Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Dream

Or delusion. I guess it depends on your perspective.

After yesterday's post, I thought I needed a little introspection. What drives me?

Let's start with some history. I once was an art student. Well, okay...art therapy. I wanted to work with troubled kids, make some art, express--all that. Then "they" started telling me what to make (note the difference between what and how). This is where my punk rock sensibility came into play. (it's small, but in there)

I'm all for teaching. But what is different than how, any way you look at it.

So I quit. If I wanted to art, I would art on my own time, doing what I loved. There was no therapy in producing for someone else. Maybe I regret my decision a little. Maybe not.

Now I write, and my life is goverened by a simple cost-benefits analysis, even if I don't conciously think about it. (all of our lives are...and most of us never think about it) I spend an enormous amount of time writing. I don't watch much TV and a lot less films than I used to. I don't play video games anymore. (Yeah, I used to really love video games) And I'm not paid all that well for my writing, if anything.

So where's the benefit for all that cost in time and effort (and heartache before I numbed to rejection)?

I'm doing what I want. I'm making stories. I play with words and worlds and make awful (or wonderful) things happen which stretch beyond what ordinary life has to offer.

There are other little benefits, too. Seeing my name (even if it's spelled wrong) in a review. An accpetance. (especially from a long sought-after market like Nossa Morte or Murky Depths) Publication.

But creation trumps all of those others. All humans have a drive to create. Look at the collective sum of human culture for the past few thousand years. Sometimes, we destroy because we haven't found the proper avenue for that drive. But I'll always take the '+' over the '-'. It's too easy to fall into the snark spiral.

This is the dream: to continue and create while not letting "them" take away the wonder and drive to do so. In more concrete terms (and I'm stealing a bit from Rebecca Nazar here), I want to write and publish as much quality work as I can before I die, staying true to myself in the process while continuing to "hone my craft". I want people to be happy they read something with my name attached and know I was happy creating it.

Get out the crackers 'cause I've given you plenty of cheese.


Rebecca Nazar said...

No need to apologize for cheese; tis always lovely, both literally and figuratively.

I, too, share your drive to create. I like the notion that a comical tale of mine might give someone a smile, even if it is a wee one.

Thanks for the nod. :-)

Jamie Eyberg said...

I think it is that 'drive' in you that sets you apart from the rest. Carry on, brother. Carry on.

Anonymous said...

Is it the end of the year? Is it surviving NaNo season? After reading Barry's post and now yours, I'm forced to reflect on my own literary desires and motivations. Your teacher is showing, because you made me think.


Katey said...

Yeah what Jamie said. The drive is the thing.

And frankly, inherently creative people are going to write/create anyhow-- it's what you do. So you might as well put it out there. What's a story without someone to enjoy it?

Aaron Polson said...

Becca - Your post really helped me answer a question my wife has been asking for a long time.

Jamie - Drive or mental illness. Maybe they're the same thing.

Mercedes - I better cover that up. ;)

Katey - Just words I guess. By their nature, stories want readers.

Sophie Playle said...

Mmm, the cheese was delicious!

Cate Gardner said...

Keep living the dream Aaron.

Alan W. Davidson said...

Hey, continue to walk (or drive) that creative road, my friend, because I'm sure there's good things waiting for you when you reach your destination (that was my cheese...are you ready for the whine...?)

Katey said...

Agreed. They're not complete without a reader, and their interpretation. (It was rather delicious cheese, but then, I'm a fan.)

Aaron Polson said...

Sophie - Cheese is my Waterloo.

Cate - I'm merely stumbling toward the light at the end of the tunnel. :)

Alan - I'll take a nice red; Pinot Noir perhaps? (I'm rather fond of Riesling, too, but people make fun of me)

Katey - Right on.

I'm off to eat some diary...

Danielle Birch said...


K.C. Shaw said...

Art for art's sake, pure and holy. Anything else good that comes from it is just jam.

Jeremy D Brooks said...


I'm with you on a lot of those points, especially the making art and punk notes. I enjoy crafting worlds, I feel extremely, almost pervertedly motivated to do so--and the little asshat punk in me wants to do something that few people can, will, or want to do. When you find something you're good at, you gotta at least try, right?

Aaron Polson said...

Danielle - Works for me, at least. ;)

K.C. - mmmmm...jam.

Jeremy - I'm going with a "hell yeah".

Fox Lee said...

Oh no, you can't distract me with thoughts of delicious cheese. This was a great entry : ) Now if you will excuse me, I'm going to make a cheese and mayonaise sandwich.