I have decided that I can’t wait for the podcast to go up on the WRITE CLUB Atlanta website. I mean, I went in the final round so, if Myke uploads the podcasts in order of appearance, I’ve got to wait three weeks?
No way, no how. My exhusband snidely called WRITE CLUB “The Seven Minute Jami Show” which, while hilarious, is hardly accurate. We’re doing good without being preachy, raising money for non-profit organizations all over Georgia. Have you been benevolent lately?
Here’s the piece that won last night. Winnings (when calculated) will be donated to Extra Special People, Inc. It was a packed house, so I can’t wait to hear what the final numbers were!
Chapter 3, Round 3: Creation vs. Destruction
The first thing I do when I get a write club assignment is go straight to Google, type in the word and play internet roulette. Oh, shut up. Don’t judge. It usually ends up being a pretty worthless exercise because typically, I have an idea of want to write about as soon as I get my topic. It was a particularly futile effort this go ‘round because the entire first page of a search for “creation” brought me links from nut-job religious websites going on and on about creationism and how it ought to be taught in our schools.
Heh. I’m not going there, don’t worry. Biblical fairy tales are nice and all, but I’m taking you someplace better than the Garden of Eden… I’m taking you to my lady garden.
Yep… Because what other place to start with a practical discussion about creation than the horse’s mouth? Errm, I mean, my lady parts.
I was 20 when I got knocked up.
It’s your typical love story. Boy meets girl, boy woos girl, boy leads impressionable and stupid girl down experimental paths involving sex, drugs and rock and roll (or, rather backseat blowjobs, blunts and Three6Mafia). And from this love story, a baby was created.
Ahh, yes. His little swimmers fought the upstream battle through my lady cavern all the way to fertilize my little egg. When you think about conception, strictly from a scientific frame of mind, it’s a pretty fascinating and powerful idea. Cells splitting, hearts beating, fingernails growing. All inside of me… The vessel for supreme creation, right?
But really, it’s not a skill. It doesn’t take any brain power to make a baby the traditional way. I suppose anybody with working genitals can do what I did. As much as I love and value my son, the action that brought him into existence was not romantic, beautiful or hell, even all that difficult.
The real manifestation of creation isn’t inside my uterus. It’s not in Genesis or the Garden of Eden. A real, true representation of creation exists here [touch heart]. It’s the kind of creation that is always beautiful, always timely… Perfect.
If you’re here tonight, chances are you’re some kind of creative person. A writer, an actor, a musician… a waiter. If you’re not, well… Then you’re probably looking around thinking to yourself, “Damn, look at all these fucking hipsters.”
If you have ever created something meaningful or moving or memorable, you have embodied the essence of creation… Turning what was once empty space into some kind of beautiful expression. You can’t fake it… It’s not something you can pretend to do… That’s transparent. A real true artist loses absolute control of the creation – it becomes bigger than them.
You’re the writer, hunched over a laptop, fingers precariously perched on the home keys, staring begrudgingly at that mother fucking blinking cursor! You’re stuck… No ideas. That was me at 9:00 this morning.
Thomas Edison said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” You know that, if you just stick with it, you’ll be able to finish this essay for Write Club! Dammit!
And then it happens. The ideas are exploding in your head, your idle hands are now powering away, slamming so hard into the keys that the clickity click becomes a soundtrack for the symphony you are composing. You can barely type fast enough to keep up with the ideas… That…
That is magic.
There is something supremely amazing about the power in that kind of creation… Turning nothing into everything. Changing vapor ideas into tangible somethings. To me, there is more value and magic in that kind of creation than in a biblical fairy tale or physical conception. If you’ve got this gift, you rule the universe. You control that blinking cursor. You can lead us down whatever path you create.
It takes an innate skill to be a creator. It isn’t something you can learn (so, no… You shouldn’t go to art school.). It either exists in you or it doesn’t. If it exists in you and you feed it and cultivate it and express it, it will grow into something that is bigger and stronger than anything you could imagine. Writers don’t write because they want to, they write because they need to… Because that thing inside of them, that nagging itch that whispers to them, “Put it down on paper,” is stronger than their insecurity telling them that they can’t do it.
In the face of rejections and red-pen editing, we, as writers, push on… We continue to create. We look failure in the eye and resolve to write it better next time, to go in a different direction or just send it someone else because that joker that told you it was shit was probably an illiterate moron anyway.
The naysayers… The hecklers… Those that criticize our work and trivialize our skill? Those that, either by subtle force or outward blast, work to chisel away at the work we have done, which for most of us, we have been doing all our lives? Those people are weak. Skillless. Talentless shmucks.
True, it only takes a second … A tiny effort to destroy. You can spend hours upon hours working on a sand castle to only have the tide sweep it away in one crashing wave. A swift blow to the delicate structure that you have been working on and it, and you in the process, can crumble to the ground.
Words are powerful. Writers know this more than anyone else. And the right combinations of words can destroy a lifetime’s efforts. A stinging, burning reminder of your insecurity has the power to prevent you from ever reaching your full potential.
But only if you let it.
If you know in your heart that you have this gift to create…. That you have been called to create things… Every little asshole that tries to destroy you or your work is meaningless. It takes NO talent to destroy things. Those bottom-feeding, talentless suck-ass punks can destroy, but you will look up, surrounded by the rubble, clouds of dusty smoke billowing around you and you will smile sweetly. And then start again.
Picasso said, “Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.”I don’t agree with that. Some of the most beautiful things that are created are spontaneous in nature… peaceful in conception. With the exception of Write Club, it isn’t a competition. You don’t have to destroy anybody to be successful. You don’t have to write better than someone, you just have to write. Real creation is above destruction, immune to it… Because no matter how many times they come to knock you down, they cannot stop you from starting to create again.