In which Dream Eater for once is willing to dispense with the awkward pleasantries.
Scripts are a funny thing. They’re kinda like good intentions, in that you start out with the best possible aims but in the end you’ve got no idea where you’ll end up, and in the process you’ll probably look up when you’re at nearly the end of the path and realize you paved yourself into your own personal hell. Page production ran into a wall this week because what I thought was the strongest part of my script for this chapter turned out to be merely the first idea posing as genius. (First ideas are very sneaky and vain this way.) So this week has been much soul-searching, outlining, and gnashing of teeth as the buffer gets progressively slimmer and slimmer. I did eventually figure the darn thing out, but it was no small effort to wrangle.
Part of it is that stories change as you bring them from their first draft into their realized pages, and another part of it is that I change over the course of production. Between first writing the script and now, I’ve gone through some pretty big, life-changing events. Some of those have been exceptionally hard and unpleasant, and maybe at some point I will be ready to talk about them here. I’ve experienced new things, and that colors how I write. Even how I draw. I’ve been faced with deeper underlying problems and know the face of what I’m writing about better. Taking things out of the instinctive realm and into the empirical one as a writer can be both a painful experience and a therapeutic one. Painful, because we have to go through something terrible to know it from the inside out. Therapeutic, because at least through creation we can change our internalization of those events. Externalize them, even if it’s couched in metaphor. It’s not quite the same as an outright, clear discussion, but it seems to be a half-way point that can help a person survive.
I’ve often wondered why there seemed such a strong link between bad experiences and creativity. Is it because creativity helps us survive the bad, or that bad things force a need to create? It used to scare me a lot, that if I had a child, they wouldn’t be able to create unless they’d undergone pain. If I imagined a future child I’d want to shelter them from any harm, but I thought that would mean accepting that they could not share the joys I found in being creative. Now, having met children that seem to have a lot of joy in their life, I think that creativity is simply a natural outlet of expression. For good or for bad emotion. It can come from joy just as much as pain, and that gives me a lot of hope.
Where do you think creativity comes from?