The Beast, the Fear

If you regularly read my essays, you know that not long ago, I decided to ditch a sales career to become a creator, both of words and of pixels. The transition is in progress. I assumed that, during this process, I would essentially be the same person that I was upon arriving at the decision. I’m now discovering that that’s not true.

Every book I read, every film I watch is now a chance to analyze: the plot, the characters, the evolution of the story. Every gorgeous website is a chance to go beneath, to the source. I no longer have the ability to simply admire a great story, to become absorbed to the point of losing myself. The creator in me- that beast inside that I’ve recently acknowledged- not only recognizes a beautiful creation, but wants to know the reason for its beauty.

Part of me wants to go back to the way it was: get lost in an absorbing book, or admire a compelling film without the analysis. Blissful ignorance. It’s this same part of me that tells me that I could never replicate that level of beauty (the definition of which is truth).

My weakness as a writer is developing plot mechanisms. I’ve many ideas, but turning an idea into an outline with specific, engaging plot twists is another thing entirely. To conceive of a story, one that will reveal to the author and the reader some morsel of truth about our reality, and accurately reflect its symbolism, its poignancies, its truths in story form is a very difficult task.

It would be easy for me, then, to listen to the voice that tells me that, if I turn around and go back down the road from whence I came, life will be easier. I can enjoy the stories told to me once again, without the constant nagging of a need to understand the story’s structure. Stop analyzing. Start enjoying.

I will not listen to that voice. He wants a mediocre existence. He wants to stifle the other voice gasping for air: the creator inside of me that wants so desperately to see the light of day. That voice, that beast, knows precisely my weakness. It is because of my deficiencies in developing plot that he forces me to stare at an unfolding story with wide eyes. It is why he will not let me rest until I understand the thing which draws me to a particular narrative.

He knows my needs, he knows my desires. There is nothing more terrifying than having your own naked needs and desires revealed to you in undisguised form. How easy it would be to smother him, to let a mundane existence envelop me. But my eyes have been opened to what I may become, and I will settle for nothing less than seeing the world through the eyes of a writer.

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