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Old 07-31-2016   #11
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Re: narcissistic rant about loss of creativeness and joy

There have been too many projects that I've had to say no to because I was utterly void of any creative impulse. Ye moft regrettable was S. T.'s anthology, GOTHIC LOVECRAFT. How ye blazes cou'd I NOT be inspir'd to write for an anthology with that theme?! Impossible! But there was nothing inside me. That's why every time I complete a new story and print it out and hold that ms, I feel like I have won a new wee victory. I have this unreasonable dread that one day it will all end and my pen will remain forever dry.

"We work in the dark -- we do what we can -- we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art."
--Henry James (1843-1916)
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Old 07-31-2016   #12
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Re: narcissistic rant about loss of creativeness and joy

Last year I pretty much didn't leave my house at all and lived a nocturnal existence. These meds have given me the push to go outside for a few walks every day, and I think daily sunlight and exercise have actually helped my depression/anxiety more than the pills in total. I spent most of last year on my back in the dark. The soul rots and atrophies in such positions.

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
― Robert Aickman, An Essay
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Old 07-31-2016   #13
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Re: narcissistic rant about loss of creativeness and joy

One of the most important things for me to keep in mind is not treating my creative ideas like a routine "to do list" or think too much about an audience, but trying to create the juiciest things I would love to exist.

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Old 07-31-2016   #14
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Re: narcissistic rant about loss of creativeness and joy

A lot of good advice here already. Here's a few other thoughts:

Being a writer doesn't mean you have to produce work all the time. Aickman wrote, what, 40 to 50 stories, in his lifetime. Two writers I respect average less than one a year.

If you miss the rush of writing but the stories aren't working, try other forms. Poetry, autobiography, travel sketches, experimental pieces, found words, overheard snatches of conversation. Just write stuff down.

Sometimes you might see that two unfinished pieces are actually part of the same thing. Try seeing if any of your fragments could join up, with a bit of extra work.

There are some tricks for revitalising unfinished work. Try changing the gender of the main character and see how that alters the story. Move from first to third person or vice-versa. Rewrite it as a verbal transcript or as letters or as a report. Sometimes these jolts are enough to get the thing moving again.
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Old 08-03-2016   #15
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Re: narcissistic rant about loss of creativeness and joy

Quote Originally Posted by Gnosticangel View Post
This poem by Antonio Machado has always spoken to me about the loss of creativity and joy, due mainly to negligence:

The wind, one brilliant day, called
to my soul with an odor of jasmine.

'In return for the odor of my jasmine,
I'd like all the odor of your roses.'

'I have no roses; all the flowers
in my garden are dead.'

'Well then, I'll take the withered petals
and the yellow leaves and the waters of the fountain.'

the wind left. And I wept. And I said to myself:
'What have you done with the garden that was entrusted to you?'
What a beautiful poem! Indeed, what have I done.

Fortunately the worst is over now I think. I felt embarrassed for writing this rant here, but when I read the responses I was surprised by your understanding and compassion.

I have an obsessive personality so the only way for me to overcome problems is to attack them head on. Obsessiveness turns quickly into stubbornness and from there the path to frustration is short. Hence no wonder that when I lose control of something, I freak out. Somehow I have found a glimmer of hope and started reviving an unfinished story. I expect no fireworks but I guess that finishing it will be worth it, if only for the feeling of actually having some closure.


Thanks for the wonderful advice.

"I myself have never seen the Red Tower - no one ever has, and possibly no one ever will. And yet wherever I go people are talking about it. In one way or another they are talking about the nightmarish novelty items or about the mysterious and revolting hyper-organisms, as well as babbling endlessly about the subterranean system of tunnels and the secluded graveyard whose headstones display no names and no dates designating either birth or death"

Thomas Ligotti-The Red Tower
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