That Most Mystical Process

I have often wondered about my own ability to create. I don’t mean that in a starry-eyed ‘whooah’ kind of way, I mean in terms of pragmatism. The question, such as it is wordlessly framed, is usually along the lines of “how do I make myself create?” There may well be layers and flavours of subtext wrapped up in this question, which will change based on the mental equivalent of inflection. How do I make myself create [2000 words]. How do I make myself create [for fucks sakes]. And so on. But the overriding tone is usually one that likes to think of practicality.

I am, for example, deeply skeptical – often to the extent of derision – about self-help books. Not because I don’t believe there aren’t any such books worth your time/money, but because I believe that the overwhelming majority aren’t. If everything you eat tastes like shit, then how long before you expect the next one to taste like that too? I know full well that informed-common-wisdom preaches that we shouldn’t make assumptions. And there is value in that. But of course we always will, and those assumptions do actually serve a purpose: they’re usually right. Most books that identify as ‘self-help’ are no such thing. They are shit.

The relevance here is that, unless I actively combat it, I tend to discard the ephemeral in favour of absolute criteria. Those criteria will change from day to day/moment to moment, but they will be – while they exist – concrete. If such and such is x, I will achieve y, where y is creation. The thing is, I know this is lunacy, at least as a definite. You cannot set condition x and know that y will emerge. I’m playing a game of odds with myself right from the off. But it would be equally absurd to say that certain circumstances don’t have effects on output. And so the game continues. If I can do x, y will come. The cargo cult of creation.

The only reason these words exist is that, in a fit of terminal boredom and idle vanity, I checked this site. Only to find a post I wasn’t expecting – Drunk. I was surprised, expecting empty space, and finding a new object. After a milisecond of thought, of course I remembered the post. Not the details of it. Not even the content or general drift. But the fact that it exists, and I had written it. It would be most accurate to say I remembered writing it, but did not remember remembering to remember having written it. There were no conscious ‘I did this’ markers, only the experiential detritus that are left by…well, doing something. And as noted on previous occasions, this is something I am bad at recalling. Even now, I remember that this is true only because I remember deliberately trying to remember that this is a thing that is true. And I wonder why my thoughts seem self-looping sometimes.

And so the problem remains; how do I make myself create? Thus far, the most successful things I’ve found is alcohol (apparently), which seems like a reasonably poor crutch.

All of this, of course, works under the sprawling umbrella of my own absent-mindedness. This chronic forgetting-of-event/emotion/drive is now emerging as ‘a thing’ so often that I’m beginning to wonder if it’s more severe/affecting than anyone has noticed. Of course, the only reason I remember this is through repetition; I have consciously questioned it often enough, that I am beginning to remember that I have done so before. Wait, didn’t I just do this?


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