The Constant In A Sea Of Variables
I’ve noticed something about myself recently. When I get excited, my speech speeds up. If you’ve ever spoken with me in person, you’d probably know what I’m talking about. I start speaking really fast and everything gets jumbled and soon nothing makes sense. Everything is just spinning so fast in my head that it all comes out in a blur!
I sometimes think that when I’m out in the world, being sociable, interacting with people, and going about my business, I do it in a sort of trance. I get a little light-headed, just acting on instinct. I’ll usually speak whatever random thought pops into my head, and sometimes that gets me into trouble! I tend to be more lucid and reflective of my actions when I’m alone in the confines of my room. Sometimes I’m really surprised by something I did or said while I was out. I feel like a different person sometimes. Perhaps that is the clutches of persona. A mask I’m so used to putting on, I can’t take it off, especially when I want to.
A scary thought indeed.
I was on one of these reminiscing trips when I started to consider why on Earth I started writing again. You see, for a long time I didn’t do any writing at all. I was trying to pen a fantasy novel a while back, but that got so expansive and I didn’t feel any connection to the characters (always a weak point of mine), so I put it on hiatus and quit for quite a while. Nearly a year, actually. It has only been recently, in the past few months, that I’ve been starting up writing again with this new inspiration and this new novel (not to mention this blog).
Where did my decision to write come from, I wondered? Writing wasn’t always what I did. It wasn’t always a passion of mine. It’s been quite a journey to get to where I am.
Back in grade five, I used to draw comics. I loved comics, and superheros. Spider-Man, Hulk, Fantastic Four, Iron Man, and X-Men were some of my favorites (I was always a Marvel guy, never liked the DC stuff as much; except for Batman. But then, who doesn’t love Batman?). So I started drawing my own.
And they were awful. Yes, this was grade five. I couldn’t expect anything of a high caliber to come out of those years, but even back then I was disappointed in myself. I didn’t feel I was any good at them. The stories were simple and the drawings simpler. It wasn’t worthy of a read in my eyes, and so I eventually gave up.
Here’s a taste, if you feel so inclined. That’s my superhero; Zoron, a diamond-headed alien who shot cosmic rays from his hands to defeat the bad guys.
Roughly around the time grade six rolled around, I had lost interest in comics due to my lack of talent at drawing and the simplistic plotlines.
Then I started making movies.
This phase went on right up until I graduated from high school six years later. I honestly thought I’d be doing it the rest of my life. I loved, and to a great extent still love filmmaking.
Ah, the panning, the tracking! I loved moving camera shots. I loved how much color could affect the mood of a scene. I loved the idea of being on a set and working with all that equipment. I loved bringing something out of your imagination onto the big screen.
But alas, this was not to be either. Just as with the comics, I was unsatisfied with the quality level of anything I produced. I could have gone to a post-secondary institution for filmmaking, but upon giving it some thought I decided not to. I wasn’t content to make films at a college or independent level. It was Hollywood blockbuster or bust for me. I realize that is a completely unrealistic thought process, and for most it’s a long ladder to climb, but that’s how important the visuals were to me. If you weren’t going to go all out on your production, then don’t bother starting, as far as I was concerned.
I was stumped for a while after filmmaking died down in my list of passions. I couldn’t figure out what I could do to tell the stories I wanted to tell. I looked back and thought of all the reasons I couldn’t do what came before. Comics I didn’t want to get into because I was terrible at drawing. Movies required a lot of planning and money, and the story got changed so much in the process by so many people. I didn’t know how well I could collaborate. Then I noticed the single thread tying all these separate mediums together, and all the other mediums I hadn’t tried yet. The constant in the sea of variables.
Nothing came together without writing. You needed that first step to progress your story to the silver screen, or to the radio, or to the pages of a comic. It was the most raw form of storytelling I could think of (verbal communication aside). The best part was, it was easy to do, and it didn’t require anything extravagant beyond imagination. And I was overflowing with that!
So I started writing. And I felt at home.
It was beyond the other mediums. I felt a connection. I loved piecing together the puzzle of a plot, creating the characters and the worlds they lived in. Nothing was lost in the technical aspects of establishing a shot or drawing a scene; it was all in your head and the words on the page. Simple, elegant, and wonderful.
I love imagining things. Daydreams, fantasies, and the like. Now, after twenty years on this planet, I finally have a way to bring those visions to you, through the written word.
I can only hope if you ever read my work you’ll enjoy experiencing the story as much as I did writing it.
Brendon “pen in hand” Regier