Thursday, 28 April 2011

Oh Bondage, Up Yours

Somedays the ideas won't come.  Somedays no matter how hard you stare at the keyboard the words refuse to form.

For whatever reason today I can't seem to get my brain to work, to be creative: to think of anything much to say.

I don't know how creativity works for other writers: I know that we're very cautious about talking about it - incase the ideas go away and because, quite frankly, we don't understand it either.  Where do these ideas come from?  The Qwik-E-Mart?  Might as well be.  Why do they come to us?  Are some people more open to the lightning strikes of ideas that hit every brain and, in many cases, bounce off?

Sometimes these ideas seem like a waste - they don't go anywhere much, they may be unshared and, more often than not, they come to us at awkward times and are lost before they are fully formed. 

But those creative ideas are what keeps us going, what makes us who we are - what makes the gaps inbetween worth the while: and in the mean time we wait - and hope the lightning strikes us again.

In the mean time this week marked the death of little known Punk rocker Poly Styrene (of The X Ray Spex) at the tender age of 53 - and I wanted to share the below with you because I think that in our current culture of fame at any cost the lyrics are perhaps more relevant than ever - and only go to show that a good, original idea, is never out of fashion

Is the crisis
Can't you see
Identity identity

When you look in the mirror
Do you see yourself
Do you see yourself
On the t.v. screen
Do you see yourself
In the magazine
When you see yourself
Does it make you scream

When you look in the mirror
Do you smash it quick
Do you take the glass
And slash your wrists
Did you do it for fame
Did you do it in a fit
Did you do it before
You read about it

And - because you can't have a Royal Wedding with aaat a coupla corkerneys cor  blimey hows yer father etc etc etc here's Chas N Dave - from the last time someone royal tied the knot


Peter Goulding said...

I find if I immerse myself in creative things, it helps to inspire me. I know that sounds pompous but it works. Listen to Bob Dylan and I want to write. Listen to the Ramones and I want to dance.
On the other point, this is the first I heard of Poly Styrene's death. Loved X Ray Spex since I first heard them on the Live at the Roxy LP and Germ Free Adolescents is so lyrically funny. Saw them only once, at a Rock against Raccism gig in some London park, I think. Following the death of Ari Up of the Slits, my youth is fast disappearing.

Argent said...

I'm with Peter: immerse yourself in good quality music, art, books, etc. Above all, be open to any foolish notion. My last couple of cartoons and blog posts have come directly from speculative conversations (or talking bollocks as it is more commonly known) with people I work with. Keep a little notebook or a file on the computer to jot ideas down in. The ideas might be rubbish at the time, but a few weeks or months down the line....

You've got creativity coming out of your ears, but we can't always be at full throttle with it. Writing not coming? Go draw or paint or bake, it'll come back.

The Bug said...

I find staring out the window trying to avoid doing actual work at work works best for me. Or, if it's poetry, I like to see where my mind goes if I have a prompt (if you read the poem I posted Tuesday night you'll see that sometimes my mind just ignores the prompt). AND I've written some of what I think is my best stuff when I tried to use a form (triolet or sonnet or such).

However, If you decide to bake to open that creative door, can you send some over here? I like sweets best :)

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Peter - yes. I'm less familiar with The Slits, but I saw that she had died. I think having a creative stimulous certainly helps

Argent - my creativity definately comes in waves. I just could have done with some the other day to keep me occupied :)

Bug - it has been famously said (I think by Stephen King) that if you give a writer a window to stare out of then they will never get any writing done. If i ever make sweets you can consider some on their way

Anonymous said...

On the contrary, Pixie-starver, I'd challenge you with these things:

"and only go to show that a good, original idea, is never out of fashion"
If it is capable of going out of fashion, I wouldn't say that it was an idea at all. Ideas are transcendent and applicable to all times. Then again, when I think of the term "idea", usually philosophy or a social/political outlook of some sort comes to mind. So, take my view with a grain of salt.

I was thinking about writing about this myself (maybe I already did in the past). Ideas do not come to the mind fully-formed, with a beginning and end and middle full in tow. They come in pieces and abstract bits, and it is up to you as the writer to jot these bits down and continually interact with them until they become their fully formed selves.

I would say to look back at those ideas that you thought were silly, and pinpoint what it was exactly about them that made you consider them silly, and then additionally ask yourself why the idea came to you in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Coincidentally, this quote was tweeted to me by someone I'm following today:

"An idea, like a ghost, must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself." CHARLES DICKENS

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Samurai - maybe we're both wrong. some of the things they used to believe in ancient greece were pretty out there