Writing, or more accurately the creative process, is something I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about. It fascinates me like few things do, and it has always drawn me in. Indeed I wanted to be a writer even when I was young and I have recieved intermitent encouragement from a vast number of people regarding this potential pursuit.
I considered majoring in creative writing in college but I didn't want to do it partially out of fear and partially because I can't think of one writer I really admire who came from a background of a writing education. I think that an education in writing is a VERY dangerous thing, perhaps it can be useful but all too often I think it threatens to subvert one's true voice and just muddy things up. Now granted writing programs haven't been around a terribly long time and it's possible that the next wave of truly great novelists and screenwriters will emerge from today's talented writing students but...well we'll see. Maybe I'm just bitter.
I took a course in high school and did well but not wonderfully. Most people didn't really get what I was trying to do and I'm afraid that the short story format isn't where my interest lies. My ideas overflow, they build, the crechendo, they develop. Pigeonholing that into 5 pages double spaced just makes them sparse and uninteresting. I also tried to get into a writing class at Columbia but didn't make the cut. I had to write up a sample really quickly and it was also short and while I liked it nobody else did.
I haven't done a lot of writing recently (besides this journal of course, which is hardly the same) but I have done a lot of conceiving of films. For example there's a trilogy I have in my head which has changed over time but basically consists of a private detective who gets pulled into this occult/religious conflict (I haven't fully decided yet) and how he deals with it. It's got a very deliberate Arc to it where the first act (film/book) is his discovery of another world and of his power, the second is where he gets sucked into it and enters a world on the border of insanity (heavily influenced by an H.P. Lovecraft story) and the third is his working towards the establishment of balance. While it sounds derivative on the surface some of the imagery and specifics are, I think, quite interesting. I haven't put them down on paper or anything but they've matured inside my head. I think I am maturing as a creative person, even if my creations never leave my neurons. Anyway up in Maine I got an idea for a werewolf movie/crime drama which I think would be quite cool, in a limited self contained way. I think one of the reasons most werewolf movies fail is they tend to be urban or suburban. I think they don't have enough of the wild in them.
Anyway this sort of creative stuff is where my mind spends most of its free time. I love watching movies and dissecting them, then listening to the director's commentary on a DVD and learning a little bit of the creative process. I think film is a fascinating medium which is so frequently underused and misunderstood.
Anyway I'm constantly thinking of developing this creative part of myself but I'm holding off a bit. I'm not sure I'm ready. I know that one of the ways to GET ready is just to do it until you get better and better at it, but I also know that if I start before I'm prepared to deal with the crap I'll create then I'll just be peddling backwards. It's like watering a plant...you need to do it for the plant to grow but when it's very young it's pretty easy to drown it.
As of now my rough life plan SEEMS to be finish college, dick around for awhile doing some job, go to Law School, practice law for awhile, then figure out what I want to do with my life. It seems an odd plan but it's the best I can come up with at the moment. I know I want to DO something with my life besides just be creative, but I also want to leave some kind of message/mark on the world. Something that says I was here and I was special, and I was a thinking different human being and not the kind of person who doesn't understand the passing of their own life. It's a common urge I know, especially in this fucked up and weird society.
Maybe I am a writer at heart and I can't escape that. Maybe I have some talent for it, which DOES manifest itself from time to time. Maybe I'm frittering away the opportunity to start when I'm still young and somewhat maleable and it is somewhat easy. Maybe I don't know what to do with what I've been given.
All I know is that as I enter this semester of college I DON'T want to be a college student. I want to be a person who is going to college. The more I think about the typical pattern of collegiate engagement the more it bothers me. I know that a lot of it is stereotype but I've seen that a good deal of it is not. Parties and bad philosophy are just a stepping stone to wearing a tie without realizing what a rediculous item it is and marrying based on lifestage and Cosmo compatibility tests.
I do want to write but I also want to contribute something solid to this world. I have such a schizophrenic relationship with the media. On the one hand I love entertainment and I love art. On the other I see the tools of art being wielded by members of the class that is destroying our society one mind at a time. Television IS the main culprit. I think television is like those electric paddles doctors use to restart a heart. A very powerful tool that can do great things in the right hands, or be INCREDIBLY destructive in the wrong ones. Most people spend their lives in front of the boob tube being shocked repeatedly in the head until they fall into a semi-permanent stupor. It's a strange thing for me to say since I watch so much TV, but who better to condemn the media than a client? It's not just commercials or bad Sitcoms, it's the whole concept of the product of entertainment. We have producers because entertainment is a product. Characters can't marry or die or leave town when they should because of contracts and test audiences. It's mind blowing when you think about how many cooks there are dealing with each pot.
I need to ruminate more on this and I will probably keep writing stuff up in my journal to force myself to organize my thoughts. This is something that's probably long overdue.