I feel like I’ve been on a bit of a trip since that last post. I’ve been walking more regularly (if you can count having gone for an 80-minute walk every day for the past two days ‘regular’, though it’s certainly more than I’d been doing before), and listening to that song, and thinking about my super-awesome film adaptation of my novel …
And it feels so … right.
I hate saying things like that, or ‘too perfect’, or whatever, because if it’s too perfect then obviously it’s not perfect, that’s the whole point. But regardless, the story I was imagining, with all of those actors, and the soundtrack, and the cinematography, and whatever else – it was a different story to the thing I’ve written. Notably different. It gave me some insight into directions the story feels like it ‘wants’ to go in, and I have to say that I liked what I saw; there was more connectivity, for a start, in terms of the disparate elements of the story that I’m currently struggling with and have been struggling to tie together pretty much from day 1, and part of me is frustrated because this is all ‘new stuff’ and the current thing I’m focusing on is defined by the fact that I’m not permitted to introduce ‘new stuff’ yet. Later on, sure. But right now, it’s all old, all the time, and only about half of the time do I remember that I’m intentionally doing this in order to achieve a specific, planned-out goal. I know why I’m doing it, and I’m very, very sure it’ll work the way I want it to.
I just don’t want to do it.
But then I started missing ‘my’ version of the story, the messier one, the one where all the elements don’t link up neatly and tie themselves into a coherent bundle to take out on a sun-filled picnic on Successful Novelist Hill. Even just the look of the characters. It got pretty ridiculous. And I’m glad that I started missing them, absurd as the notion is, because it’s brought me back to the importance of working on what I have right in front of me.
I say it was ridiculous, but only if you assume that the mind and emotions are easily controlled. They can be controlled, certainly, but the ease with which this is accomplished really depends on what program is running at any given time. I felt that by casting this thing (and then creating a promo trailer to that song, just to be thorough), I had given it away – put it out into the world and opened it up to be coloured by multiple agencies, no longer restricted to my own. It got a little metaphysical. And having an overactive imagination as I do, I took this fairly seriously.
I tend to run with ideas without thinking very much about why or what could come of it. Thankfully this does mean that some ideas, such as this one, eventually run their course and I just end up back where I started, and I don’t think it’s a bad process all the time, and certainly not this time – I think it was useful. It’s given me an idea of where this story could go once I start allowing myself to make big sweeping changes to what happens. And that idea may well have been different if I’d had different actors in mind; in fact it definitely would have. And that’s what I like about the exercise; it really does stretch things, moves them in a particular direction, and if it can get to a point where it no longer feels like it’s in your control, I think that’s actually a really good thing. For me, it means that I’m taking it seriously, running with the idea and seeing just how far I can take it. And that feeling of externalising this very internal process gave me an entirely new perspective on what it could look like, if I did allow certain influences to colour the way I was doing things. And the results weren’t bad. In fact I daresay I rather enjoyed them. I guess it’s kind of like that expression: ‘if you love something, let it go’. I haven’t let it go, but I’ve let it grow a bit. It felt organic, so I rolled with it, and I think it worked. And now it’s come back; now I’ve been brought back to the start, and that also feels organic. So I think this is okay.
The one regret I have is that this proposal has gotten held back by my indulgence in flights of fancy – progress, yes, but not the progress I’d intended on making. I’m not really upset about it, but it does have to get done, and I’d like to get some stability and sustainable momentum going for draft 2 sooner rather than later.
I may just have to write a whole bunch of these new ideas down. All of them in fact. Why wait? Why section off all of these things I’m meant to be doing into their own days or hours? Why not have them all going at the same time?
And if it’s a horrible idea, which I don’t know yet – why not learn it the most effective way? By doing it?
Ideas deserve to be noted down. And I keep saying to Make Notes. So I guess I should do that.
And on the upside, this proposal is almost done. So why not do something I enjoy in an immediate, emotive sense while also doing something I want to get done in a more pragmatic, rational sense?
I mean it’s a whole lot better than doing neither, right? Which is kind of what I’ve been doing for the past week.
I feel like I’m in seriously uncharted waters, and yet this all feels almost-familiar. Like I’m about to turn round the corner and realise that I’ve been walking around a circular hallway.
Well, better to realise it now than later, at the very least. I have a good feeling about this …
I hope this gets done right. I really hope this gets done right. I want nothing more than to get this right.
I think this is okay.
Let go, and keep going …