The Skill Blender: Part Two

In a previous post I touched upon the subject of other skills that writers might have and how they might incorporate them into their writing life. Over these past few months I've learned to embrace all of my different hobbies and streamline them into a creative package. I gather a lot of inspiration from video games, movies, comics, and art. It's safe to say that consuming media seems to be a large part of my creative process. (If I don't let it eat up all my time of course.)

I think that this might be true for a lot of writers. When I was young, I used to get a lot of inspiration from everything that I watched. I soaked it up like it was my life force. I had dreams about these worlds and even puked the ideas out on the unsuspecting friend or lover. Sometimes I thought I was insane because of these strange idea bursts. I'd try to draw them out on paper or write them down as fast as I could (I still do this sometimes).

In the end, I realized that I wasn't getting anywhere with my ideas if I didn't commit them to something. Waking up with a half scribbled piece of paper that says: "penguins on a bed of coals smoking out of pipes" sounds cool, but what does it mean?

I still get the inevitable "idea death" after I've started something creative that seemed like a great idea at the time. It begins with a really cool concept and then ends up boring me to death when I work out the details. I really hate it when this happens. However, its taught me that restraint in a story brings together all the neat bits I've always been obsessed with. The bits that add color to the worlds are what make the gooey center that much more delicious. Gooey bits are great.

But there was something wrong. I had to figure out what media was better for my idea fountain. Was it writing or was it being an artist? I arrived at a dark crossroad that pointed between writing full-time and artist full-time. What was I better at? I had to weigh between a few different aspects:

  • Which process do I struggle with more?
  • What media conveys the imagery in my head with more clarity?
  • Can I see a future in either of these creative endeavors?
  • How do I feel after completing either task?
  • What do I hope to accomplish with art or writing in my future?

These are all pretty valid questions and answering them wasn't easy. I thought I'd pull my hair out on this subject. I had many reasons to stick with doing both. Whether it was necessity or comfort, taking a plunge into choosing what I wanted to do was hard. I didn't want it to be so black and white but I knew that it would be impossible to completely hone two things at once without the other suffering. I had to figure out what came to me more naturally.

After the dust had settled and I screamed it out, I came to a simple decision: hobby versus life calling.  

That, my friends, is the tightrope I was walking and trying to balance. As a creative person, I needed to realize which direction my heart was pulling me in and which one was a more practical skill. I don't know if anyone else out there is having this kind of dilemma. If you are, I highly suggest this route. Which outlet would you like to see as a hobby or a life goal? It's a journey. Writing, drawing, living and breathing. The question is: what tools do you want to master while on this crazy ride?

In the meantime, I would like to share my little sketch blog: The Scribble Attic, Perhaps it will give some insight and make you smile. 


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