Saturday, November 12, 2011

NaNoLife and Creativity

This week has been insane.  I spent October plotting and thinking and dreaming of what I wanted to write.  I wrote up what my characters would be like.  I recorded history for their worlds.  I even spent a good amount of time revamping a magic system so that they would more perfectly fit within the world.  And then November started.  And all of that in a few short days seemed to mean nothing.
Now don’t get me wrong, all that work is probably enabling me to receive inspiration now.  It is like Einstein’s formula of E=MC2 (Energy is equal to Mass times the Speed of Light squared); the energy that I put into this beforehand is now becoming massive creativity times playground creative world squared.  Or in other words I am reaping what I sowed.  It is a wonderful experience to be a part of.
Now I know I’m just starting up with this entire blogging thing, but I figured you might want to know why I started blogging again.  It has everything to do with the title of my blog.  I want to become a published author one day and this is a step in that I see as important in becoming an author.  Having the courage to share my views on life and a little bit of who I am also.  Perhaps the driving force of this blog is to inspire and teach.  Allow me to share a story to illustrate.
I was over at at my Sister’s house several months ago.  Her mother, my sister, my wife and I were having a conversation about the current state of the schools in Utah.  During this conversation my Hand began to speak up.  (Yes, I have a talking hand.  More on him in a moment.)  This caused everyone to share their thoughts on me becoming a teacher.  Now mind you I love nothing more than teaching.  It fills me with glee to be able to share insights with people and have them share their insights back with me.  Because in my opinion that is certainly the highest form of teaching.  It must broaden the minds of all involved, both the teacher and the student.  But I seriously don’t see myself in a classroom teaching all the days of my life.
Instead I want to be able to share my thoughts in a more universal way: though my writing.  An author I began following recently (David Wolverton) shared a story about a friend of his speaking of Stephen King.  The conversation is as follows:
My old friend Algis Budrys was the editor who first discovered Stephen King, at least according to King’s book on writing. Algis was a big fan of King’s work. But one day in the mid-90s, Algis was reading one of King’s novels, preparing to write a review for the Chicago Sun, and he became quite agitated. He said, “Stephen is a world-class entertainer, but I’m worried that he’ll never be a great writer.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Because he doesn’t seem to have an opinion about whether evil just happens or whether we bring it down upon ourselves, and until he reaches that conclusion, he can’t become a great writer.”

That really struck home for me.  That what would define a writer as great would be that they took a position on a subject.  Not the following, not the fact that they wrote an amazing story, but that the story itself was a meaningful expression of what the author actually believes.  That is why I want to write, to share truth with people that they can wrestle with for themselves and come to their own conclusions.  That truth might be prized and cherished in whatever form it may take.  Which brings me around to my talking hands.

My right hand is named Hand, and my left hand is named Mac.  Hand got his name because I am completely unimaginative and didn’t want to waste the time to think of a cooler name.  He’s currently calling me a bastard because of that.  Mac on the other hand was named by the children of a friend of mine.  They were talking with Hand one day and they wanted to know what his “brothers” name was.  Hand and I didn’t know so they named him Mac.  Mac is much happier with his name than Hand is with his.  Hand just told me he hates me.

Now in reality they represent the truths that my life has thrust upon me.  Hand is every doubt, all my anger, and all the frustration that I’ve ever known.  Hand really wants to hurt someone, but because of his nature he will NOT hurt anyone but one.  And that person is me.  He says cruel and awful things such as, “You’re Worthless,” or “I hope you die,” or “Can you cut me off so I can have my own life?”  (My wife tells him without me he won’t have a voice, he seems to think differently.)
Mac on the other hand is much quieter.  He represents what I became as I chose to love people.  He loves everyone.  He is a sensitive soul.  He would bring world peace if he had the means.  He’d go out there and be the next Martin Luther King Jr. for the Occupy Movement if he had the knowledge to know if they were right.  But he is always subject to the abuse of his brother.  He doesn’t like fighting with his brother, but he finds himself unable to avoid it.  He really wants to understand why Hand is so angry, but Hand is quiet on personal matters.

Now both Hand and Mac are products of my creativity.  A lifetime of experiences I’ve had.  They are the truths that I’ve been given.  Some of those came from the misunderstandings of my mother from her own days of abuse.  Others came from my religion.  All are a part of who I am.  And I am proud of that.  Though the likelihood of you seeing Hand or Mac in public is pretty rare.
But the likelihood of you hearing what inspired them from me is high.  So as you read along in my blog, you might ask yourself this question.  Is that Mac or is that Hand?  And what does Jayrod really believe?  

Happy NaNo 2011 folks!  Keep Writing!

1 comment:

  1. Jayrod--You'll have to let me know how NaNo worked out for you--my goals for NaNo this year weren't 50K, since I was already halfway finished with a novel, but a different goal. Even so, I didn't quite finish--however, I put in lots of great word counts each day in November. I love the energy of NaNo!

    I followed you over from the link list at ROW 80--I'm excited to set some goals, and have some supported writing now in January!


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