Or, why I really need to do my blogging in the afternoon while making progress on something else rather than in the evening after an overall disappointing day. I get… snippets. Not large enough to be a blog post. Not small enough to just ignore.

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how epic the foe is, or how big the story is. All you want is to do something. To look back at the day’s excitement, and be able to say, there is a thing I willed, and a thing that happened because of it, and thus today would have been different had I not been here—and it is safe to say I have changed things for the better.

Optimally, we get this out of real life, somehow. But when has real life ever been optimal?

Because you tell them, this is the right thing. And they do everything they can in order to do the right thing. Look, teacher, I’m following instructions, do I get my gold star now? Putting in the time, get out the investment.

And then you wonder, why didn’t they do something about this? Or this? Did it really not occur to them?

Because they were trying to do what you asked them to do.

The skill isn’t what matters. The wanting is what matters—the wanting to draw, the wanting to write, the wanting to sew together seed beads until a picture emerges or make a thing happen in a game or… whatever, really. It doesn’t matter if I feel like I can draw, if there’s a picture that could do with happening—if it’s going to happen, I will throw lines at it, I will redo the hair four times and the eyes another eight. It doesn’t matter if I don’t know if I can handle romance in a backstory, the battlefield, that particular chain of circumstances—if this character says that she had a lover, if she says she served in her country’s military, if she is coming up unbidden, then it is time to create her.

First comes the need to talk. To complain, perhaps. To beg sympathy? Sometimes. To try to express the wrong, even when nobody agrees that there’s a wrong, because at the time, when one is hurting, one cannot figure out how to do the other thing. It is later, with distance, when the need to do takes precedence—or so it seems. It’s not true, though. The need to do is there the entire time. The problem is finding the time to find a thing to do that isn’t just saying “this didn’t work, this is broken, why won’t you listen to me?” Most of the problems don’t have obvious solutions; that’s why we need to sleep on them.

Because you can’t ask “Does anyone still care? Really?” The question poisons the answer. Heisenberg applied to the emotional landscape. If you have to ask, then people know there’s an answer you expect, and they’ll lie to you. On the other hand, if you’re just trying to read them, if you’ve just got things you expect to serve as evidence, it’s probably still wrong. You can’t just measure interest, because how you show it and how someone else might show it are two entirely different things.

Any of them could go somewhere. Which of them will is another question.

1 comment

  1. UZ says:

    Well of course they don’t *care*, they don’t even *know*. They don’t know enough to care until after they’ve read it / seen it / heard it, by which point it’s already done.

    If they care about what you’re going to do before you do it, then either they know you very well or they’re *fans*, and most of us don’t have a fandom…

    But, the only reason why the thing exists, the picture or the story or the music or whatever, is because you wanted to make it. It’s not because somebody else expected it, or really even wanted it.

    I know, I struggle with this too, the idea that you ignore what other people want in order to try to make them happy… but there it is. Other people can be support but they can’t be motivation.

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