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Thursday, November 17, 2016

A Creative Mosh Pit (Scott 'Jinx' Jenkins)

A Creative Mosh Pit     
Scott ‘Jinx’ Jenkins

At what point do we, as writers, achieve validation?  Honestly, take a look at your life, your writing, and your dream: at what point is it all validated?  Perhaps it is pretensions, but I feel we have the hardest ‘creative’ medium.  People love to watch television, look at art, and listen to music; but only a select few truly read with a glutinous drive.  If I made music I could put an earbud up to anyone’s ear without any effort on their part.  But ask someone to read a five page short story and excuses will get real.  And I am not complaining, I am just being a realist; we as writers have to be prepared for the depressing silence.  So there comes a point in every journey where you have to ask; “What makes it all worth while?”

Unfortunately the only answer is cliché: find what works for you.  If you dive into the creative journey of writing, have a reasonable and tangible goal.  For instance, don't be me; my manageable goal was for someone to say my work changed their life.  Young and dumb me justified this notion because it carried no monetary gain—because I wasn't prioritizing money, my goal would be easy.  I was rigidly-fucking wrong.

Then an opportunity dropped in my lap: a blog spot.

None of my fiction work was catching on, and a website/fb page put feelers out for a blogger.  And in Maintainer Nation I found my first bout with the creative most pit.  I wrote about my experiences and comedic situations related to Air Force aircraft maintenance.  Hell, it was something, and I knew maintainers were vulgar like my bitch ass.  But, I didn’t expect my first few to do SO well.  The kind comments and dialogue proved that I had a voice.  A voice that called me away from fiction storytelling.

Validation became a drug that distanced me from my true passion.  Don’t get me wrong, I love blogging, but I wen’t Ham-fucking-sandwich.  With the quickness I reassessed my entire focus as a writer, and it didn’t take long to fall apart.  

Months passed and I dove deeper into the blogging process, but with every project I was stepping further away from giving my characters life.  I gave way to attention and money.  Well, when my dreams caught up, they knocked the wind out of me; cause I sold out like a baby-back-bitch.

So, I excused myself from being an editor, and from the site.  Because I knew my dreams…no, my characters deserved better.  But Validation is the name of the game, and our creative path is held in the mosh pit during validation’s song.  Maybe it isn't so bad to adjust and ‘go with the flow’.  But the mosh pit will beat you down, every-single-time, if you don’t keep your hands up and fight back.  You see, it is a weird process.  Being part of the mosh pit requires a level of fluidity, but also fight.  And we all need to know, at what point we can exit the pit; satisfied with our role in the process.  Satisfied with how we executed the hammer throws and shoulder checks as validation rang out.  Sweet, sweet validation.


Okay, enough philosophical bullshit—I love philosophical bullshit, but not everyone does lol.  Just make sure you have a ‘pot of gold’ at the end of your process.  One that CAN be achieved, so you don’t rip yourself to shreds in the process.  Mine, is seeing my work on my bookshelf.  Even if no one else reads my books, I gave my characters life, I bound them to pages and filed them for eternity; to be passed down to my children.  More would be great, but I met my minimum validation; when the pressure builds, I simply look at the books and remember; those characters exist because of me---and it wasn't as easy as making babies!

[Ed. Note- I've written a little about this myself: http://www.chrisbrecheen.com/2012/08/consider-your-writer-talent-build.html]


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