Bad ideas

April 8, 2011

I haven’t written any of my “writing about writing” posts in awhile. Not really sure why other than I haven’t really felt like it. Most of that is because there is so much noise out there about the writing process and I sort of didn’t feel like contributing to the static.

But that noise, meaning the squeal of feedback that I create, isn’t really for a particular audience. Read it or don’t. That’s not the point. The point is to get part of the process out of my system, to make room for more potential progress.

Or something like that.

Before I continue, some really cool noise I found this morning, by comics writer Gail Simone, which I am calling Noise about Noise Reduction.

As important as it is, oftentimes, to stop and listen to the so-called noise (stop and smell the flowers much?), it is also important to develop a filter. Some of the noise helps some people; others it hinders. Just like with varying writerly processes, we each have our own noise to voice ratio. We have to develop sensors as writers, what helps us and what wastes our time, what essentially is little more than noise. And also, that varies depending on our places in the writerly process. It’s like trying to predict the weather, or our own futures.

Anyway, now I want to move on to bad ideas, which is a great segue point when the writer thinks a bit too much about the future of her work as she writes it. That’s as bad an idea as quitting writing when mired in depression or in a bad relationship. That’s a worse waste of time than listening to ineffectual noise, for certain!

When I moved back home to Cincinnati after my stupid life in Pennsylvania completely fell apart, I started writing again because of an online acquaintance who lives in Seattle. I’ll call her T for short. A friend of hers had written something that she was certain was abysmal, so she shared it with a few of us and she was right; it was not good. So, being assholes, we held a contest as to who could write the best worst story. I tied for first place, and had so much fun writing it, that I thought about how much fun one can have deliberately writing trash. There’s honestly a talent in purposefully writing like shit, and my goodness, is it ever fun.

That was one of the awful ideas I had in my head when I started the fictionarium project. I was hoping to get friends to collaborate and contribute, but for some reason, no one ever takes me up on that. That’s okay, though, because starting that website got me back into writing, which is something I never should have stopped doing in the first place.

I like bad ideas, though, and so I’m going to run with this one, because I just wrote something completely ridiculous in a story I am currently working on. Yeah, I just totally pulled a “THREE YEARS LATER” in this story. And do you know why I did it? Because I could. Because it was funny to purposefully write against the grain. Like, how do I write myself out of this pit of stupid?

Then I thought, “Damn that’s a dumb idea, so idiotic that I should actually run with that.”

On that silly note, I am hoping to have more posts like this in the future! (Which I should stop thinking about!) This brings me full circle on the bad ideas, because nothing kills an idea like boasting to folks about it. Might as well duct tape the idea to the train tracks. Or toss it off the roof of a building. Or see what’s become of it THREE YEARS LATER. *dun-dun-dun*

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