Kanye: “The Creative Process–It’s Like a Relationship”

I’m going to quote Kanye here.

No, not one of his songs. Something he said in that Vogue issue where, for some reason, he and Kim K. were on the cover:

Creativity is hard. The creative process—it’s like a relationship. It can be grueling, it can be extremely fun, it can be extremely fulfilling, it can be extremely daunting.

After he created a video that was a manifestation of my greatest fears, I thought I was done with Kanye. But that quote struck a cord with me. So much so that I’m still thinking about it months later.

As you may have guessed, I had to take a little break from the noveling/blogging thing for a second. Not because of rejection by a million agents, thank goodness— I haven’t put myself out there enough for that yet (pitched about 12, got rejected by about 6 or 7).

Mostly I had to take a break because I changed jobs, moved, and went on vacation. But also because I’m trying to decide what my next step should be. I’m in this weird position where I have reached my goal: wrote, edited, and revised a readable novel in a reasonable amount of time but…in the process, I myself have changed.

I wanted to write a story about the growth you experience from a relationship (among other things). And like a relationship, I’ve grown just from engaging in this creative process. At some points it’s been amazing—getting so much joy and fulfillment from what was essentially work?! Definitely never felt that way at my former job. Working on this project sometimes I was literally like, in love, with my story. Not because it was so great, it was just so fulfilling, as Kanye said.

Other times the process has been rather unsettling. There are some themes of loss, and the aftermath of diving into those things was not easy. It was like something bad had actually happened to me. It was strange, but ultimately worth it.

But most importantly, from this process I evolved as a writer, I think. I learned a lot about creative writing and storytelling. I read a lot about the craft, I read more in general and of course I was practicing techniques all the time while writing. So now it’s like, I just think I can make the thing better. That’s daunting (as Kanye said) because if I go down that road, I have a sh*tload of work ahead of me.

My perspective on the story, the characters, relationships, life, etc. has also changed simply from being 2.5 years older than when I started. There is distance between me and the impetus for writing it. I’ve received some feedback from a number of people. I’ve read more, lived more, etc. And so my goal for it has changed, I think.

Anyway, so that’s where I’m at now. My last set of revisions consisted of me fixing the dialogue and taking out some unnecessary details. I may pitch a few more agents after inputting them (hey, the author of The Help pitched 60 agents, so clearly there is an endless supply lol) or I may make some bigger changes now that I’ve had time to take a step back. I will keep you posted!!

Kanye West’s Bound 2 Video is a Manifestation of One of My Greatest Fears

Kanye West’s Bound 2 video is a manifestation of one of my greatest fears.

Most of the times when I’m writing or editing my novel, I love it. I love my characters, I love my story and overall I have a great time working on it. But every once in a while I get this panicked feeling—what if this one big horrible idea? What if my ideas are not interesting or innovative, but rather cliché and corny? What if this in-depth narrative that I created—the characters’ back stories, motivations, etc. sound good in theory but in reality is executed terribly?  In other words, what if my novel is just the written version of the Bound 2 video??

I read an interview where Kanye breaks down the Bound 2 concept and it sounded like he put some thought into it. Basically, he was trying to get “as close to a dream state as possible” and to be as “surreal as possible” because “whatever you do, it’s like people want to get into that dream state.”

Ok. Sure. I’m with you. I guess.

But then it’s like he got so into this concept, like TOO into it.  Like he had all these ideas that got him so excited.  They were new!  They were fresh!  Something that had never occurred to him!  This was going to amazing! he thought.

But maybe there is a reason he hasn’t made a video of himself riding a bike in front a bunch of screen savers before.  Like, for example, it’s a bad f-ing idea! I believe the concept was SO bad and SO cheesy that deep in his twisted, creative mind  he reasoned that it must actually be good!

The moral of this story is that that video is why I need some people to read my stuff before I send it off anywhere. It may hurt, but I’ll take your criticism.  I’d rather have a little extra work to do then end up in that valley of unicorns with Kanye.

That’s all I gotta say about that. Short week = short post—have a great holiday!!