Definitely a time to celebrate!
It’s no secret that writing is most effective when you’re channeling some kind of emotion. Whether it’s joy, anxiety, or pain, words have more impact when they’re powered by a strong underlying feeling.
I don’t know about you guys, but my go-to emotion is sadness… Maybe because I listened to the Cure a lot when I was younger. But it’s definitely my go-to emotion as a lot of my writing is fueled by feelings of despair and regret.
When I was young, my emo fuel came from my feelings of isolation in school, the alienation of not completely fitting into either of the two countries I was raised in, and of course, the epic heartache from The One That Got Away. These days, it comes from the turmoil of giving up animation, the helplessness when I was unemployed with a baby on the way, and the clichéd feelings of abandonment due to an inattentive parent.
I really believe in this too. When I started writing as a kid, I wrote screenplays driven by what I thought movies were supposed to be about. It was the action and drama of saving the world, based on clichés and other stuff I’ve seen in other movies. Quite frankly, I didn’t have anything worth saying so needless to say, my writing was really shallow and boring.
Over time, as I had more life experiences, I found that I had more things to express, like deeper feelings of regret and loneliness. I started channeling this into my writing, and my work had more substance because of it. The sadder I was, the more I wanted to write.
I kept diaries back then (sadness made me write more, remember?), and whenever I needed to get into that emo zone these days I would read back and borrow and paraphrase the raw emotional words into whatever I need to write. Of course, I’d probably listen to The Cure a lot too.
Pain and sadness is my fuel, but I’m sure you guys have other emotions that you call upon to. Please share, and let me know what inspires you to write. I’d especially like to hear from someone who’s power emotion is happiness, the polar opposite of mine!
I remember when I started writing in high school, it was because I wanted to be a film maker and make blockbuster action movies. Well, that was the surface reason. If I were to be really honest with myself, I think I was an angry little kid and had a lot to bitch about, and my screenplays gave me a creative outlet to do that and a reason to get people to hear my desperate cries for attention.
These days, I honestly don’t feel that I write to vent anymore. I mean, I still write bitchy stuff, but I think I channel my old anger more for comedic effect than any real sense of frustration. Entertaining friends then became the new reason I wrote, and I had tons and tons of mass-emails that resulted from that (this was before blogs came about).
So what’s my drive now? Why do I keep writing? Well, money is a good motivator, which would explain all the writing gigs I take up and my careers in magazines and social media.
But what about my personal writing, like this blog for example. I guess I still want to entertain people, but deep down inside I want to write something that resonates with someone. Something that makes you pause for a moment and think: “Yeah, I know exactly how that guy feels.”
I was listening to Tegan and Sara today, and one particular song hit me hard.
Why don’t you want to win me now?
Why don’t you want to show me off?
Tell me why you couldn’t try,
Couldn’t try to keep me here.
Someday soon, I won’t be the one who waits for you.
It was like Sara took a bit of my soul and put it into her song because these lyrics just make so much sense to me. And I guess it is great to hear someone else echo your thoughts in such detail, because it reduces your sense of isolation. I’m not alone in the way I feel (or in this case, have felt), so I can take comfort in that.
Have I ever written something that has resonated with someone? Probably. I certainly hope so. Definitely not those silly screenplays I wrote as an angry teen… but there is one particular screenplay that means a lot to me.
I called it Idle Dreams and it was about two people who yearned to be able to pursue their dreams, yet couldn’t bring themselves to do it for various reasons like financial fears, other commitments, and the dreaded lack of self-confidence. I’m pretty certain that I can’t be the only person in the world who has felt like this.
It’s my most personal screenplay ever, and I really wanted to produce it into an indie film. I had even gotten a couple of actors together and we had begun production on it.
I lost steam and confidence halfway through, so it exists solely as a screenplay these days, along with some stills and recorded dialogue. My inability to finish it remains one of my biggest failures in my life (a fact that resurfaced recently when I got hit by the job interview question “What do you consider to be your biggest failure?”).
Anyway, I still harbor that hope that I will write something that makes a deep level of sense someday, that will so perfectly condense into words that describe the purity of a feeling or experience, so I’ll keep writing until that happens.
Well, that’s my reason. I’m sure you guys have your own reasons, and I think it’d be awesome if you shared them. Maybe it might be nice to find out that someone else writes for the same reason.
Recently I accidentally posted something onto my personal blog instead of the baby blog for my daughter, and that made me realize something: I don’t think I’ve blogged here since she was born! That was seven months ago!
There are many reasons for this, such as lack of time, being preoccupied with the baby, work has been eating into my spare time too (the social media community never sleeps!)… but honestly speaking, I could probably find the time to write a post every now and then.
There was just something else holding me back though, and that’s the WordPress community. Basically, you guys… but in a good way!
I guess to me blogging has always been more than just writing. It’s also a lot of reading, and interacting. I write my blog, you read my blog, I read your blog, and so forth. The whole community aspect is a huge part of WordPress, and it just felt… a little bit selfish to write without reading. So to me, coming back required committing the time required to read and comment on other blogs too, and that was something I can’t really spare right now.
That, and I pretty much spend more of my waking hours managing the digital community at work so I kind of just want to not be so online-social when I get home.
I’m not sure if you agree with this, but it’s something that nagged at me and really prevented me from coming back. It sounds kind of dumb and silly now that I’ve written it out though.
Do you guys feel the same way, or am I just being really weird and over-sensitive?
Do you remember that 90s TV show where Jerry O’Connell and that hottie Sabrina Lloyd would jump around to alternate dimensions where history would’ve just been different by just a little bit? What if they ended up on a dimension where celebrities that we all know and love just didn’t quite make it, and ended up as normal people?
Danny Evans has gone and made some pictures that theorize how they would look… and they look awesome! Here are examples of Scarlett Johansson, Kim K and Kanye and the Olsen twins, but do check out this link for more (including an epic one of Tom Cruise)