For the first time in a long while, I’m keeping a little notebook to keep stray ideas. In fact, this blog entry started out in the little green book.
I’ve never been one to keep a journal. It’s too much stress. I’ve gotta write in it every day, or it doesn’t count. I’ve gotta scribble the boring and mundane details of my every day experience, which generally I don’t want to glance through at some later date. “Wow, I…ate breakfast. And then took a nap. Excitement.”
But lately, I’ve enjoyed having it around. I bought it when I was in Boston so I could write down anything interesting that I might want to blog about later, but I’ve kept adding to it since I got back. Story ideas, ideas for the blog, little doodles, whatever I happen to be thinking about; all of it goes into my little green book.
It’s a large part of why I write in my blog every day now, instead of in sporadic, half-hearted updates once a month. It’s not just a way to make sure I remember these little ideas, but it’s a way of thinking this way again.
Writing always seems, to me, a way of thinking. When someone is writing, they’re taking thoughts that are not concrete or focused and putting them into definite words that can be understood by other people. And it’s something that can be exercised and improved. And it’s something that can atrophy and become very difficult to do.
By keeping my little green book, I’m constantly practicing and refining and figuring out how to put things into words.
And one of these days, I’ll use it to figure out how to end an entry.
My subconscious and I have never really gotten along. There’s a vicious little bastard running things down there in the darkness and apparently he doesn’t like me much. Night after night, he puts together the most twisted shit he can and runs a nightmare double-feature. Which is, in itself, annoying. I would like to get through the night without my family and friends getting wiped out in a post-apocalyptic landscape or without having to fight off zombies while Hayden Panettiere explains why we should just be friends.
But the thing that really annoys me is that I can’t USE any of these dreams for story ideas. They’re derivative, unoriginal and sometimes just outright steal ideas from books, movies or stories. Christ, I would think I can be more original than just lifting the entire plot from Aliens night after night, but apparently I can’t.
It depresses me because I have to wonder what it says about me if my dream apparatus can’t be bothered to be more creative than this. I’ll just hope that the thieving, unimaginative bastard part of me is sated with these lackluster entries in the horror field.
What’s worse is sometimes I’ll wake up and immediately after the dream think, “Hey, this could be an interesting story.” I’ll start to scribble it down and as I write, notice how it bodily lifts from that book I just read and added a bit of the Exorcist for good measure. And that’s the stuff that makes sense. Everything else is junk drawer crazy that doesn’t really knit well into a plot.
If I’m going to sleep badly, I’d like to get something out of it, but, so far, the most I’ve gotten from it is two or three blog entries where I complain about how much my sleep sucks. So thanks for nothing Subconscious.