“Ah, there’s too much garbage out there.”
“So much bad writing! Art these days just doesn’t make any sense.”
“That looks like something I could do.”
When I hear people say these sorts of things, I can feel that they believe what they’re saying. And I know that they are creatively constipated.
How do I know this?
The same way you get to Carnegie Hall. Practice, baby. I’ve done my share.
So let’s see if I can boil the situation down. There is a lot of new creative material being released into the marketplace every day. Some gets celebrated, some gets ignored.
What’s dreck to one person is joy to someone else.
Did you ever see the movie Trumbo? I love John Goodman’s character, and in particular this scene:
He’s not exactly hiding behind a facade of sophistication.
Apparently it could be pretty easy to write his sort of stuff. Apparently it does pretty well. Not a lot of fear and scarcity there.
When you browse bookstores or movie showtimes, do you hate the dreck? Does how you feel stop you, or do you see an opportunity, a gap in the marketplace where your stuff could be?
And, OK, I’m going to ask you to be honest right now. When you think back to your actual experience, I’m sure you have taken your share of enjoyment from your share of mass market junk. I have in my own mind a series of 80s movies. I would argue and defend those movies. In my experience, they were not only entertaining, but also occasionally enlightening.
We don’t conquer anything by poo-pooing what we judge to be mediocre work. Being judgmental or jealous is just a way to block ourselves.
So… if schlock is so easy to write, then why not try it yourself? Can you let the creative process be easy?
Can you let that sense of guilty pleasure or spite spur your drive to create?
What will happen when you follow it through to the end?
Give the reader what they want, and let creativity do the rest.
An even better idea: Write something that you deeply believe in. That doesn’t mean it has to be difficult or complicated. It also doesn’t mean you need to get it perfect.
If a part of you wants to, then why not? Can the rest of you get on board?
What stands in the way?
Be the change you want to see.
Be a creator rather than a consumer.
Do it because it’s good practice, not because you can guarantee an outcome.
Do it because it moves energy to be in the creative mode and because it feels fantastic to bring a project that you believe in to completion.