April 17, 2014 by musehick
I never really kept a sketchbook when I used to draw – or rather I never considered anything I drew a preamble to anything else; each piece only made sense to me as a sealed circuit of something. School told me you have to do practice runs and experiments in order to be able to make a piece of work – they lied. I would draw something and then I would retrofit a sketchbook with the lie of a working process. Why should you have to do extra unnecessary work? This is education’s problem … when it does not understand the subject it teaches, or because of the rules of a curriculum gets entrenched in the idea that there is a right way.
The philosophy of taking everything taught with a pinch of salt has served me well. I have been a magpie stealing shiny objects that catch my eye for the longest time, and most creative people I know are like that. The best teachers I know are attuned to their own inner ear and can hear the heartbeat of a child without mistaking it for something that needs to be slaved to a metronome. The worst teachers are cogs in a machine making more cogs for a machine to make cogs.
Ambition is not bad. Failure is not bad. In fact if something works for you, as long as it hurts no others, it is all good if it helps you to create.
I have to do very little research for most things that I write – direct research that is. What I do is read like a fucking demon about everything under the sun and then I let the huge pot of leftovers stew and bubble away and eventually something emerges in the digestion.
I keep looking for a more cohesive way to organise and chomp through the shit I like to read about but I think it is a losing battle, or at least one that will keep being fought. I find the contradicting impulses within in myself a pretty neat microcosm of the way chaos and order yin and yang through existence – tension keeps it interesting.
What to write? I like poetry. I like detective fiction. I like science fiction. I basically like good writing. If someone tells you to specialise and play to your strengths, you really should do just that … be a good writer. Genre conventions are the window dressing, and sure you may be great at dressing that window, but the blood and guts and engine driving the whole thing, whatever your kink drives you to phrase your style as, is going to have to be good writing. And again I am sure I am saying something that equates to preaching to the choir, but some days I like to sing and hear myself singing along.
The aim is shortly to pause a little with some of the poetry projects. Finish my novel of last year. Finish my other novels. Publish the finished and yet unedited poetry books. Work work work – it is the only key to success; working is inspiring; inspiration drives work; work keeps on inspiring. Is this not a wonderful feedback loop to be locked in?