Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Everybody Blogs

Here's two thoughts for the price of one:

The first: I was driving to work this morning and even though it really should only take me fifteen minutes driving at the speed limit, it usually takes me twenty to twenty-five minutes. Everyone complains about the traffic in Seattle, but the truth is its not because there are a lot of cars like say L.A. or New York. It’s because most drivers in Seattle will absolutely refuse to drive anywhere near the speed limit. If the speed limit is 30 mph, you’re lucky to be going 25. If its 25, you’re probably almost stopped.

As someone who spent a lot of time driving on tour and weaving in and out of Manhattan traffic—this drives me crazy (pun intended). By nature, I am a “let’s get things done” kind of guy. It’s not that I can’t enjoy the journey, it’s just that I really do want to arrive at my destination.

Now, I know there is a lesson in this. I know that as a creative person I want to rush the process. I have about ten projects in my head I want to sit down and write tonight. And I know that life is too short to dawdle. I’m so anxious to get things done that I forget that sometimes things just have to take their own time. It’s part of the process. This doesn’t mean don’t do anything (ie sitting back waiting for the Muse to strike) but it does mean being patient. Art is about persistence.

My second thought of the day comes from this interview with John August I read on someone else’s blog. Most people don’t know him, but he’s the guy who wrote GO, Corpse Bride, one of the Charlies Angel’s movies, and one of my favorites, Big Fish. He has a great site for screenwriters with “tons of useful information” at johnaugust.com. In this excerpt of this interview he talks about writing and how damn hard it is and that just because you have a blog doesn’t mean you’re writing (which means I shouldn’t just post any old tidbit that comes to my head, I guess).

“JA: I really don't like writing. That's a terrible thing to say of course, because one is supposed to love one's art. But I'd rather do just about anything than sit down and start writing.

The thing is, I love having written. I love going back and looking at the scene I wrote. So "writing" is a necessary, painful process I go through in order to get to "having written."

When people say, "Oh, I just loving writing!" I know they're full of crap. They're probably lousy writers who are regurgitating their daily thoughts in a journal. Actual writing is hard work. Even when you have the flow and it's going well, it's still incredibly taxing. My deepest nights of sleep are after days of having to write ten pages.

(By the way, this -- answering questions for an email interview -- isn't writing. This is talking with a keyboard, which is damn near effortless. I think one of the dangerous things that's come with the rise of the Internet is that people are confusing typing with writing. Just because your words are captured in a UTF-8 character set doesn't mean that you're actually writing. Writing involves carefully shaping a thought for its desired impact. Writing means anticipating the reader's reaction, and honoring (or defeating) that expectation. Writing requires logic. Blogging just requires an account.) “

1 comment:

Rodrigo said...

Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais.