I don’t know what I’m doing!Emmet, The Lego Movie
Ladies and gentlemen, yesterday I walked to a pile of junk. I was proud of myself. Why? Because when you’re writing a scene in which your characters visit a junkyard, it may be helpful to visit some junk yourself and observe your own reactions.
My reaction went as follows:
“Yes, this feels like something a writer-artist person would do. Man, am I fancy right now. I’m going to blog about this later. Then I’ll feel twice as fancy.”
“I’m stupid. This is stupid.”
“Yes, yes, an excellent set…”
“Industrialism is dead.”
Finally, I said aloud, “Weeds.”
And I walked away.
I’m not sure it helped me with writing my scene, or actually made me feel all that fancy. It wasn’t even a very long walk, so that didn’t help me with anything, either. What I’m saying is, I’m almost certain it was pointless. But somehow, maybe I’m still glad I did it–at least I thought it would help me, and at least I tried.
Don’t follow this blog for writing tips. I swear, you guys.
Anyways, the other day I saw a Paramore hat on a table at a yard sale, near a romance novel and some divisive political memorabilia. It reminded me of other hats, and I felt like there was something cool about the whole thing. Yard sales are kind of cool and sad and overwhelming. Possibly because I have no idea how, but you can spend thirty bucks in no time at a yard sale and come home not remembering what you bought, just knowing it’s in a bag somewhere around here. Or because something makes you keep digging through the box even though you’re pretty sure there is nothing you want inside. You keep digging just in case.
I don’t plan to ever have a yard sale. It’d be like if I threw a party. Either no one would come and I would hate it, or everyone would come and I would still hate it.
While I do believe that experiences fuel writing, I’m not sure that every interesting experience actually goes into art or even has any effect.
Maybe they just happen, you say, ‘meh,’ and you move on.