I’ve been thinking a lot about my post last week, Poetic Rhythm. Mostly about how depressing and defeated I felt when I wrote that. I’ve been writing more fanfic lately–which I enjoy–but it bothers me that I haven’t worked on anything original in…honestly, I’m not even sure how long it’s been. So, after nearly a year of bad mental health issues and half a dozen family deaths, I did what I should’ve done ages ago–I turned to Neil Gaiman.
I’ve spent the morning indulging in graphic novel adaptations of some of this stories, namely “Snow, Glass, Apples” and “The Price.” If you haven’t read them, I highly recommend both. “Snow, Glass, Apples” is a re-telling of “Snow White” from the queen’s perspective and there’s something wrong with Snow White, and the latter is about a stray black cat with treacherous nighttime activities. Reading his work reminds me of why I love stories; he’s so talented at creating a world that I’m never fully prepared to leave. But even more than that, I was reminded today of a commencement speech Neil Gaiman gave at the University of the Arts in 2012.
Neil Gaiman Addresses the University of the Arts Class of 2012 from The University of the Arts (Phl) on Vimeo.
If you’re unable to watch the video at the moment, Gavin Aung created a comic version you can view by clicking here.
This commencement speech is the pep talk I needed, and I can’t believe I didn’t think of it before now. I’ve been so caught up in my own thoughts bemoaning a lack of originality that I forgot to actually do the thing. I forgot to make art.
So, I’ve started making art.
The other night, I sat down and wrote out the opening scene for a novel that’s been in my head for over a year. Is it perfect? No. Am I going to probably end up editing the bejeezus out of it? Yes. Did it feel so fucking good to actually put the words on paper?
I’ve also started working on mapping out a nonfiction project over the past few days and for the first time this year, I feel that real creative spark again. The nonfiction project is very research-heavy and is going to be a huge undertaking, but I’m really excited by the topic and I’m looking forward to it. I’m planning on sharing tidbits of my new projects on my Patreon as I start working on them, but mostly I feel happy that I’m actually doing something for me. That isn’t to say that I don’t also enjoy writing things like fanfic, because I definitely do and I don’t intend to stop. But to feel like I’m creating something new and original and like I’m making good art…I don’t know. It’s something else entirely and I’m happy to feel like that aspect of my life is returning. I’m doing the thing and making good art and I’m remembering why I love writing in the first place.
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