Over the past few years, I’ve started to see myself more and more as a creative being. I think the seeds for this were planted when a) I submitted my first short story to a contest and won, and b) I received kudos from graphic designers for the first incarnation of this blog. So I’ve tried to make nurturing this writer/artist/designer more of a priority in my life. It gets depressing at times, because I tend to see work-a-day responsibilities as choking all of the life out of John the creative.
There was one positive and unexpected side effect from the whole excommunication drama of last month. The day of my Church court, I reviewed my blog posts over the past year to see how many qualified for saying apostate things. I was like, “Have I really been obsessing so much about the Church? Haven’t I produced a lot of other stuff?” I wasn’t worried that some conservative Mos were offended by my language or content–if I’m genuinely helping a few folks think more critically and individually and a little less institutionally, then all I can say is, “Good job, John-boy!”
I was pleasantly surprised at the results of my unscientific review. I think my count found that, not counting my recent activism for gay marriage, less than 1 in 10 posts even mentioned Mormonism. But what was really encouraging was to see that I’ve actually kept the creative experiments coming during a time that I tend to view as dry and unproductive. I hope you’ll bear with me as I recount ten of these accomplishments below:
1. 2008.02: I podcasted a reading of my story, Stones at Jizo’s Feet.
2. Also 2008.02: I hosted the Carnival of the Godless, and assembled links to posts in a narrative scaffolding constructed from Cephalopod+God+Beer scriptures and pictures.
(photo by raffyd, used here under a Creative Commons license.)
3. 2008.04: I was almost accepted (I was an alternate) into the Clarion West SF Writer’s Workshop.
4. 2008.07: With a bunch of amazingly talented and imaginative photographers, I started the Flickr group and project, A Certain Slant of Light. We issued challenges to each other that kept us flexing those creative muscles.
5. 2008.10: A picture of a monstrosity that I made at a pumpkin-carving party of Alana’s made it onto lifehacker, probably the closest thing to my 15 seconds of minor Internet fame:
6. 2008.12: For Christmas, I drew on my mad web skilz and made an ode to Jana in HTML, i.e., this fun Periodic Table of Awesome.
7. 2009.01: One aspect of my creativity was cut and cauterized, but I blogged about my hilarious vasectomy experience.
8. 2009.05: Some wonderful people from across the US answered my call and joined me in celebrating Spring by adding their voices to a virtual choir and singing the raunchy First of May by Jonathan Coulton.
9. 2009.06: I began experimenting with Twitter as a story telling tool, and came up with The Bean, The Brew, The Buzz.
10. 2009.09: CatGirl and I rearranged our books:
These are just some of the highlights–I’m leaving out other short stories, podcasts, video posts, and Cthulhu cupcake creations. And there’s more coming down the pipeline:
- Later this month, Galen, CatGirl, others, and I are going to attempt an online comic project.
- Towards the end of this month, I’ll be attending the World Fantasy Convention.
- Next month, I’m going to try to complete the 50,000 words required for a successful NaNoWriMo.
And there are more photography projects, twitter ideas, podcasts, and writer’s workshops to look forward to in the coming months!
Thanks for sitting through this inventory with me. I may be a little scattered or unfocused at times, but it’s good to know that I’m letting my creative self thrive in one form or another. And I can’t quite express how encouraged I am by this.
Also, a number of you have been wonderfully supportive of my creative endeavors. Some of you believe more strongly in my ability to write and mashup than I do, and others of you are just wonderfully inspiration and amazingly creative people yourselves. Thank you. 🙂