Hey there. You know how it’s difficult for you to create something. You know, Art of some kind. How it’s difficult to come up with a concept that’s exciting to you, then to teach yourself the skills of whatever craft you’re working for. Then overcoming the self-doubt that whatever you’re going to create. Then actually doing that thing. Risking criticism from even your best of friends. Yeah, all that is pretty difficult.
So, it’s hard enough. Creating something. Difficult enough just to motivate your own brain to move your own hands.
And, now, for the rant.
Here’s a quick list of roadblocks that stop me on a regular basis.
1. Phone calls (or other interruptions.) I own my own business (I don’t recall seeing those two words “own” and “own” so close together… I had to go look it up to make sure I was using it right… I’ll homophones and misspellings to the list of distractions.) Anyway, because I’m self-employed and I’ve got a cel phone, customers can reach me 24/7. Sure I can ignore the phone, but there’s always the nagging sensation that the person calling is someone with 25 reservations for an upcoming show, or they want to book us as entertainment for a Caribbean cruise (‘nother hard word to spell) Both of these things aren’t out of the realm of possibility. So, when the phone rings, I stop whatever creative venture I’m working on and answer the phone so that I can continue to make money so I can have the freedom to do the creative thing that I had to stop doing to answer the phone. Sometimes it’s a telemarketer… I don’t hate them. I hate their companies and higher-ups who’ve hired them to do their shitty job. They can go to Hell.
2. Technical problems. The original impetus for this post was my USB ports suddenly not working. After 20 minutes of troubleshooting… they’re still not working. I was supposed to have a picture up of a drawing I made (“Fish Stilts” if you’re interested.) 1/2 an hour ago. But, tech has let me down. That’s on the hardware side (I’m pretty sure.), but there’s also endless things that can go wrong on the software side. Constant upgrades. Old Man Eserkaln can’t keep up with all the new technology. It makes him grumpy and sleepy and not wanting to do creative things.
3. Minor life distractions and responsibilities. I’ve got to pick my kid up from school in 30 minutes. I over-slept this morning because I set my alarm wrong. I was going to record a video in the kitchen today, but my roommate, who’s normally not home at this time of day is, and while I’m not blaming him for living his life, I was hoping for alone time to record the video. (not sure if that sentence is grammatically correct… grammar will be addressed in #4.)
4. Grammar. And spelling. At this point in this post I’ve stopped 5 times to look up a word I didn’t know how to spell. Just learn how to spell the words, Mike! I’ve looked these words up multiple times… the lesson does not stick in my head. Vowel problems usually. Also, Grammar. This should be a free flowing idea post, but the Grammar Nazis are out their and their ire is constantly in the back of my mind. Causing me to doubt. To stop the flow.
5. Audience. With all the above frustrations, why bother doing something creative. The images in my mind and the way the scenes play out in my head are so much better than the reality. While I’m not looking for a huge audience. I don’t need “Fame” to validate doing something. I do need *someone*. Some audience. I don’t have a significant-other, so the only audience that I for sure have is my kid, and some of this stuff is too mature for her. I realize that if you’re reading this now, you’re part of my audience. And I love you all, but you are etherial. You come and go as you please.. which is your right. Maybe it’s better to phrase it this way. I currently lack a “Muse.” I end up being my own Muse, and I’m not a good one to myself.
6. Distractions. You’ve heard of the internet right? Yeah, that thing’ll suck your attention away like *that* (finger-snap)
7. Killjoys. Okay, this was one of the original points of this rant. The other day I posted about an event we had called 24 Hour Theatre Collective. What I didn’t tell you about was the e-mail I got from a group in New York called 24 Hour Plays. Informing me that they created the 24 Hour Theatre format and that we couldn’t use it without their permission and/or paying them royalties. I chose to ignore it because,… well because it just seemed too ludicrous to consider that one group of people own the rights to the concept of doing something within 24 hours. (had to look up ludicrous just now, btw.) Who knows if they have any claim on what they say. (side story; Years ago the Marx Brothers got a letter from saying they couldn’t use the title “A Night in Casablanca” for their movie because of the movie “Casablanca”. Groucho’s response was that the Warner Brothers (producers of “Casablanca”) couldn’t use the term “Brothers” because the Marx Brothers were born before them.) Anyway, I ignored them, we’ll see if anything happens. Like I said in the previous post, we actually do our writing and producing in 19 1/2 hours.
7b. (continued) Killjoys also include people who say something’s been done before. And, people who nitpick your first concept with factual details (I do appreciate those people for the final draft.) People… they’re the worst.
Add to this, weather, hunger, money troubles, headaches or sickness, random depression, lack of sex, poor diet, lack of exercise, and it’s a minor miracle that anything ever gets produced.
*whew* Thanks for reading, you certainly didn’t have to. I just had to get that off my chest. What sucks the most was that I was riding on a high after the 24 Hour Theatre and was hoping to ride the wave. I should know by know that riding the wave is really really difficult and it’s usually best to let myself crash off of my metaphorical creative surfboard and swim back out after a bit.