I Decide My Best First Move Is to Pick Up Dust

I’ve decided to start writing again. There is a collection of short stories I’d like to finish — an ambitious collection that may end up being 500 pages long. But that’s a huge weight to lift, and I’m in no shape to lift it after a full ten years of no exercise.

So what creative work should I do next? Well, there is this blog. But I want this blog to become a constant, something I do every day, regardless of whatever my main creative effort is at any given time.

For my main creative effort, the likeliest candidate is a computer game. That’s right, a computer game, one that I began working on a full eleven years ago and nearly finished that year, until life got in the way and several years went by. It’s an ambitious game that I’m proud of, and since it’s so close to done, it makes sense for me to do that next.

In fact, it’s a game I worked on a bit last year. And when I was working on it, I had a thought. I couldn’t help thinking about how to grab people’s attention and attract them to the game. So I decided to create a movie-like trailer to promote the game, and this project soon took on a life of its own. Before long I had hired voice talent and learned how to use Adobe Premiere in order to do the necessary video editing. I got through about half the effort needed to release it, resulting in at best a very partial rough cut. But then I drifted away from it last spring, with the result that this trailer is now yet another unfinished project I intend to complete.

So before I work on my short story collection, I want to complete my computer game, and if I’m going to do that, I also want to complete a video trailer for it. Adding another layer, in order to complete the trailer as I intended, I’m going to need eight to twelve custom-painted illustrations.

And with that being the case, I’m now convinced I need to paint a dozen paintings, so that I can create a movie trailer, so that I can release a computer game, so that I can work on a collection of short stories. Does this plan sound a little — convoluted? Almost like a Rube Goldberg machine? Well, maybe. But right now, I can’t think of anything that makes more sense.

And yet it becomes even more convoluted. In order to complete the paintings for the video trailer, I recently decided it would help a lot for me to clear out an area in my house where I can do the painting. As I thought about how to do this, I thought about the empty spare bedroom of my house, and how I’ve been meaning to turn it into the office where I do my writing. If I did that, I could use essentially the entire basement as an art studio.

And so, before I knew it, I started dusting and sweeping the corners of my living room, so that the few remaining items from the spare bedroom could be put there, so that I could clean the spare bedroom, so that I could go to the hardware store to buy the lumber I need, so that I could cut the lumber, so that I could build my new office, so that I could move my computers upstairs, so that I could set up a place to paint downstairs, so that I could paint the paintings to put in my trailer to promote my the game that will prepare the way for my completing my short story collection.

And you know what? That doesn’t sound crazy to me at all. I’ve needed to clean my house for a long time now. I should feel lucky that it now seems like such a meaningful activity.

[Historical note: this was first written as a journal entry on Sunday, 2017-10-22.]