|Surviving to New Ideas
Author: KarlaT PM
The musings of a writer when encountered with new ideasRated: Fiction K - English - Words: 992 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 1 - Published: 02-19-13 - id: 3102312
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Musings of a Young Writer:
Surviving to New Ideas
Something about the eagerness of a new idea it's impossible to dislike. How it jumps up and down next to you, waving its tiny little hands around trying to catch your attention. Screaming "I'm here, I'm here, you know I'm great, the best one you have thought of in a while!" Then you look at it, vaguely thinking it reminds you of Julio Cortazar's little cronopios, smile sadly at it and say "You silly little thing, you were just a passing thought, why do you insist on staying here?"
You try to forget about it, because it was actually just a passing thought and contrary to what it's screaming you know it's not your best idea in a while and you are busy with that other story you thought of last week or last month.
It eventually starts growing, whispering to your other ideas how great she is and how they would be great too if they joined her in her good natured attempts at getting written.
The little idea gets strong too and suddenly, before you realize it, she is dragging you to the computer or a piece of paper with a pen conveniently lying right next to it and then she is telling you the most interesting things, outrageous tales that she tried to tell you before, "but of course" she says "you weren't listening back then".
You write, happily, believing this one, oh yes, this one is the next best seller in the book store.
Then the not-so-little idea gets distracted, she stops mid-sentence because a little fly was passing by or a handsome male idea was flexing his muscles and other impressed female ideas where oohing and awing and she wants to see them too.
And she leaves you, right then and there, when you were hanging to its every word.
Ideas, you should know, have a very bad memory when it comes to people's names and faces. So when the grown idea, that charismatic thing that you remember when it was still young and excited to tell you everything interesting about the world, leaves you, it is very likely that you will never see it again.
You may try to stop her from going away from you, you may cuff her feet to the ground and tell her lovingly, if not in a slightly disturbing way, "I'll free you as soon as you tell me the end, love, just three more chapters and then you can go to play with those other ideas". But it's already useless, once her attention flies out of the window her eagerness to tell you everything goes away too and you might as well be alone and talking to thin air, you will look just as crazy too, trying to rip your hair out of your head in your anxiousness and desperation, looking mournfully at that word document.
Ideas also have a distinct lack of decency, no sense of property whatsoever. Thus, when they come out of nowhere in their first stages of eagerness it is usually at the most inopportune times anyone could think of, like when you are in the shower and it tackles you from behind, attaches herself to your back and starts whispering the dialogue of that one story that refused to be written.
You know, of course you already know, that by the time you finish in there and manage to get something to write on, the lines she will tell you, if she was kind enough not to flee as soon as you walked out of the bathroom, are not the same lines she was telling you before. But you ran out of the bathroom either way, hurrying everything and telling her to stop talking, to save that wonderful idea for when you have a pen and paper. She never listens and you end up with a wet floor, because you obviously didn't take the time to step in the bath mat to dry your feet, bad dialogues and a dead weight in your back that refuses to talk to you anymore.
I don't believe ideas are cruel beings, they can't be, looking so cute when they are young and happy and blabbing joyfully about everything and anything. However, they certainly have a bad memory, very bad disposition at the most crucial times and a tendency to flee whenever they like, because they care for nothing except for themselves and for them your writing is very much not their problem.
That's why I usually take Jorge Luis Borges advice to heart; his phrase goes something like this: "I never look for subjects, I let subjects look for me and elude them, but if the subject insists, I give up and write."
So if an idea comes knocking on my door, I ignore her, if she keeps trying I ignore her some more, only when she brings down my door in her attempt to be written do I pay attention to her.
Does it work? Usually not, but by the time she is gone I have heard enough of the story through her screaming on the other side of my door for me to be able to write without her constant presence. She may go whenever she wants, she may come back if she feels inclined to, I can write either way. Does that mean I get to finish a story, any story? No, of course not, but I least I get further along the line than I would have, had I listened to her when she first came to me.
An idea, though, is not the only otherworldly being you face when trying to write a book. Muses may also come in handy, if they want to help, that is. But I'll write about them some other time.