Thursday, September 5, 2013
I have officially lost my ability to have original thoughts. Here is how I know.
Ok, I don't want to sound dramatic but I just realized that I'm losing my ability to have original thoughts and my life is over! I'm kidding. I'm kidding. Yes, I'm losing my ability to have original thoughts, but my life isn't over. It just feels like it's over.
This realization stems from the fact that 2 years ago I started thinking about writing my next book under the name Cristian YoungMiller. Over 2 years I've laid in bed at night kicking around ideas. And then when I think I have it and I go to write it, I immediately get writer's block and I realize that I haven’t finished flushing out the idea enough.
I can almost deal with that, though. What is killing me is that what I do have isn't particularly original. Yeah, the whole concept is kind of original, but there are no alcoholic, verbally abusive penises in this story. There are no masturbating, fruit headed children. It isn't even a brilliant channeling of deep inner pain to literary allegory like in Samurai Zombie Hunter.
All I’ve come up with is a story about a girl that wishes out of her life and ends up in the body of an alien who was dealing with the most difficult thing in her alien life before she requested escape from her own life.
Have I really been reduced to this type of story?
Last night I lay in bed trying to think of which of my many pains and struggles I could weave into the fabric of the story to give it the life that readers instinctually respond to and I could think of nothing. You know what I blame this on? Reading.
Did I read fiction before I wrote Happiness Thru the Art of…? No, I didn’t. In fact I avoided it on purpose. And what resulted is a story, that someone could look at as a truly original work. But I’ve been “reading” so much recently that all of it is starting to seep into me. They are adulterating me with their structure and exploration of personal strife. And the bad thing is that I can’t unread what I’ve read. It’s there and I can’t get rid of it.
Say what you want about my ‘Everybody Masturbates’ books, but in 10 years, people will still be buying it. They might even still be buying them in 20 years. Do you think anyone is going to give a god damn about my new series 10 minutes after they finish reading it? No chance.
And meanwhile I’m reading these books by these authors who have or will transcended their deaths and yet when I sit and think of why these are good so I can replicate them, I can’t figure it out. So these books have robbed me of my ability to freely associate my wild ideas and they bewilder me as to why they’re good.
I imagine that this is a problem that a number of great writers have. They write their first book and it’s a vomit of all of their original ideas that have been bottled up for years. People respond to it and they’re loved for it. But time goes by and they read more and they learn more and their second book lacks that spark of genius that the first book had. They have educated themselves out of originality.
You know, this is at the heart of why I truly appreciated Picasso. Picasso started out learning the basics. He was actually a very talented fine artist. When I was in Barcelona, I saw a work he did when he was 15 and it rivaled the paintings done by the best realistic painters of 200 years before his time.
But he didn’t stay with that style. He lived in a cave with an artist friend when he was 16 and just painted. And somehow he took everything he had been taught and then he let it go. He truly thought differently. He let his mind go to crazy places and the result was he twice reshaped the landscape of art. That is the greatest representation of genius that I could possibly think of.
Instead, what do I do? I conform. I second guess myself. I learn more and what I learn makes me worse. It makes me more ordinary and boring. I have all of these calculated crazy rules like how I have no limit on what I say on facebook and my blog so that I can loosen up my ability to free associate. And yet, all it does is make me write a story about a girl, who in a moment of weakness abandons her little sister, the one person who truly loves her, to the will of man who had been molesting her for years.
Is this seriously the best that I can do?
All I can think of is that I’m pathetic. This story is crap. And unless I can figure out some inner demon that I can expunge into the shadows of this story, or some angle to this story that makes someone do a double take when I tell them the plot, I’m going to abandon it.
Ugh! It makes me disgusted to think of how pathetic and awful that story is. I truly have lost the heart of me. And now, all I have left is all of the superficial things about me that diminish even as I type this.
I have to stop this here. I am now too upset to continue.