Friday, March 14, 2008

The Random Thoughts of a Rambling Writer Trying to Clear His Head Before Sitting Down to Write

Every time I read that someone is leaving New York, it makes me consider the concept of lateral motion. And how I'm lacking it. Why am I so bummed? Why is my mind so cloudy? What do I want, and how do I get it? I don't know what I'm working toward. I write these stories, these little stories, and now, for example, I've finished one and am utterly terrified by the thought of trying to go back and clean it up. Why? Because it's definitely very dirty. It's a mess. It's drafts away from being finished. But why does this frighten me? Because it could take a while for it to be finished. It will be hard work. And maybe I'm lazy. I don't like to commit to things for extended periods of time because I miss out on other things and maybe because after all that time what if I still fail? What if?

Whenever someone I know leaves New York, I get simultaneously motivated and dejected. I think, well damnit, this place keeps breaking people. It's time to get working! Meanwhile, I can't help but acknowledge a feeling of sheer, unbridled envy, the kind that ruins people and cripples nations, and causes any number of crazy biblical shit. I wonder where I would go if I left. I wonder if I had made choices a bit differently earlier in life if things would make more sense now. I'm all for discovering the answers, but why do I get the sense that the questions are becoming more vague the more I search?

I don't believe that I'm "searching" in light of experience, that I can't function because I'm so wrapped up in making sense of things. But thoughts are thoughts and time is time and one takes the other (though not vice versa, I think).

Oddly enough, writing, even this - this little excursion into the subconscious (which is a joke, considering how precisely chosen 80% of these words happen to be) - brings about that clarity and I get to a point where I'd like to do this for an extended period of time, where it can be something I can focus on, where it can be the only thing I have to worry about.

But then where is the balance? The embeddedness that I feel in my job and in my life consume so much time and energy (the later of which frightens me most), and if I was to, say, get another job, would that make me more confident in my ability to write stories? I wonder, even then, where is this all going? Would I find it acceptable if in ten years I write from time to time, story to story until...what? Plays, scripts...can we write for years and submit to festivals and find companies and directors and publications to get our work published and if we don't make anything off of it, is that okay? If a tree falls in a forest...

Chicken or egg? Did we write and then love it? Or did we love it and then write?

And what does it matter, if anything?

Questions, questions, questions. I'd like to say I don't stress out about these things, but the acne on my forehead (at 25?!) would quickly give me away as a liar. And I have no idea why I'm sharing these thoughts with the public.

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