Sunday, January 17, 2010

From Genocidal Madman to Serial Killer

There's a piece of wisdom among writers: Kill Your Darlings. I first encountered this adage in Stephen King's brilliant On Writing, and it's one of the best pieces of advice anyone's ever given me about writing. Sometimes writers become too attached to things they really like and just won't give them up. Sometimes, those darlings just aren't as good as we think and they need to be smothered in their sleep.

You might have noticed this blog isn't updated nearly as regularly as it used to be. In 2004, I made more than 600 updates. In 2008, I made 80. Last year, I made 11. And although I started on a personal project, I haven't written anything of consequence in the last couple of years either, darlings or otherwise.

It's not that I've been killing the occasional darling, it's that I've been engineering an active campaign of genocide against my creativity.

Of course I didn't see it that way, but the net result is the same. Stagnation. Devotion of my energy to things inconsequential. And an appalling slip in grammatical correctness that I'd love to chalk up to me being artistic in this post but cannot.

There's a lot of (re)new going on in my life right now. A major component of that for me is writing and tapping back into the thing I love the most, and one of the things I love about myself the most. It means going back in and finding some darlings and not just putting them against a wall and shooting them before they find themselves on the page. That's hardly fair is it?

A colleague of mine once told me that tomorrow is always too late. This is true, and this is why today I'm going to stop this horrible campaign of destruction against my darlings and instead go back to simply killing them on an as-needed basis, rather than the extermination of the entire darling race.

You can also expect more updates here.

One of the things I've felt this blog has lacked in the past is a certain degree of focus. I can't simply make it 'general' because I'm just not that interesting. I can't make it specific because it's already been my Puppet Show for so long that turning it into Jason's Subversive Puppet Show and Scotch Tasting Notes doesn't seem like it would work. So instead I will focus on what it says in the description: a writer re-igniting his love for the craft. I'm not sure what that will look like exactly but I hope it'll be interesting enough.

2010's the future. I may not have my flying cars yet or worlds to explore except Europa but I can at least say that there is the here and now and that my creativity has been on hold long enough.

2010. Now. Today. Because tomorrow is always too late.

1 comment:

Tim Callington said...

Here's to that my friend!