Friday, October 12, 2007

Finding time to write

6 a.m.

Meeting my friend and creative collaborator Sean Hood at Venice Grind coffee house for our weekly writing appointment. Sometimes, showing up for it makes me say one thing..."Ouch".

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Finding time to write, or create in any way, is always very challenging. Even though I often call myself a "filmmaker" and swear up and down that creating is the essence of who I am. Yet, I get so caught up in the mundane minutiae of daily existence, escapist entertainments and social/professional obligations that I make precious little time to do the thing that I claim is at the core of my being. Kinda f#@%ed up, eh? But apparently, not unusual.

I meet creative being after creative being, and few of them - there are many notable exceptions - give themselves as much creative time as they'd like. It's like some kind of odd self-punishment. It's also a lot like sex. Most of us love sex. As a culture, we're obsessed with it. If you put up a video on youtube and include "art" in the tag words, you'll get about 5 hits. If you put "sex", you'll get about 500,000 hits.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Yet, for all the constant sexual imagery that surrounds us and exists in our thoughts/fantasies, how often do we actually have sex? Not very, according to statistics. It is not uncommon for married couples to have sex only once a month. And that is a lot compared to people who aren't in relationships (porn actors excepted, of course). Why do we do that to ourselves? Why do we love to get ourselves excited, then deny gratification? Maybe we like the idea of things a hell of a lot more than actually doing them.

I know that's how I feel about writing. I love noodling around in my head about stories, ideas. I love talking about them. I love planning to write them. I like sitting in this coffee shop. But do I actually love facing the challenge of the blank page and trying to lay down any ideas of distinction and value? NO! I hate it.

But I am compelled to do it. The feeling of not doing it is worse than actually doing it. That's some way to live, huh? The whole tortured artists cliche, like all cliches, definitely has some truth to it. Am I a tortured soul? I don't think so, but it is torture getting up at six f&#@ing a.m. to write - never knowing if a single f#@%ing word is even worth the effort it takes to move my fingers.

But Sean and I do it every week (almost every week). We aren't writing something together. He writes his stuff and I write mine. But by being beholden to each other to show up, we are pushing each other to make time to create. Because I know if I didn't do this, I would never write. I would have the cleanest house, the cleanest car, all my receipts filed, all my emails answered and many, many blog entries (like this one). But I wouldn't create. I would just dream about it.....

No comments:

Post a Comment