Letter to My Imagination
January 27, 2011 § 4 Comments
Dear Muse of my Thoughts,
We need to talk.
It isn’t that there’s anything wrong with our relationship. On the contrary, we’ve been working together a lot lately, and I feel like it’s going well. We’ve bickered a little, maybe, but we haven’t fought. And you haven’t failed me, except for today when the cogs that make my thought-wheels turn have broken through overuse. I can forgive you for that lapse. It’s okay. I understand.
But, odd as it is to say it, there can be such a thing as excessive enthusiasm. I say this tentatively, because I don’t want to upset you. If you someday stop giving me hundreds of fleeting ideas and notions per week, I don’t know how I could go on. It would be tough, living without you. But it has to be said.
Look at what we’ve done together this week. We created a weird, colourful flying thing without a name. In that we didn’t know what to call it, and neither did the characters, so we all just call it a Thing. It has no defining features to speak of, except in being, well… weird. Does its existence serve any purpose to our plot? Do we even know what it is, or will be, for?
If we are being honest with each other, the answer is ‘no’. Not that this is a bad thing. Sometimes those little stray ideas that pop out of nowhere turn out to be perfect little gifts that neatly solve those nagging problems that we both know have been driving me quietly mad. But in this case we are talking about a colourful winged thing with no name. Does it seem likely?
I’m too weak, at the moment, to excise it from the story. You knew that when you gave it to me, didn’t you? You knew I wouldn’t be able to erase the colourful wingy thingy, because it would feel like snapping its dainty little neck or feeding it, alive, to my cat. You took advantage of my weakness for small creatures. That was a bit questionable.
The unfortunate truth is that we made it because we both like colourful things. And we both like whimsical things. Maybe we like these things a little too much. By indulging our fondness for whimsy, we’ve made more work for ourselves: we’re both going to have to work overtime to explain its presence in our tale, or we will have to send it to the block. Snap.
We aren’t in the business of writing stories for six year olds, so let’s tone it down just a little for the next few weeks, okay? Let’s take a little time to figure out what to do with all the stray, pretty-but-useless bits and pieces that are popping up all over our novel before we make any more.
The bottom line is: I can’t keep up. It’s getting out of control. Give me a little time. I need to get the Serious Stuff covered, and sort out some of the mess. Then we can make all the whimsical stuff you want. I promise.
AKA The Boss, In Theory.