Occasionally, I find myself forsaking the advice of every competent writer there is to “write what you know; write what you love”, and I attempt to create something that is full of philosophies that even I don’t understand. I call this condition “artwritist”.
(not so painful for me; probably worse than the actual disease for my readers)
So instead of writing uber-cool stuff like cyberpunk, or a supernatural-mythological screwball comedy, or about time travel, or all of the above combined, I begin to write something ultra-introspective and full of symbols – with characters contemplating their navels on the purpose of life, the condition of human emotions, and things that no sane human being would ever want to suffer the misfortune of having to read it.
(you see, the paper airplane represents the boy’s desire to “fly away” from his current realities – it’s an extension of his desires to defy gravity, which for him, are the expectations of his parents, and the illusion of limitations that society has set upon him)
It’s my periodical jab at “serious art”. Hey, I’ve got to start somewhere if I intend to one day win that Oscar or that Nobel Prize, right? But the trouble, as you can imagine, is that things like these are dreadfully boring to write. I don’t presume to know how the late Harold Pinter works, but I’ll just assume for now that his brain simply works on a higher plane of thought, where he can effortlessly create clever, multilayered dialogue without even trying. As for me, I find myself writing a sentence, deleting it and writing another sentence, deleting that and writing another sentence… And then I give up and go on YouTube.
Sometimes, I actually manage to complete a work of “serious art”, but this usually transpires in the form of a short story, because God knows that it’s the only thing I am capable of consistently completing. Case in point is Constellations, if you remember it.
(see, the night is symbolic of the uncertainty of the traveler’s journey – only darkness ahead; but within this darkness, they find these specks of light – stars that guide their way, and these stars, or “old souls”, are symbols for the lives that had gone on before us: innumerable, each an impossible enigma, but when placed together we see a pattern forming between their lives, a pattern which points us in the right direction in that impossibly vast darkness that is ahead)
It makes me feel so ridiculously intelligent.
Every once in a while, I find myself with an insatiable need to write something in equal parts beautiful, intelligent, and incomprehensible. But using that much brainpower usually drains the very life out of me, and I end up an empty husk that wants nothing more but to watch videos on YouTube and chuckle at memes all day. And then, eventually, I’ll force myself to start writing again – and I’ll know that I have to write something fun. Something that is ridiculously cool, without the need to be intelligent or beautiful – and through writing that, be it cyberpunk, or time-traveling assassins, or an angel of death with impeccable manners and a nice suit, I rediscover the joys of telling stories.
But of course, artwritist waits just around the corner, ready to start the cycle anew.