Saturday, November 21, 2015

Rambling: Creativity, Pink, and Betrayal

So, I'm listening to Elizabeth Gilbert's podcast ("Magic Lessons") and she's being all sweet and supportive and enthusiastic and spiritual I don't know what to do about this. As I keep saying, I loved her TED talk. And I apparently love the podcast, because I've listened to all of it today, and now I'm mining the podcast world for her guest appearances on other people's podcasts.

In one of the podcasts, she talked about getting stuck creatively and trying to break out by doing the opposite of what you've been doing. And I don't know if I'm stuck, but I'm wondering if I should consider the possibility of embracing pinkness. Just, you know, to see what happens.

So what's pinkness? I think that I see it as enthusiasm without cynicism. And, see, saying that feels like I'm betraying my lifetime loyal companion: Cynicism. Cynicism, meet my readers. Readers, meet Cynicism. Of course, you've met before, in plenty of my posts, but I don't think you've been formally introduced, by name, before.

I feel a really strong resistance to resisting cynicism. It feels like betrayal. Cynicism and I are pals.

Now, Ms. Gilbert keeps talking about fear, in a way that is not unlike the way that I'm talking about cynicism. And cynicism is a big galumphing costume that's animated by all sorts of things, and one of those things is, without a doubt, fear. But there are other things in there. I don't want to pat cynicism on the head and encourage it to go away and have a nap. I don't want to tell it, as she tells fear, that it's never going to get to drive the car. Well, the creative car. The car of creativity.

(Patrick, from Coupling: "Well, obviously the puppy represents love. You’ve got to rescue the puppy of love from the car… of… conversation.")

There are things inside that cynicism costume that I need. In fact, I suspect that my creativity is split between cynicism and pink, rather like Good Kirk and Bad Kirk. I've managed to mostly avoid the pinkness, but I think that that luxury is coming to an end. Two of my current project ideas require me to at least occasionally turn away from cynicism so that he can't clearly see what I'm writing until it's down in words. One of them is about a man that (oh, dear God) likes his mother, and another one requires that I understand, and ideally even embrace, a certain brand of uncritical enthusiasm.


Image: By Russavia. Wikimedia Commons.


  1. I think your pal Cynicism is there to protect a very big (possibly pink) Heart. I hear Cynicism talking, but I always see Heart behind her glowing away. Sometimes its really hard for me to focus on what Cynicism's saying with all that glowing!

  2. I don't think Cynicism gets to drive the creativity car. That's disaster, because what really happens is that either the car never gets out of the familiar neighborhood, where you know exactly which house needs painting and which one might look good on the outside but needs to be completely gutted and renovated, or at the first sign of traffic jam or closed streets, Cynicism pulls over and takes the keys out of the ignition.
    Cynicism should maybe be in charge of navigation and vehicle maintenance instead, so Pink Heart doesn't run out of gas and/or get distracted by rainbows and puppies.

    I think this might be my very very favoritest of all your posts, ever.

  3. Thank you, guys. :) I find that I fail to figure out what to say. I suspect that the two influences are arm-wrestling somewhere in my mind.

  4. That chap is clearly on his phone summoning the men in white coats to take away the Lady in Pink...

  5. How do I keep missing your comment, Vanessa? Yes, I completely agree; I was cropping him out but decided that his ominous conventionally-suited phone-calling self added to the vibe of the picture.