REAY JESPERSEN:
WRITER OF, AND DABBLER IN,
MANY THINGS

A unique high

There are many buzzes I get at various stages of writing.

The appeal and excitement of a shiny new idea can at times not be overstated. That’s the most energized I get in my mercurial creative process, with my mind exploding into so many directions at once, and those sweet, satisfying moments where some of those threads of possible story telling come together and, by god, work.

Then comes the hard part of actually doing the writing. This process ebbs and flows between interesting and tiring for me. When it starts to edge into boring, I know there’s a problem, because as has been said by far more experienced writers than me, if the work isn’t keeping up my interest, it’s not going to keep up anyone else’s. You can mail in a tweet or a quick post or email to someone, but you can’t with a screenplay or book or any other lengthy project.
You don’t need to be on a pedal-to-the-metal thrill ride the entire time you’re writing, of course (and indeed, I doubt any writer truly feels that) but you need to be careful that the work, the weeks or months or (guh) years of time you’re putting into this project is done out of sincerely wanting it to be a final, realized thing.

But that’s just it: When it is that final, real thing — be it a final version to send to the printer or a beta version for your clutch of trusted readers or a first draft or a detailed outline (which I just did, for the first time, for a screenplay) — that moment of completion is a unique and distinct pleasure unto itself. You aren’t just creating, which is admirable already, but you have created. You’ve made something which, to paraphrase Neil Gaiman, wasn’t there before.

And with all due respect to the light, happy sometime giddiness I feel at the spark of a new idea that can so quickly be fanned into a roaring (if sometimes short-lived) fire, I seem to enjoy the unparalleled satisfied feeling of seeing another one of those ideas through to completion even more. Adding to the beautiful existence of that feeling is that it doesn’t matter if that product never earns me a dime (though making money from doing something I love would always be welcomed), nor if it never ends up being seen by anyone else (though getting honest feedback to improve the work is always good, and hey, fans outside my family and friends are something I could do with). But this feeling isn’t dependent upon getting approval or affirmation from anyone. It isn’t reliant upon anything external. It’s just the simple, pure delight, the high, from having finished something I wanted to make.

Here’s to the never-ending drive to get more of that feeling.

The Good Stuff jar

On Martial Arts For Children