Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Idea Factory

My brain never turns off.

It whirls and spins and grinds and, rather disturbingly, it burps. The noise is never-ending. A constant chatter.

I call it the Idea Factory.

It supplies me with countless things to do. Not only is there a special little compartment where the leprechauns work to supply me with plot lines and characters arcs, but a whole section of it is dedicated to sentence structure and authentic dialogue. There are also the corners where grammar, spelling and punctuation hang out. Those spots tend to collect cobwebs. On occasion, the janitor goes and sweeps them out.

Without the Idea Factory, I'd have a very unfulfilled life. Albeit a quiet one.

Sometimes, I curse my brain. It spits out scenes and memories and outlines novels endlessly. It strikes at odd moments, tender ones with a lover or friend, and awkward moments, like in job interviews and peer evaluations. And then, there is the night time.

The Idea Factory never closes.

It doesn't understand the importance of sleep.  It can't comprehend what two in the morning feels like or having to get up at four Am to go to work. If I had a dime for every time I woke up with something I needed to write down, I'd be rich. Notebooks litter the floor by my bed with notes I can't decipher, bold words, and odd drawings of worlds I long to create. 

The Idea Factory does not go on vacation.

Since I sat down and seriously started writing, only about three years ago, I've been to a number of places. Only once did I leave my computer at home. That was a bad idea. My fingers itched to type out the scenarios playing through my head. When I went to New York, I brought my laptop in order to hammer out a few thousand words a night to a pirate story that was haunting me. The time I went to Disneyland, I continued to write my middle grade novel each morning.

If I don't write down at least some of the things the Idea Factory churns out then I start to go a little crazy. And I know that sounds odd, since I already seem a bit loopy, but it starts to get ugly.

They say idle hands are the devil's play things. And though I don't think this is necessarily accurate, there is a sort of truth to it. If I were to stop writing, blogging, vlogging and doing all the other things I use as an outlet for the Idea Factory, I would find myself lost, drowning in thoughts and creative juices.

To have an idea is only part of the process.

The burning desire to turn it into something I can see and show other people is what takes my writing from being a hobby to being a life choice.

At times, I fear the Idea Factory going out of business. I wonder what I would do with my life if the well simply dried up. Every day, I see people doubting their writing and humming and hawing over whether they should throw the towel in. This is not something that crosses my mind, because it is out of my control. Never did I sit down and think, I'm going to be a writer. It's always simply been there.

And I wouldn't recognize myself without it.

My biggest worry is running out of time. What happens if I can't get all the stories and characters out of my head? What if I never get the chance to pen the novels forming? They are stories that deserve to be written, and I am the vessel in which they are using to escape into the world. I worry I don't do them justice, but more so, I worry something will happen that will prevent me from even trying to do them justice. There are books and journals, diaries and crumpled up pieces of paper in my desk with notes scrawled over them. Past ideas from the Idea Factory, ones I haven't had the time to breathe life into.

Time. All I need is time.

Like I said, the Idea Factory is out of my control. The ideas it spits out come from an inexplicable place. And, once they use me as a medium and manage to escape from my head, they don't even feel like mine. The characters are people, not of my creation, ones I talk about with love and understanding. The plot lines are ones I know by heart, except I don't remember how I came up with them. Of course, I know they came from somewhere in the deep recesses of me mind and were tapped out by my exhausted fingers, the aches in my wrists make that clear, but the stories extend past me.

The Idea Factory is a curse, because it keeps me up at night, making me tired and zombie-like. It is a curse because it has no respect for special occasions or loving moments. Because it shouts and stomps its foot until it is And it is a curse because I cannot turn it off.

But it is also a blessing. It allows me a reason to hunker down at home. It keeps me fulfilled and happy. It challenges me. And it provides we with countless hours of entertainment.

The Idea Factory is why I'm here. And why I create. It is my purpose.


Jasmine Walt said...

Is it wrong of me to be jealous of your Idea Factory, Tyson? :)

Not that I don't have ideas of my own. But when I try to cultivate a story I swear I can hear the gears grinding in my head, all in collective mutiny. I wish they were well-oiled and would just spit out ideas.

But then, we all wish for those things the other person has, don't we? Unless it's crabs or something. :D

Tyson said...

Yes, we certainly don't wish for other people's STDs.

Exmoorjane said...

My mind is often restless and gobbles up ideas and images and thoughts but sadly it doesn't seem to have figured out the 'sort' function. I STILL don't know the ending of what was once my book. :(

I don't want crabs either, if it's okay with both of you. xx