It’s been ages – ages – since I’ve written a narrative. Ages. I suffered a blow in my creative life and it’s all been downhill from there. Narrative is such a structurally, emotionally and creatively draining thing to manage; stories begin and often don’t end. Or else, they begin and they end, but then they don’t really have anything in between to hold the two anchors together. Or else, there is a character, or a house, or a city. But there’s no story. I try and I try and I try and it makes me so frustrated I want to break things. But out of breaking things comes a story. And then there is this immense satisfaction so wonderful and fulfilling, it’s like the world has suddenly been illuminated simply by the creation of a fully-realized narrative. At that point, whether it ever sees the light of day or not is irrelevant.
It’s been so long though, and my narrative has been so rusty, that I forgot what writing feels like. There’s a particular yearning with writing. When I write, I’m trying to find the answer to someone’s life – someone who I’ve created. That life needs to be realistic, pretty, witty, well-rounded, well-paced, sensible, drawn out, conclusive, interesting, intriguing, emotionally resonant, and anything else ‘good’ you can think of to describe the best book you’ve ever read. Stories never turn out this way. There is never a 100% satisfaction rating. For me, anyways. Usually when one thing is working, there are at least three others that aren’t and I get so mad I want to throw things against the wall or out the window, or be like a man and punch through things like walls or windows. And yet, I don’t. I get this mad scientist-like look in my eye. I read and re-read; I read texts written by other people. And I continue onward. I explore every avenue, think and bleed and breathe the narrative, until it’s a big mess of something resembling prose that’s been tossed with great force onto a blank sheet of paper.
I’d forgotten how fulfilling it is to be working on something creative. I was creatively dead , very much so, up until I began once again to work on fiction as opposed to blog entries about arbitrary parts of my life, or commentary on the works of other people. I feel suddenly alive with purpose and ideas, just by working my way slowly through an enormous dense brick of a first draft of a story. It’s the type of feeling that is so overwhelmingly positive. Suddenly, amidst a 9 to 5 life of administrative tedium, comes something beautiful and original that comes from God-knows-where that allows me once again, to feel inspired.
The creative pilot light burns on and off and on and off and on and off; writing and I have a love-hate relationship that way, and it seems that we are always tying each other in knots and playing tug of war. We push and pull and hate each other then love each other, then we work together, then we abandon each other (example: since taking a hiatus from writing fiction, I have started learning to play guitar, I have taken photos, I have travelled more, I have explored other pursuits that are not in any way, shape or form correlated with my writing process). Ultimately though, we are meant to be together.