Photo: Stock Montage/Getty Images

The Creative Process in Three Acts

Act I

I sit down to restart an idea I had who knows — a year ago? My grand idea was to write and post some sort of something on the internet every Monday. And since I chose Medium as my platform of choice, I naturally had the totally unique and very inventive idea to call it #mediummonday so that it can become a movement and Chase Jarvis would invite me to his show, nay, his home and I’d become a big time Guy with a capital ‘G’, which is completely pointless to say since you can clearly see the cap G as you read it.

Before creating the blank Google Doc that will become this…piece…I carouse some of the other pieces in my “Writing” folder (organization is key, kids!). This both motivates and crushes me, as the variation in “goodness” of the docs is large, skewing on what I would technically describe “not good.” But this makes me feel better about myself because that means I’m a Creative (with a capital ‘C’), as all Creatives must trash their work and feel empty and worthless. Ah the fulfilling life of a Creative! It has now been 45 minutes and I have yet to write a single word.

Act II

Document once properly created, named, and filed (the way Jesus intended), I now begin to…stare at a blank screen. What in the wise and powerful name of Trumbo (whom btw I know nothing about save for the fact that he was played by the Dad from Malcolm in the Middle and yes that’s the reference I will use to refer to him) will I write about? I pop over to my draft email cleverly titled “Article Ideas” — to expand on an old idea I had*:

  • “National association of pumpkin flavor board meeting notes” (Not topical, overly-trodden joke)
  • “Fall is the most emo season cause it’s about dying” (Again, not topical, file for potential later use)
  • “Existentialism of A Shit” (I love this idea too much to be able to write it successfully. She is my Eleanor)
  • “Balls are weird” (Yes they are)

Having exhausted literally all my resources available to me to come up with something to write about, I do what any completely sane and totally normal and really cool writer would do and go meta. A HA!, I think to myself quite self-satisfied, I am VERY clever indeed. A clever girl. This of course reminds me of the seminal scene in Jurassic Park where that Australian (?) guy says “Clever girl” and proceeds to get destroyed by some incredibly historically-inaccurate velociraptors (Steven, bub, it was the size of a turkey and was covered in feathers. Can’t you even tell a Deinonychus from a Velociraptor bro?). Obviously, that requires me to watch said scene on YouTube. That’s right. I’m headed to YouTube. Buckle up kids. Here. We. Go.

Act III

The gods have smiled down upon me…this time. A couple of trailers and I’m spared many hours of sidelining. Sidenote: Godzilla vs. Kong — looks trashy but fun. They really grizzled up ‘ol Kong. Also there’s a fight sequence in the deep ocean, which is just plain unfair for a gorilla vs. what’s literally a giant sea monster/nuclear iguana. Anyway, forging ahead I decide that three-act structures are not outdated, and that it would be even more clever to use it to break up my heroic struggle to write meaningless words. After adding a super witty hot take about the new Godzilla/Kong movie, I check my word count. Trumpets blare. Rockets red glare. Proof gives in the night that my creativity’s still there. I. Have. Finished. My wife walks into the room and, without breaking a very deadly and very scary gaze, turns off the stereo that, up until this point, had been blasting John Philip Sousa’s “Star Spangled Banner.” Apparently she doesn’t appreciate the momentous occasion of me writing 600 or so words in an afternoon.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store