From that melodramatic title you won’t be surprised that my inspiration for this post is an episode of Dawson’s Creek. The boy and I both missed the show the first time ‘round and we’re lovers of 90s pop culture so we thought we would give it a go.
Last night’s episode hit a chord for me. In it, Dawson is filling out college applications and is having a hard time putting into words why he wants to be a filmmaker. The truth is, he hasn’t made a film in quite a long time. He’s removed the film posters from his walls. He’s not even sure he wants to be a filmmaker anymore. He’s having a crisis of faith.
My crisis is nowhere near as profound. I know I want to be a writer. I still love writing. I have been writing – if by writing you mean spending a lot of time thinking about writing. I still love the story I’m telling. But lately I’ve found it harder and harder to find that time to put aside to actually write. It’s not because I’m busy – I am, but I’ve always believed that if something’s important to you, you will find the time. I just haven’t been feeling it, truth be told.
We all go through this. Some call it writers block. Some call it a rut. The important thing is figuring out the cause, and in doing so, the solution.
Lucky for me I have a 90s coming of age story to provide some guidance.
In the episode, Dawson discovers the mean old man he’s been in indentured servitude to is actually an ex-filmmaker. Dawson realizes that could be him in a few years – bitter and alone, living in the wreckage of his discarded dreams.
But after watching Mr. Brooks’ films and learning about how he fell from celebrated Hollywood filmmaker to Capeside’s Boo Radley, Dawson rediscovers his inspiration.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the value of stories. Growing up reading books like The Magic Faraway Tree and Snugglepot and Cuddleby and a million other fantastic stories… well, in Dawson’s words “How can you explain the things you love? You can’t. You just do.” (Which is a pretty lazy excuse for a writer, but hey, it’s Saturday.)
Sometimes when the inspiration is low, when you’ve lost your way, you have to go back to where you started your journey – rediscover why you started on the path to begin with. My reason is that I love books.
Reading is magic, it’s as simple as that. I write because I love to read. Somehow in the past few months I’ve lost sight of that magic. I’ve been reading out of obligation, not love, and I haven’t been doing a lot of it. And how can I introduce someone to the magic of the story if I can’t find it myself? How can I write if I don’t read?
And so my vow is to rediscover the magic of the story. I’m going to put aside that horrible voice that tells me I should be doing something more productive, because what’s more productive and important than opening your mind to other worlds, other people, other stories? What’s more important than passion and inspiration? What’s more important than purpose?
If something is important to you, you make time for it. The way you spend your time defines you. I want to be enthralled in the magic of story, and then I want to share that magic with the world.