I’m a much faster thinker than doer.
Lots of times, I feel like I can’t keep up with my thoughts. I forget the exact metaphor Buddhists use for a wild mind, but it’s something involving a large and dangerous mammal. They might refer to it as a raging, wild elephant or something, and I can completely understand what is meant by that.
The point is though, it takes me a really long time to actually deliver the things I make. I’m no expert at what I do–that’s part of the fun for me. But it means that I’m constantly learning, and that’s never fast. Also, I’m kinda stubborn AF and might have a perfectionism-streak the size of the Mississippi River.
There’s nothing really wrong with being slow, and I’m not complaining. It does, however, impact me a great deal.
In the indie-author/publishing world, a common mantra is ‘write fast, publish often.’ Well, that’s not going to happen. I mean look at me, (LOL), I published action and adventure zombie apocalypse books (with vampires), then I went on to write contemporary romance, and now I writing both plus experimental fantasy. I’m learning and trying new things all the time, and I’m not perfecting a system that would let me crank out work.
The same is true for my art. I’m probably most influenced by Araki and Edgerton, if I had to narrow it down to two, and neither of them had a particular genre or style they adhered to. I guess Araki’s was ‘life’ and Edgerton was ‘science,’ but beyond that, they were both extremely experimental. Turns out, I am too.
One of my books is present-tense action, another is third-person romance, another project is second-person fantasy, and so on. Some of my photography is abstract flowers that grow in the garden, while others are ‘flowers’ made of composite images. My experimental films can take years to make, because they’re literally experimental, not just so in name. One required amassing a huge amount of source material, because the creative process was signal-bending an analog camcorder feedback-loop onto a digital screen… Little I make is straightforward…the only exception might be my haiku (I’ve written 1200+ in last decade), but still, I spend a lot of time editing them.
Within a medium, I’m slow, because I mix genres. Because I create in a number of mediums, I seem extra slow.
I really am okay with that, but it means that I’ll never be able to do the things other artists and authors will do. It might mean that I’ll never reach that critical mass of audience that let’s me grow to be a huge commercial success–which would be pretty cool, not gonna lie.
I had to decide though–and I suppose I continually decide this–I have to be okay with possibly never reaching the level of external success that my ego would like. That success doesn’t define my success. The only person ultimately responsible for my happiness in life is myself. So, if my exploring life and my own happiness means taking a 3d picture of my dog, or coding some software so I can more easily write a novel, or writing a crazy story about AI, or photographing an athlete, or drawing an model, or glitching a video to explore illusions of desire, or building a concrete sculpture, or cultivating roses, or inventing recipes for my treasured Carolina Reaper tree, or, or, or…then that’s what I’m going to do.
Wow, I kinda went off the deep end there. I hope I got some coherent message across, but in any case, it was nice to write. 🙂