When I was younger, I took my creativity for granted. I would expect it to be there when I turned on my computer at 1am to write harrowing tales of weird futures filled with mysterious card rooms built on top of libraries that only appeared for some people, some of the time, the inherent alchemy in a deck of cards, properly shuffled, a room filled with undercover warlocks, a mysterious man named Hoang and his flock of robotic seagulls, a girl named Maroon, who spent page after page after page searching through half submerged cities for a man named Dwinali.
I admit, I wasted the visions that flowed, nightly, from the top of my head to my fingertips. I squandered the energy and the time I had to write. Like a poor family planner, I said, “I’m not ready, yet” and “I can always do it, later” and the worst of all: “There’s always time.”
There is not always time.
The parts of being creative that I took for granted were the very things that contributed most to my creativity. It has never been a one way street, an endless outpouring of weird and strange from the inside of my head. When I look back at what I was doing during the times I was able to come up with the BEST story ideas or be prolific with chapters springing out of pages and short stories giving birth to novels, I realize that I was involved in so many crazy adventures and wild rides with friends and groups of friends. That things showed up when needed to inspire; the art show, the indie movie, the haunting music. It was as if I had tuned into something that was endlessly, helpfully giving. This is why I know what artists speak of, when they speak of art as flowing through them rather than coming from them.
Now the desire to create is back, but as I search around through “the echoing loss of ‘better days'” I wonder if there’s enough left to fuel the end of this project and the start of the next one and the one after that. I’ve been running on the dredges of the past for too long. I need to find a way down the hole, into the wardrobe, through the garden wall. I need to convince the endless giving thing that I really am serious this time. I’ve learned the lessons of squander and lost opportunities and I am here again asking