Today I was in the wilds of revision.
Well, sort of.
I know where the scene goes. I know what the scene consists of. I know the characters’ motivations, what notes to hit in the scene, and what needs to happen to weave it into the already-existing architecture of the story. The scene itself is simmering in the back of my head, and it’s not quite ready.
So this is what I spent today doing:
It’s pretty simple–a tongue-in-cheek trailer for SquirrelTerror, which I’m going to bring out in ebook and possible paper form, possibly with the help of Kickstarter. I fell into the rabbithole of iMovie and spent the entire day giggling, and only realized I hadn’t done a lick of revisions when it was time to make dinner.
Yes, I feel guilty about slacking. But not very much. As my writing partner pointed out, I had a blast and learned a lot. (I now feel comfortable making vlogs, if I choose to, and that’s pretty awesome.) Also, I have (hopefully) amused a few friends and readers, which was the whole point of SquirrelTerror in the first place.
Actually, not the whole point. I started chronicling the Kingdom of Backyard and the antics of critters therein while I was going through the divorce and struggling with crippling panic attacks. I wrote books during that time, too, but the adventures of Squirrel!Neo, his rival Steerpike, and the bluejays provided tiny gleams of light into the dungeon I was struggling my way out of.
Letting loose a little, having some fun with what you’re creating–this can rescue you, and it shines through in what you make. I don’t think anything on my blog has been as successful as SquirrelTerror. When my site was hacked lo those many months ago, people said two things:
* “I’m so sorry, that must be terrible.”
* “But what about the squirrels?”
When you’re having fun, when you’re laughing helplessly or have your heart in your mouth, your audience will too. The point of art is to transform the world, to communicate that transformation. You can turn squirrels into hilarity, tears into strength, pain into endurance. Even if you think you’re just tossing out a blog post, it has the power to change things. You can share the wonder and the agony of being human, and in that sharing you can double your joy or halve your pain.
You might just have some fun along the way, even if you feel like you should be doing something else.