Making Easy Things Part 8

Feb 19

I have this notion that I might conquer my creative inhibitions if I make something every day for forty days. I’m on day 8. These makings leave me little time to second guess the output. I am forced to make do with what I make. I allow myself to refine somewhat after the fact, but the release schedule is such that I don’t have time for more than a few edits. Maybe when it’s all said and done I will go back and omit the embarrassing bits, but this could prove such a daunting task that I leave the work pretty much as it stands.

I realized that, after my years of making things, I have become much more selective about what I actually get around to finishing. I have countless song sketches scattered over countless scraps of paper and discarded recording devices that I will never find again — abandoned ideas that didn’t seem quite right in the moment. This makes me a bit sad. I think of my early creative years — when the act of writing anything seemed new and euphoric. I was excited and self-congratulatory about every little song or pencil sketch.

My process has become a bit drawn out — my songs in progress are quaint sudoku puzzles that I come back to from time to time, for years in some cases, until I am absolutely forced to consider them finished. Creating nightly in this way forces me to improvise — to get better at trusting my intuition, and to forgive myself for mistakes. When I have to do it quickly, the imperfections need to be celebrated.

When I’m comfortable enough with this process — the making of these daily, easy things — I hope to find my way back to the associative, unconscious reveries that I relied on in my formative years. Then I would simply write: about what might be waiting at the end of the slimy small town street; about the cavernous depths and oily life beneath the drainage pipe in my musty, unfinished basement; about the shoe store that’s been boarded up ever since carbon monoxide fumes killed those three young employees — those dusty but otherwise pristine decade-old shoes still set in tidy rows, ticketed with large, red clearance tags…