The Clean Slate

Dear World

Please Kill Me,

For any of you that know me personally or have just been following me for awhile (a few years, at this point. #Sheesh #OldTimer #WatchGranddadWork) you know that I’m not exactly known for lionizing my career. It’s not my style. That fact notwithstanding, I could do a better job with the updates. Consider this my self-improvement day. 

A few weeks ago, I completed the latest installation of my Collection of Things series (Bedlam: A Collection of Things). Like the previous two, this anthology explores a theme. What theme captured my imagination; you ask?  

*looks at quotations and bold* 

*looks at you* 

*questions your sanity* 

“…chaos.” 

In the biblical sense, this was known as bedlam. Uproar. Confusion. Mayhem.  

I took the concept of bedlam and examined it through the lens of six stories that may be some of my finest to date. Unquestionably, even.  

I won’t get into too much detail but, for a taste of the tone, I refer you to: The Legend of ‘Fat-Baby’ Hopkins. It’s an unfinished snippet. Though, I believe that it gets the vibe across. Mayhem, at many levels, in many tales, and locations, with a diversity of possibly doomed characters. 

*watches news* 

*grits teeth* 

*mumbles to self* 

“We’re all doomed characters.” 

Anyway, that’s what’s coming, this September. I hope that you all get a chance to check it out. There’ll most likely be some pre-order thing. So, you can expect me to get a little repetitive about that. Sorry in advance. It’s part of the game.  

Moving on.  

The book is done, currently going through rounds of review and other promotional things. However, back when this wasn’t the case, the project consumed me. As a matter of fact, I put so much energy into the damn thing that it took precedent over some perpetual priorities.  

I didn’t sleep. I didn’t eat much. And I lost touch with reality a few times. All to target the perfect tales, with the perfect characters, presented in the perfect way (Disclaimer: In this context, ‘perfect’ = what I’m satisfied with).  

I tell you that, to present this query: What happens when it’s gone? Done? Essentially finished? Where do we go when a road has run its course? 

It’s the clean slate. 

There are a few schools of thought on how to proceed. Some prefer to dive right into something else: another story, another craft, another project. Others like to obsess until the results roll in—occupying their time oscillating between depression and excitement. Others’ still (like me), delve into this incomprehensible matrix of creativity.  

Our minds are fine-tuned to analyze and examine our interests, in search of the next cool-thing. We hunt down those passions until something comes out. ANYTHING comes out. Emotionally. Psychologically. Habitually. It’s as if our minds are Mr. MeeSeeks (#RickandMorty #LookAtMe), pining for something that can be expressed through our unconventional and often enthralling methods.  

This can be fun. It can also be downright destructive if you let it run wild. It’s fine if you do but knowledge is power. It’s best to have some semblance of control over perceived vices and eccentricities—if only for your sanity. The key here is direction. 

What’s the plan? What’s the point? What’s the reason? 

The good thing is, if you don’t have an answer, you can focus on finding one. Sure. You’ve written the thing. You want to write another. But what are you building?  

I believe that a clean-slate, post-completion (#Giggity) is an earnest opportunity to examine the grand-scheme and determine your desired place in it. Answer the question of how to get there. Then attack that blank page with a fury of focused and targeted creativity.  

Or don’t.

We’re just talking here. 

 

                    Until Next Time,

                    — Antwan Crump

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