Sometimes having ideas is a real pain in the neck.
When I was younger, I was never consumed with artistic passion. Certainly, I enjoyed making things--films, drawings, the occasional sculpture. They were a natural outgrowth of who I was and am. But I'm finding as I get older, my ideas are beginning to take hold of me in a way they never used to. While I can never hope to aspire to the level of genius of one of the "old masters," I do begin to see what people mean when they ascribe the phrase, "the agony and the ecstasy" to the life and work of Michelangelo.
When I began to write, I really only had one idea, the idea that birthed Curse Bearer. What began as just a toe in the water of writing quickly became an overwhelming flood that swept me away in the current of creation. I nurtured that idea for several years, and then began to realize quite a few other ideas were rushing along in the current as well.
The Windrider Saga was born and entered the public eye. The Faith and Fantasy Alliance germinated. Curse Bearer finally got published. A steampunk screenplay has taken root in my soul. The second and third books of the Risen Age Archive as well as a fourth Windrider story are in the crowd, demanding to be written. And there's this animation idea--a ministry thing I am capable of executing, given the time. All these ideas are like orphans in the orphanage of my soul. More and more needy children continue to appear on my doorstep. I bring them in, and I do my best to keep them warm and fed. But they are relentlessly demanding. These figurative children don't care that I have other responsibilities--practical ones that aren't nearly as charming--that take up all but a few precious minutes of my waking hours. They want my attention. For me to give them life.
And I want to. That's why it all torments me. I worry that in the next twenty years I will become so eccentric that I will obliterate what few social graces I have, all of them fallen victim to the clamor of stories. But I worry more that I will never be able to give each of these ideas the attention it deserves--that life will continually crowd out the things that ignite my passion, keep me up at night, get me out of bed while it's still dark. I envy those artists in history who had patrons who enabled those artists to do what consumes them. Alas, very few in the arts today can call it anything more than a hobby. There's a reason the stereotype of the starving artist exists--nearly all stereotypes come to be because they are rooted in the truth. Over time, they become a caricature of the concept they represent, but at their core, the reality remains.
So if you see me someplace on my travels, head down, eyes far off, maybe muttering unintelligibly, I do apologize. I don't mean to seem batty. I'm just having a moment trying to to figure out if I'm overjoyed or wracked with pain.