The Penitent man shall pass
I’ve been in an awful creative slump for a while now.
I feel like I can’t come up with anything good, or useful. I don’t know if it’s because I’m depressed, if I’m still getting used to my meds, if my sleep is off, if I’m just tired, or what. I know one thing’s for sure; it’s pissing me off. BIG TIME.
I want to write something interesting, something fresh, but something that isn’t as dark as my prior work. I think that’s a problem for me because I like the darkness, the sardonic nature of my characters, and the humor that I’m able to get through that. I want to write something much lighter, but I can’t find anything that would fit. I mean, Unicorns are awesome and all, but I don’t know if I can write one word of a script or story without saying FUCK half a dozen times.
Maybe I’m fighting my nature too much. Maybe I’m just not making the effort to try and work. Like I said before, I have been depressed. This summer sucked a lot of the life out of me, and what I did in the spring is long past. Maybe it’s the heat. The San Fernando Valley is a bitch during the summer, but lately, it’s been hotter than the entirety of it. And it’s Mid-September for fuck’s sakes!
I just don’t want to be that brooding guy, but I know I am. Sure, I’m funny, and I’m well liked, but my dark side is a bitch and half. I’m trying not to be the victim. I’m in control, but I don’t know what to do with that control. I’ve never really had the wheel my whole life. Someone was always driving for me.
I talked to one of my dear friends about this today, and he commented that it may take me another YEAR to figure all this out. It’s not what I want to hear, but he’s probably right. I’m a stubborn son of a bitch, and I have problems with taking the first steps towards change. I don’t get out of the house enough, and I’m rather overweight. Okay, maybe I’m fat, but I’m not obese. I’m not at the “GODDAMN, use a treadmill!” stage. That’s a step in the right direction I suppose.
The only thing really going for me is that I’m in school, and I’m giving it my all. Sometimes, that’s not enough in other people’s eyes, namely the ones helping to fund me. Maybe I expect too much out of myself. I get upset if I get a C. Anything above a B is fine, but I still feel like I can do better. I’ve only had one C+, as I said a while ago, but I felt it was deserved. The other day, on my last day of class for the next week until the new quarter starts, my professor praised me in front of the whole class about my effort. All of my other classmates had given me compliments beforehand, as that was what we were doing for each other (very 1st grade, I know), then he would comment. He called me a ‘tentpole’, which was very flattering, but I was kind of in a daze. I said I was very humbled by all of the praise I had received, but I even said I could do better. If even my best isn’t good enough for me, what ever will be?
Anyway, so I’m kind of stuck in this loophole. I don’t know if I’m just going through a REALLY long phase, or if I’m just drowning in my own depression. I did break my sobriety last Saturday, but I haven’t smoked since. I don’t really feel like going back to it anymore. I like it, sure, but it never really helped me. Maybe I just want another taste to help my creativity. Maybe I should have another taste to help it. I don’t know. I don’t want to go down that dark path again.
This probably all seems ridiculous considering how much I write per post on these things, but you have to understand, this is just me talking about my life. It’s not like I’m writing short stories, or scripts. This is purely for pleasure, and maybe to keep myself from getting rusty. I don’t edit these. I don’t refine. I just let it flow. That’s what I do. It helps me iron shit out. Public or not, I would probably be keeping a journal if it weren’t for Tumblr.
Anyway, I’ve gone on long enough. Maybe one of you has some advice for me?
Maybe not. Whatever.
Fever: About Characters
I get into creative fevers a lot when I go through major emotional issues in my life. It helps me to get out all my problems by using my own personal relationships with others as the basis. I don’t use anyone’s name, nor do I ever directly comment on something, but I try and give characters I write a little piece of myself.
I guess the truth is that every character that one person makes or writes is part of them, part of how they feel, and part of their mentality about life. Granted, some characterizations go further than others, but most of them tend to come out like you think they would.
In some cases, you have to step outside your comfort zone to approach a character. For instance, say I’m writing a teleplay about a Serial Killer. I would have to put myself in the killer’s position and figure out what makes him tick, how he would make himself believe that what he was doing was alright, and his reasons for doing what he’s done. For the most part, a villainous character usually is villainous out of a sense of Narcissism or Insecurity. It helps to know a little bit about psychology when approaching characters such as these.
So despite all of this, there are characters that have no moral compass, but they feel incomplete. The Joker is one of those rare exceptions, but the reason why is because he just is what he is. We take him at face value, and we get exactly what we expect, which is why the character is so dangerous. We don’t really know what is going on the back of his head, why he does what he does, but he just does it anyway, if only to see what happens. This was brilliantly used as the basis for the character in The Dark Knight, which is why it was so resonant with so many people.
In my experience, people in general are characters, myself included. There are reasons why I act the way I do, things I will and won’t talk about, things that have happened that I regret, and so on. But that’s what makes me interesting, and makes most people so interesting to me. Almost always, we never know someone’s back history going into a situation. It would be much easier to handle if we did, but that’s the beauty of NOT knowing. It is a challenge to go into any situation, even just going to the supermarket. I’m not saying personally, but you understand what I’m going on about. The point is that decisions we make, challenges we overcome, they shape us and make us more into people.