Monday, 9 April 2012


I’ve had a busy weekend. What I originally planned to be a weekend full of chocolate, kid’s movies and PJ days turned into a weekend of dancing, drinking and hangovers. I think in the last few days I’ve barely had one proper meal a day. It’s the kind of partying you hear about the hot young celebs doing and to be honest with you all... I can’t figure out how they manage it. I’m exhausted, I ache all over and I just want to spend a day feeling normal instead of feeling like my stomach’s trying to crawl out of my mouth and my legs are going to stop working on the stairs so that I tumble to my crumpled death at the bottom.

You’re probably wondering why I’m bragging about my ‘awesome’ weekend instead of talking about writing or something. BUT. It is actually relevant. This busy weekend got me thinking about creative types and our need for validation. Most artists, writers, poets, singers, musicians, actors etc are constantly seeking feedback. Whether it’s a ‘well done’, a piece of advice or just the knowledge that someone’s looking at what they’ve put out there, creative types want validation of some kind. If you don’t agree with me I’d really suggest not reading what comes next. Come back in about three paragraphs. I feel so strongly about this matter that I ended up with heartburn as I wrote it.

Even if people try to say ‘oh no, I just do it because it’s what I love. I don’t do it for the money/praise/fame/30 whores a year.’ It’s a lie. A great big pork pie that would make Pinocchio’s nose stretch out and punch a whole through his fairy godmother’s ample bosom in a shower of blood and gore. Her still warm heart would be on the end of it. It’d beat. 

He wouldn't be smiling then!

If the creative types didn’t want some form of validation they’d keep whatever they create hidden, out of the public eye. I know this because I used to do it, still do sometimes. I’d draw because I wanted to and just put the products in a folder. I’d write because I’d get the idea and then put it in a folder. I never thought about showing it to people. I didn’t want to. Not because I didn’t want the negative feedback that would more than likely appear, (well...maybe a little) but because they felt incredibly personal to me. They were my babies and I didn’t want anyone looking at them (Kind of like my lady-parts). That is the attitude of someone who just does it because they love it. People who claim they create because that’s what they love but still insist on putting it out there? I’m afraid they’re big fat fibbers.

It might be a big motivation but it’s not the only reason. There’s no denying it. There’s a reason why there’s Google Analytics and about a hundred other site traffic trackers out there. Creators (‘creative types’ is just getting too long to type out every time) want to know that people are looking at their work. It makes them feel important, even if someone just comes on to the site they have for a second. I know this because that’s what I do; I blog because I want to ramble at people about my writing and drawing but I don’t want to ramble at my family. There’re some things that are too weird even for them. Also, they end up throwing things at me. Still... I like to talk/type and I like to know that someone, somewhere is listening.
Should you create because you love it? Yes! That should be one of the biggest motivations behind what you do, if it isn’t then you’ll end up bored, dissatisfied and bitter. You know that feeling I mean; sort of like when you go out for food at a fancy place and it tastes like dog’s ass. Is there a tiny part of you that wants the fame/recognition/30 whores/money that you get for creating? Yes! There has to be or you’d just be keeping everything hidden. We creators need to start accepting the fact that we’re needy little bastards. We want to be noticed. It’s why we do what we do.

One of the worst offenders
You’re probably wondering why I bothered to mention my weekend at all at the beginning of the post. It doesn’t seem relevant to the hate-filled, heartburn inducing, 500 word rant I’ve just spilled out. It’s relevant you see because I got thinking. What if a creator’s need for recognition and validation of their work extends into their life and they need themselves to be validated by the attentions of others. Maybe that’s why you hear about all these creators marrying strings of partners, flitting between them like a wasp who’s had too much of that cider that spilled on the patio. So many of the modern celebrities are checking into rehab, ending up on the news for things completely unrelated to why they’re famous in the first place. They just want to be seen, to be known, to be noticed. The attention of the press, the fans, angry all makes them feel as though they themselves matter. Creators can end up relying on their partner for constant care and reassurance. They expect their S.O.s to drop everything to check their works and give them ‘reassurance’, to hold them when the papers give them yet another bad review.
Yes... I'm looking at you LiLo

And it’s only getting worse. The internet just keeps growing and growing. More and more people are becoming internet savvy. I’m almost there myself in fact and this thing scares me half the time. It’s gotten easier and easier to create your own website, advertise, grab people from all over the world. The cases of the self-made celebrity are growing. With them though is a bigger, constantly growing need for validation. Maybe we should form support groups? You tell me I’m awesome I tell you you’re pretty. Granted it’s not all bad. There’s no longer this sense of elitism about the creative world. You can get 100 fans and never leave the comfort of your own home. Truly exceptional artists and writers are distributing their creations when before in the years before they may never have had the chance.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that...maybe... us creators should try not to let our need for validation of our work become a need for validation of our very existence. For all our sakes.

Images courtesy of:
via Google.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Brain trickery. AKA procrastination

I am appallingly bad at doing things I’m meant to. It shows on the blog too. I should be write blog posts and posting them on time. I should be editing my novel and getting it ready to send off. I should be looking for a job every day. There’re lots of things I should be doing (too much time, too much stuff but it never gets done) but I just can’t get myself to do them. 

The thing is that I have to trick myself into doing anything most of the time. If I’m meant to be editing the novel I’ll be working on the Screnzy script. If I’m meant to be looking for a job I’ll be writing blog posts. Once I figure out what I do when I’m meant to be doing something else it’s fairly easy to get myself to do what I should be doing. Take this post for instance (no I don’t mean actually take it. Put it down!). I’m not meant to be writing it. I’m meant to be job hunting or editing right now. At least that’s what I told myself. Instead my brain decided that I should write a blog post instead and came up with this while I was cooking lunch (fish-finger sandwiches FYI). I don’t mind though as I know I needed to post something. Once I pinpoint when I do things as procrastination I can start making myself do them (I don’t even know if this makes sense :s).

This attitude probably isn’t healthy. In fact it screams of some kind of mental illness. The fact that I know I’m tricking myself into being productive but it still works really is a little worrying. But at the end of the day it gets me to do what needs to be done and that’s what matters. There’s probably going to be a point where I really need to start worrying though (mostly when I start referring to myself in the third person and occasionally demand to be addressed as Maximillian) but until then I’m just going to use this strange tricky ability (no, I know that doesn’t make sense but shush) and get things done.

See you in the nuthouse!

Sunday, 1 April 2012


This is a very, very late Project Friday. Particularly seeing as it’s now Sunday. I’m really, really, really sorry. Friday I went all bleurgh and yesterday I was out until late with the Guides. Yes I’m a guide leader. People trust me with their children. I was amazed too. Anyway... I know it’s late, and I’ve already broken my word from last week but now it’s the first of April I actually have something to tell you about my projects. 

First is the Screnzy idea, oSaM. It’s no longer a vague concept in my mind, it’s getting substance and becoming reality. I’ve got one of my main characters designed and I’ve finally started to write the script. It’s slowly, very slowly, taking shape. Once I’ve finished this post I plan to get back to it and try to hit 5 pages before I go to bed. I’m really struggling with the opening though. Originally, in all my planning, I was going to just have mostly exposition for the first couple of pages but then I realised how boring it would be. Now I’m trying it where it starts with actual characters and has all the exposition come along later. It’s tricky though. I’m trying to get to some action and still show my readers what the characters are like but it’s almost impossible to do both. I need to sit down without any distractions and think about it properly.

Secondly, The Novel. Nothing’s really going on there. I’m still doing all my research, mostly into Norse myths and the religion. I’m also thinking about the story itself. Now in my original plans the story didn’t stop where I stopped it, there was another confrontation with the bad guys after the one I ended on. There was also way more manipulation of supporting characters that actually had the ability to destroy the world. Go figure. Now I’m looking at The Novel, trying to edit the first pages and I’m thinking to myself, ‘maybe I should separate it into three books.’ As it stands now it’s about a book and a half in length. Were I to add extra plottyness to the end (shaddup, it’s a word) I’d end up with a massive beast of a novel that could be used to knock out a large rhino. I’m probably going to have to split it up anyway, should I eventually get around to publishing it, so it’s worth considering turning it into a trilogy. I only meant for it to be a single novel. Go figure again.

Thirdly, the L.C. reboot. It’s stalled. That’s really the only way I can put it. Whatever creative muse has been stalking me this past month... well let’s say it’s like someone got a restraining order against it but it wasn’t me. This may be related to certain aspects of my social life that will stay private. Or it may be to do with the constant job rejections I’ve received this week. Every day I’d open my email inbox to see yet another rejection. I know I should be taking advantage of the fact that I’ve got no job but it’s disheartening when it feels constant. I’m hoping that a good night’s rest and some visible progress on oSaM will help pick me up.

I apologise for the somewhat depressing tone that this post seems to have taken but there’s not much I can do to change it. I try and edit it and it still sounds depressing. Apparently my unemployment is getting to me more than I thought.