Practicing Ideas and Dress-Rehearsal Stories

There is a character in Sandman who gets to the point where he has so many ideas in his head that he can’t write them out, or express them, fast enough. In my case, I have all of these ideas and they each vie to be worked on first: using the energy that I have to focus on one at a time. You know: that energy. It is the energy of vital immediacy and enthusiasm.

The way I think of it, each idea is like a facet of some interesting inorganic material or small components of living substances that need the immediate energy that is inside you to develop them further: to give them the spark of life and order.

And while I do believe in multitasking, it is far easier to multitask when you are doing several different things as opposed to many of the same. At least, that is what I find for myself. I will also admit that there are times when it is more ideal to be able to make the space and time for one particular task as opposed to several others at once.

Of course, there is the other side to it as well. There are the ideas that need time to grow, or those that remain in a kind of fossilization or stasis until enough future energy and knowledge is built up in order to activate it later on. Which brings me to something else I’ve been thinking about lately.

I think one difficulty that I have as a creator is that my mind acts as a kind of cache: I have all of these ideas that I either need to use, save somewhere else in the hopes that they will be activated again one day, or discard completely. If I have too many ideas that I want to work on immediately, I will either slow down or get paralyzed. It also doesn’t help that I have lately been trying to focus on works to send out to places instead of the larger work that my mind is slowly gravitating towards: regardless of my wishes in the matter.

Me and my Head

It does help when I look at the articles and stories that I write on this Blog. I think of them as not only vessels to contain my ideas, but also as “dress rehearsals”: practice sessions of stories that will either become other stories or whose ideas will be added to make something larger and more complex.

Mythic Bios was intended to not only hone my ideas down and let me express and make things I wouldn’t ordinarily have a space for, but to let all of you also get to see as much of the process as possible. I don’t know how successful that might be, but that was the idea anyway. It also occurs to me that once I write my insights about writing and specific works, I tend to forget about them beyond the gist of them. I do classify them to look at later, but I need to find the time to do that.

But I do think I am on to something here and there will be something larger made as a result of all of this: if there isn’t already in some form. Anyway, this is the end of my “thinking to myself” phase online. I will keep you posted, if you will pardon the pun. ;P

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About matthewkirshenblatt

I am a writer and blogger living in the Greater Toronto Area of Ontario in Canada. When I'm not writing for the Sequart Research & Literacy Organization and GeekPr0n, I tend to write science-fiction, epic fantasy, horror, literary and mythological revisionisms, and generally weird fiction stories though I have been known to make poetry, television and comic book scripts. Also, when left to my own devices I tend to write weird and strange hybrid creative opinion piece articles like those you will find on this Blog. I am also very interested in comics, video games, Star Wars, table-top role-playing games, Neil Gaiman's works, H.P. Lovecraft, vampires, zombies, and budgies.
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7 Responses to Practicing Ideas and Dress-Rehearsal Stories

  1. Juliette says:

    So many good thoughts many of us can relate to. Yes, too many ideas and the desire to work on the ALL.

    Your comment: “The way I think of it, each idea is like a facet of some interesting inorganic material or small components of living substances that need the immediate energy that is inside you to develop them further: to give them the spark of life and order.”

    That says it all. Great post!

  2. Nico says:

    Sounds like you need a notebook. 🙂

    When I want to capture ideas I write on the right side of a large Moleskine. As I have ideas to add to it, or insertions or changes, I add them on the left side with arrows or illustrations. I find it helps me organize my thoughts. Once they’re captured, you can always go back and play with them later.

    • You see, what you just wrote here is common sense: something that I tend to lack sometimes. My issue is that I write on margins and separate pieces of paper and I don’t leave myself room, But I will say that sometimes the enthusiasm for some of those ideas does go away or never come back if you don’t deal with them soon. It’s not a hard and fast rule, however and there are always exceptions (bearing in mind, as I’m writing this that “you” actually means me).

      I really do need a new idea notebook and not scattered places to put all of them: even if that is how the dandylion seeds like to do things. 🙂

      • Nicoico says:

        If the enthusiasm goes, then it wasn’t that great to begin with and it’s ok to lose it. The really important stuff tends to stick, and can even get more interesting later on, once it’s had time to sit in the back of your mind, adding layers of depth.

      • Maybe it’s more the focus. Some creations, I find, need to built on and have depth added to them in the exact way that you described above while others just need to happen, or they don’t and just become scribbles on a page that you have to keep track of. Or, like you said it does sit in your mind and gestates into something even better. I’ve had both happen. Also, I see you are posting with a new screen name?

  3. Pingback: Practicing Ideas and Dress-Rehearsal Stories | West Coast Review

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