Let’s Build a Stairway To The Stars

My friend builds guitars.  From scratch.  Cuts the wood, shapes and stains them, molds them, paints them.

He played guitar for many years, played in a few bar bands, practiced for hours.  He talks non-stop about them, listing his favorite players, his favorite licks, everything.  It’s his obsession.

But, the demands of life caught up with him.  Had to get a job.  Less time to play in bars.  His band mates moved on in life too.  Suddenly, the only way he got to enjoy his obsession was sitting in his room, jamming alone.

And, that’s not an euphemism.

He got a bit down because of it.  Sure, he missed the thrill of playing in front of live crowds, and hanging with his buds–but mostly he missed the challenge.

Learning new music.  Making new songs.  Creation.

The creative spirit is a jealous one, a spirit that hangs on you and pushes you and bugs you until you feed it.  If you have ever been haunted by this spirit, you know what I mean.  It’s one that demands attention.

Far too often, we find ourselves as writers stuck– we keep world-building for our fantasy novel, but it just seems like there are always holes.  We keep trying to craft the perfect “near kiss” scene, but it just seems too far-fetched that her husband arrived home right at that time.  The thief should get away, but when we look over our escape route–there’s no way the cops would ignore that fire escape.

We keep thinking about what we want without looking at other ways to get there.

My friend loved playing guitars–then he realized he just loved guitars.  That thrill he got playing live?  Same one he gets when he test-drives a new handmade model.

So maybe just ignore the holes in your world and see what happens when you approach them.  Let them kiss–how does that change your story?  Maybe the thief gets caught.  But escapes custody being transported to the station.

Don’t ever be afraid to stop playing, and to start building.

signature - josh