The Creative and the Subconscious

I dreamed the other night that I owned a beautiful book. I’d acquired it at a great discount at one of those places one sometimes acquires beautiful things at a great discount—the bargain bin at NMU’s bookstore, in this particular case. It had a sapphire and lavender cover, the colors fading and drifting into each other like a sunset. Think the cover of Bitterblue by Kirsten Cashore (one of the [many] [really good] books I am currently reading), but shinier. It wasn’t a story book; it had pictures and text and paintings of magical creatures and words about how to write and how to make art and references for mythology and all other sorts of things. Or only a few of those things, or none of those things at all. What I knew was that it was a beautiful book, and full of all the wisdom and inspiration that I most especially need. Something I was glad to have, and something I wanted to hang onto. With a lot of reverence, I placed the book on my shelf—and here, I ran into trouble. The spine of the book held both the title (some word written in silver flowing script, with multiple S’s) and an image of a white creature, either a dragon or a unicorn. When I placed the book upright, so that the title ran the correct way and the book would open right-side up when pulled from the shelf, I discovered that the creature was upside down. Ah, I said. It was a discount book, after all. I flipped it over, so that the creature was upright and centered, braced against the bottom of the shelf—and now the words were upside down, and ran the wrong way. No matter how many times I re-oriented the book, I couldn’t get it right.

Maybe you’ve already guessed my metaphor.

Nothing’s changed. I still want Wanderlust (the writing, the art) more than anything, but I’ve gotten lost somehow. I’m tripping between the pictures and the words, not sure what I should be working on, and unable to accomplish, or finish, anything—and all the time hunched beneath and wading through the pressures of REAL LIFE, and most days too tired (or too engaged in other things) to make headway on creative projects at all. I don’t know which end is up. I don’t know which way to hold it, and I can’t seem to get it right.

I present you with this blog post sheepishly, ashamedly, like a thief who returns a stolen object at arm’s length, ready to run. I haven’t been following your blogs, or reading your tweets or keeping up with any of you, my internet friends and supporters, and some real life friends too. When I withdraw from the internet, I do so pretty completely. Also, I noticed that each of my sporadic posts over the past MANY moths ends with something like, “I promise I’m going to start blogging more regularly. No, I mean for real this time.” Therefore, this time, I make no promises. What I usually forget about blogging, though, is how it makes you write. Writing is writing. All practice helps. And right now, I do need help.

One more thing. Something I’ve been ruminating on for the past few weeks. November starts in, what, a little over a week? I am… eep… considering doing NaNoWriMo this year. You know, that crazy thing where you write a novel in a month. I’m still undecided, but more tempted than I’ve ever been before. More on that to come. Maybe. If we’re all very lucky, and I manage to write another blog post soon.

-G

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6 Comments

  1. Welcome back. I wondered where you’d been, but I do know that you’re young, in a new city, adjusting to a new life, so I figured that was it and you would eventually be back. I find I’m enjoying blogging more since I made the commitment to do it at least once a week, because, at the same time, I decided to just do it, whether I had done anything creative or not that week, and even if all my writing felt lame and stupid. It was freeing for me. I’m planning to do NaNoWriMo again this year, and so is your cousin, Mary. Join us (she says in a spooky, hypnotic voice); you know you want to.

    Reply
    • Well… I just did it. I made a NaNo account! Now how do I find you and Mary? Can we be BUDDIES on the website? My username is Grace Makley.

      I think that’s a great idea about blogging once a week no matter what. I always get into this cycle where I don’t want to blog until I’ve finished something or have something to report, and forget that if I blog no matter what, that activity will help inspire whatever else I’m trying to do.

      Reply
  2. Yay! Yes, we’d love to be BUDDIES! Let me get with Mary because she’s the old hand and will help me work out the buddy thing. We’ll find you. We have strange screen names — I’m either Releaf or releaf there — so don’t be surprised if you don’t immediately recognize us.

    Reply
  3. We tried to find you but you didn’t come up when we searched. Have you filled out your profile yet? If you want to try to find us, I am definitely Releaf. Mary is LunaKat. Mary doesn’t have much in her profile, but you’ll know it’s her if the occupation is “Tie-dye Artist”.

    Reply
    • I found you both! Now I wish I’d got more creative with the user name, but lately I’ve just been using Grace Makley for everything because it’s usually not taken (that one other Grace Makley in Ohio doesn’t frequent any of the same websites as me :-p).

      Reply
  4. Great! It could be we’re not being creative; we’re just hiding. I’m glad you found us.

    Reply

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