Sunday, May 27, 2007

Creative impulses and the lack of output

I have this great urge to write right now. So I sat down to generally outline a story idea I've had for a while...and discovered that it's a very STUPID story, and I really don't want to write it. But what DO I want to write? I don't know. I want to write something that makes people laugh. And inspires them to create something themselves. A lot of my favorite movies do that. Like "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" and "Flushed Away" and "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe." Pretty well anything that has a great character (like Rita) or strong emotion (like Mr. Smith talking himself hoarse in the Senate) or great drama (like the White Witch revealing to Mr. Tumnus that it was Ed who betrayed him for a few pieces of Turkish Delight) inspires this. I guess it's the same with my favorite books too. It's pretty hard to beat Fish...tied to a post in a dark basement, frantically trying to get loose as he watches Rose slowly suffocating; her head covered in a plastic bag*. Or when Marcus Valerian tries to drown himself in the Sea of Galilee but survives and finds hope and life and the two greatest desires of his heart instead.*.

I can't describe the feeling I get every time I watch The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and see Mr. Tumnus looking EXACTLY as I'd always pictured him. Or listening to Focus On The Family's Radio Theatre version of the same story and just KNOW that the voice they chose for Edmund was PERFECT. And when music is perfectly matched to the action in the movie, like the part in the Fellowship of the Ring when Gandalf goes down with the belrog, or Shrek fights his way in the castle to rescue Fiona to the song "Holding Out for a Hero"...something just wells up inside of me and makes me want to create something. I feel like I've been infected by something great and good and bigger than myself, and I want to share it. But I get so frustrated because I can't express what I feel. I can't let it out. I want to write, but when I sit down to do it, nothing comes out. Sometimes I've just pulled my violin out and started to play...but that just floats out the window and nothing lasts. It helps relieve things for the time being, but it's not completely satisfying. One day though, I'll discover what it is I have to infect the world with, and it'll be good. And I'll create this urge in someone else.

*The above alluded-to books are "The Shadow of the Bear" by Regina Doman and "An Echo in the Darkness" by Francine Rivers.

1 comment:

The Overworked Barista said...


I've got another book for you to check out, and this is unrelated I think as I haven't read your post yet...

"Bird by Bird" By Anne Lamott