– *hiccup* “Excuse me! I think I ate too much…”
A blog idea I came up with last night – presented to you after slight editing…
I am on a race with the clock against the sleep aid/melatonin nightcap that is racing through my bloodstream. I need to capture some observations before pharmacopeia-induced sleep hits me.
It has taken 3 1/2 seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 2 seasons of Spaced, and a severe nutritional deficiency of good reading, for me to realize that consumption of too much visual entertainment is bad for my creative output.
It has been great for the analytical half of my brain. I find myself more aware of story elements, plot, character development, the filmography of numerous directors and actors. I even find myself increasingly aware of the details in the world around me. But my own inner eye has been squeezed to a tiny squint. Any natural flow of ideas has become encased in the frozen walls of other writers’ visions. I can clearly visualize the creative works of Josh Whedon, Simon Pegg, James Cameron, Hayao Miyazaki. Less clear are the endless worlds that once floated in my mind, like tantalizing fruit hung from a tree ripe and ready for the plunder. Two years ago I couldn’t type fast enough to capture the images and characters boiling away in my head, brimming to the surface in dreams – both waking and sleeping.
I suppose I could go back, retreat from cultural relevance, abandon my IMDB Top 50 movie project. Stop watching Buffy. Forego television (well, my Hulu and Netflix equivalents thereof). Become just another mediocre writer with lots of ideas but no creative well to draw from. A writer who is a mile wide and a cultural inch deep.
But I think it can be done. Balance that is. Take Stephen King for instance. The man is a cultural glutton, yet somehow he finds the time to publish dozens of books while wading neck deep in music, television, and film. Granted, he is a self-prescribed hermit. And he does not volunteer his time to the mission of his local church. And I wouldn’t exactly say that all (or most) of his books are particularly stunning – from a strictly literary perspective. But he has found some modicum of balance (or maybe he just learned how to live without sleep once he got himself off the cocaine). Either way, he demonstrates that it is possible to remain both creative and analytical; aware of the world around him, even as he creates the worlds that exist only in his head. There is a balance there.
One I have not yet discovered.