And here I am being devoured by the brightness of the most beautiful day, the exact opposite of the scene I need in order to tell the story.
Okay perhaps we should start the story earlier. On a beautiful day before the tragedy occurs. Set the scene a little bit for you.

How about a prologue with a really good introductory line that gets you hooked from the start. Something that doesn’t make any sense perhaps, or is so riveting you have no choice but to keep reading. That’s what I need, a snare. I need to ensnare you, dear reader, but how?
A cloud hovers over the spot in the sky where the sun sits, mocking me. Suddenly the world is thrust into… into a slightly dimmer version of it’s former gloating glory. That’s not interesting.

Okay. So it’s a beautiful day in the beginning of this story. How drab. There’s water not too far away. A fast moving river, just beyond the circle of trees. It sounds fierce, determined. Just like this day is determined to ruin my opening stage, so the water seems excited to break the otherwise silence of this forest clearing. Okay, so there’s a clearing in the forest with water rushing by somewhere just beyond it. Around the clearing the forest presses in like the bystanders around the taped off scene of some horrific, fatal crime. The crowd wants to know what happened, wants to stick their egos in and feel knowing and important on the subject. They want to know what death looks like. They want to know if it could have been them. People don’t like to admit it but death excites everyone as much as it scares them. That’s why we crane our necks every time we see flashes of emergency lights on a street corner as we drive by, slowing our pace to get a glimpse of something primal, something unknown. To see something truly terrifying for once, something to jolt us from our autopilot stupor and remind us what it really is to be human. Death and sex, all we have left connecting us to a past we don’t understand, but desperately yearn for. A past when being human meant something less robotic, more alive.

So the crowd of nosy trees, big and oppressive, filed in from all sides blotting out the forest beyond but dared not to go any further. For in that clearing of gentle shadows and perfect rays of penetrating sunlight was something as unknown, and terrifying, as death.
In that clearing was love.
The man and the woman, they didn’t talk to each other. They didn’t need to talk to each other. What could possibly be said with the throaty, grunty sound we pass for language that hadn’t already been said with their eyes and their fingers and their lips? With their noses and their ears pricked they sensed every vibration sparking from the body of the other. The smell of their love mingled with the earthy excitement and terror the trees felt upon observation of this sweaty writhing mass in the middle of their forest. The water became angered that the intruders were not perplexed by its great and powerful intrusion of the silence and roared again with renewed intensity, desperate to reclaim their attention but knowing it would fail.
And the intensity of their love roared stronger in response. Flesh mingled with grass and dirt, mingled with flesh again and for that moment, a moment immeasurable, neither the trees nor the lovers nor their grassy bed or even the river could tell where any one of them ended and the next began.
The man and the woman became still, quiet, lying in the bosom of the forest sucking at the sweet nectar of the evening air. The river returned to focus on its own flow, ever moving on to search out new curiosities. The trees, content that there was nothing more to see here and the frightening show was over, turned their attentions back to farming the sunlight and conversing with the birds.
That had been the first time they had made love.

And by night time, once the warm glow of light basking this dear writer in unproductive rivulets of fuzzy emotions mercifully begins to fade and shadows begin to dance between the city blocks; once darkness descends across the land and the writer is in the perfect sadistic mood he so craves – murder will come to the forest clearing.

Or not. Suddenly I’m rather attached to these two characters. Oh bother, beautiful day, you’ve gone and spoiled my scene.

Motivation Cultivation with Trepidation Validation

Self motivational exercise to get the creative juices flowing in three… two…
Write! Look out upon your life with confident trepidation man! Confident trepidation doesn’t even work as the structure of a feeling, but who cares! Seize whatever it is life is trying to throw at you and make the most of it because if you don’t, if you just keep ducking out of the way of those opportunities, eventually you’ll look behind yourself and you’ll see a brick wall colourfully splattered with junk – the bleeding remains of could-have-beens. You’ll see a trembling tapestry of missed moments and false awakenings and fucking junk that could have been useful once but is now just a monument to your cowardice. The coward who ducked and flinched instead of reaching out and risking taking it all in the face. Why can’t you seize one single moment and run with it, make your life out of what you’ve been thrust rather than constantly ‘trying’ (abstract – to whine) to make your life nothing out of so many somethings? If you want to sculpt a masterpiece out off clay and all life keeps throwing you is play dough, do something with the damned play dough. Hone your skills with the damned play dough and maybe one day when you’re ready you’ll be handed all the clay you need. What the fuck does that even mean?

Fell better?

Yeah?

Let’s write.