When I first blogged about the tortured agony that often (usually? always?) comprises writing, my old friend Rick responded and said, “The problem with writing is the lack of supporting toys. Musicians can always buy or futz around with new equipment, secure in the knowledge that this is almost the same as actual music. Ditto for filmmakers.” This is SO TRUE. We writers do not have toys! And therefore, built in ways to procrastinate on a regular basis! And always in the service of your creative process and your work!
Judging by the musical types that are direct blood relatives of mine, musicians spend vast oceans of time trolling on line and in stores for new instruments, things to add or subtract from those instruments, cases to put them in, devices to make them sound a little different, other devices to make them sound a little more different, and that’ s before we even get into the whole other ocean of stuff you need to record your music!
Visual artists, likewise, have their own ever-expanding universe of materials and media. Dancers and choreographers have shoes, and costumes, and cute, weird little knitted things to cover very specific parts of your body so they don’t get chilled. Even with the advent of digital photography and the disappearance of the darkroom, there is still plenty of paraphernalia that amateur and pro photographers alike can pour over and obsess about.
The way I see it, every other creative endeavor/art form has equipment, props and toys.
Back in the older days, when I was first writing really amazingly bad poetry for which I got a shocking amount of misguided encouragement — but I digress — I was very particular about my pencils. I could only sit down to write if I had at least three fairly new pencils. #2. Nothing else. The erasers had to be intact. The points had to be sharp to a surgically precise degree. A fair amount of time could be consumed in the sharpening process, but hey, nothing compared to, say, strolling into a guitar star and noodling around on a few different instruments for most of an afternoon. The pencil thing was as close to toys as I ever got.
Now, it’s just me and my one laptop.
I have been artistically gypped.