Being Val Kilmer

One of my more endearing qualities is my ability to make lists (priority, to-do, laundry, etc.) but then do nothing with them.

But at the same time, I think there's a value in putting stuff down on paper. Sort of placing them in black and white -- especially when you're in the midst of a period where you're feeling stalled.

Anyways, one of the things on my list (of course) is to kickstart this blog back to life at least in some form or another. If you've been keeping tabs -- you know that I've gotten pretty addicted to tumblr, and my site there is doing pretty well (62 followers at last count) -- but as I discussed the last time I was here it's not really much of a place for writing (even though I've tried to inject it here and there when I can).
Here's the thing though -- I've still been writing.
Not tons, but outside of regular album reviews for OHN -- there have been these riffs I've found myself kinda messing with. Ideas that started out as metaphors for something else but then sorta grew out into a completely new idea.

Essentially it's like paint thrown on a canvas that sorta looked like a bunny enough that I started revising and editing to make it look more like a bunny -- only to realize after a while that:
A) It still doesn't really look enough like a bunny for me to feel like it's publishable, and
B) Now that I think about it, this story wasn't supposed to be about bunnies in the first goddamn place, so either I'm going to have to try to somehow loop all of this bunny crap back to the original point, or I just need to trash it altogether.
Here's the thing: Most of what you write is going to be junk. Any literary meta-text will hammer that point at you. To wit: the whole reason you need to write so much is so you can weed through all your mental diarrhea as you move towards the words you're really trying to get out.

Or to put it another way: The revision and editing process in writing is essentially similar to the classical envisioning of sculpture, where you aren't so much carving an image into the stone as much as you're trying to peel away all the outer layers to free the sculpture that already exists inside the rock.

Whether that's true or not is hard to say, because the process is different for every writer and artist out there, but I do think when you're sort of freewriting in an effort to sort of solidify an idea that might not be fully formed in your head yet the metaphor holds up pretty well.

But what all the meta-textbooks about writing never really talk about is that place you sometimes get where you've revised and edited and reworked and chiseled into the rock and when you take a step back to look at it, the idea you finally carved out wasn't really worth a shit in the first place.

Bad ideas happen. Stupid stories exist. It's almost like modern artists (writers and filmmakers especially) put so much emphasis on process that even when a finished work isn't good -- it's still worth putting out as evidence of the work done.

For example -- I see a lot of movies that I feel have some value, but don't work as a whole. I can appreciate them partially and enjoy the experience of watching them -- but as I walk away I there's really no way I can call the whole thing good just because of that concession.
But in an odd way, I sorta do anyways.
I like all sorts of terrible songs because they have great guitar solos. I find myself defending bad movies time and time again because they're "fun" (while turning around and mercilessly hating on other movies that are probably equally good/bad, but don't really fit my particular definition of "fun.")

I don't know -- I'm rambling here, but the point I'm getting towards is that I reach these points periodically where I don't feel like my perceived half-efforts as a writer are worth sharing on this blog just as proof that I'm deeply immersed in some hoidy-toidy "process" (especially if I feel like it's not working).
But I have been writing.
It's just that a lot of what I've been writing lately has been (in my opinion) pretty terrible, and not just because it was overly sappy or high-reaching.

I've still got all of it, as I rarely throw drafts away (thanks Rick Straub) -- but even on re-reading today I'm still at a crossroads as to whether it's something that needs more revising, or if it's just out-and-out junk. And I think in the end that's the issue that leads to these cyclical gaps that show up on this blog a few times a year -- where I start to think of posting on a blog as PROOF THAT I'M A REAL WRITER WORTHY OF ENSHRINEMENT IN THE CANON versus just a place to throw shit up on the web for other people to see and comment on.
Long story short: I'm making too big a deal out of something because it's my something.
And like so many other things going on in my life right now, I kinda just need to get over it and stfu.
Like, I get mad (really mad, actually) when I find out that Rosario Dawson is co-starring in the new Kevin James movie. To me, being in what essentially looks like a Paul Blart Mall Cop sequel is beneath her, and I expect better from what I perceive to be a smart, sexy, and above all independent actress who's had enough success at this point to be in control of her career choices.


So here I am -- not blogging almost as if I were some kind of bizzaro-world Rosario Dawson turning down a part and NOT WORKING because it looks like a stupid fart joke movie made for Middle 'Murica and I believe that I'm capable of better.
And there she is on the screen, actually doing what she loves.


[Listening to:  Polkadot Cadaver - "Mongaloid" ]

Comments

einsteinjade said…
Welcome back.