Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Tension Exposed

This experiment of writing for thirty minutes everyday in a public fashion is exposing certain insecurities in a way I don't think I could have experienced any other way. I write as if someone is watching over my shoulder or knowing that I am going to talk with certain people about the blog the next day. I write wondering if the handful of you who read this wonder if it's any good. I write concerned about the topics and direction the blog is heading in. It is almost as if it is its own character in a TV show and I don't know where it will be in the upcoming seasons.

That's actually a thing by the way. I had always assumed that writers draw out massive story arcs for characters, regardless of if it's a movie, a show, a play, or a book. But I learned through my incessant pursuit of background information for Mad Men that Matthew Weiner, the creator and writer for the show, didn't know how the characters were going to turn out. Sure, he wanted the plot and direction of a show that lasted nearly 8 years in real-time and spanned just over 10 years in TV time, to fit with the general characteristics of each person, but that didn't necessarily mean that their lives where planned. That's fascinating to me to think about, but it makes sense. Rarely does something become or end in a way that we envision when we first start it.

Because life happens. Life is happening right now as I blog. And it's part of this process of to stay committed to the task at hand -- which is the only sure thing -- while incorporating the dust cloud of life's activities that's swirling all around you. It's this synthesis, commitment to the work in front of you and all of life's other activities, that eventually creates a new form, a new shape, a new...thing. It doesn't have to be earth shattering or unlike anything ever seen before; that is just rare stuff that I can't necessarily explain here. But in terms of an individual, especially in terms of what I'm trying to achieve here, it just has to be new to the one trying to do it. In this case, it has to be something new to me.

Some people call this maturing. Some people call it finding your voice. Whatever it's called, there has to be enough substance for people who do read to find it somewhat worthwhile, but there also has to be a level of grace and curiosity on the part of readers to know that it is all something in development. Back to Mad Men, while that show was amazing and the first season was good, it didn't really take off, in my opinion, until the season finale, the episode called The Carousel. I believe Weiner had even said they weren't sure the show was going to get picked up for a second season. In my honest opinion the best seasons were 3 & 4. I'm not saying the show went downhill by any means. But by season 4 the show hit it's stride and for the most part delivered extremely quality stuff.

The point is this: We had to go on that journey of discovery with them as the show went on. And I'm learning that there's a tension here in this blog as well. It's a process of discovery. I'm committed to the task to write. I see how it sometimes clashes and synthesizes with life. I'm also very aware that people read this.

Commitment. Life. Discovery. An audience. Tension.

The writing will go on. It's just a question of whether you're committed to the journey as well.

We'll see.

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