I have no idea what happened to the weather here in Minneapolis but I’m not complaining.
I don’t know if the gray, chilly days just resonates with some ancestral memory but I love 50 degrees mornings when there is a light mist in the air. If this is really what it’s like to live in Seattle or Portland than I gotta’ do some serious thinking about moving out west…After the Mayan thing passes, of course.
I know all my brothers and sisters here in the TC hate this weather. I can hear their grumbling at coffee shops and bus stops, “Where’s the Snow?”
My response…I don’t care. I’m not gonna shed tears over a brown Christmas.
So, stop being a grumpalumpicious and get over it. The snow will get here, just like it always does. There is no need to frustrate yourself because you want to drag a shed out onto some ice for fishing or your cross country skies are cover in dust.
Nature doesn’t answer to us, which leads me to some thoughts on writing.
I have had a spectacularly great week of story creation. I even had one story unkink itself after almost three years of trying to write it. The story in question actually means a lot to me and has caused years of frustration trying to figure out why I couldn’t actually finish it.
In the end, I was so steeped with frustration in my head around not finishing it, I couldn’t see it had nothing to do with my abilities as a writer. I have the skills and talent to see the story in my head, the problem is sometimes when creating things it is possible to be looking at it from the wrong angle and have no idea that by just shifting the perspective can give you the answer.
To quote the immortal Marvin Boggs, (John Malkovich’s character in the movie “Red“):
Sometime you gotta “switch the flip“…or “Get the pig!“
Either option works in my opinion.
Sometimes changing the perspective on a story opens it up like dancing with just the right person as your favorite song comes on. It’s almost like falling in love for the first time all over again.
Remember months ago when I wrote about putting things away and coming back to work on them later? This is how you gain perspective. Creativity is not a patent pending manufacturing process, sometimes whatever it is you are working on is just not ready to be finished yet.
Can you rush the mighty oak? Is it possible to tell the sun to rise earlier in the morning? Why do so many writers try to force the process? Just like the sun rising in the east and the might oak growing to the sky, everything has a lifespan.
We, as writers, give birth to our creations and like the uncomfortable, very pregnant mother in her last days and weeks of the gestation process; sometimes we wish for the whole process to be done. We forget that nothing you rush will ever be as good as it might have been if just left it to its natural processes.
That story in your drawer that just won’t end or doesn’t flow right now; that might be your opus ten years down the road. But, you will never know unless you let it happen naturally.
In this interview for Scribner and his website StephenKing.com, the Master talks about how this magnificent story actually came to life in 1973 but he put it away for almost forty years before letting it come to life in its present incarnation.
This is a man who has made a living off of inundating the market with his work and yet in the dust covered cabinets and drawers of his office there are hidden jewels just biding their time, each knowing when they will be ready to be finished.
Take heart writer…It isn’t a reflection of your skill or expertise. It’s just nature.
Every time you put down a story, try to give yourself a break and think about it in positive terms. Much like the mythical “Hound of Resurrection”; Samael from Hellboy the movie, for every story that falls, two more will rise up in its place.
If you believe that, it will happen.
You know why? Because the stories are already in you, just waiting to come out.
Alright, enough of that.
Don’t forget…This holiday season there are thousands of people out there could use a little Yuletide cheer, so give. Give to the bell ringers, give to the scouts, give to Hurricane Sandy relief, give to your local shelters or your favorite charity.
Just make sure to give.