Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Great Thrashes of Creativity

Tuesday – Entry 43:

(cc) Douglas Cootey
As I write my book, I feel sometimes as if it is a writhing, multi-headed hydra escaping my control with great thrashes of creativity. I know that the new writing I am adding to this collection of blog entries will make the book stronger, but I honestly want to see the project end. I’ve been working on it for six months and there are other things I want to write. It’s time to wrap it up. I recall Steve Jobs’ famous words: “Real artists ship.”

This was in reference to the Macintosh days when they kept missing deadlines and were racing against the Lisa team. One of the programmers referred to their process as art, as if one couldn’t rush it. Then Steve summed up a truth in his mercurial way. Real artists ship, that is, they release their work to be seen by others. If you endlessly perfect something and nobody sees it, what value does it really have? I have written several picture books, a middle grade novel, and some short stories, yet none of them were good enough to publish. It is time to prove that I’m a real artist—or in this case, author—and get something out there in people’s hands.

My greatest fear, however, is that when I finally release my book, the finished product will be a scant thing that will not properly reflect the amount of work I put into it. Then again, I don’t want to write a massive tome on overcoming suicidal ideation. No, this is just my ADHD tendency toward Multi-Irons Syndrome. I am growing bored with this task and my mind wants to sail out into the world for new uncharted waters.

Wait. Is that truly my greatest fear? Don’t I worry more that I’ll have spent six months of my life sifting through the sad, heavy sands of past blog entries for what might amount to nothing more than pizza money? I chose this project over my fiction. Did I choose wisely?

Regrettably, there is no finding an answer to that question unless I ship a product for people to read. I’ll have to trust the editor I’ve chosen to help me beat the hydra back. In the meantime, I still have writing to do.