I was looking for quotations earlier today. Nothing specific, just ideas that could inspire me, since I was in need of some inspiration myself. In doing so, I ran across the following quotation from G.K. Chesterton —
It highlighted for me something that I have occasionally struggled with creatively, but something I had not been able to define before now.
There really is a difference between construction and creation.
I’ve written many things that were easy to put together, but which did not touch me personally. I could dash off a short story that might have amused me, but it — in a sense — had no heart. It was put together entirely to suit some specific purpose.
In short, I did not love it before it existed.
But those works of art (whether visual or verbal) that burned themselves into my heart before I ever made the first move to given them a manifest form, those have always been much more “alive” in their final result. They were loved before they were even “born.”
I want to remember this distinction. It will inspire me to take more time at the beginning when I start developing a new idea, especially if it is something intended for the marketplace. I need to love my creations from the beginning in order to give them their best form. That means, knowing them more fully that just choosing pieces to put on the game board.
It’s very easy to construct pieces of entertainment: a little bit of this, a little bit of that, this element is popular with audiences right now, that element hasn’t been seen in a long time so it will feel fresh. That’s constructing something. And unfortunately, more often than not, the seams in such works do show.
So I guess that is the advice for myself and others — don’t just construct your works, create them. Love them from their very first conception.