Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon says that ideas are like bright light bulbs filling room after room. The lights entice him to distraction. His challenge is to figure out which one is worth his time and energy. My experience with these "light bulbs" is different...
In last week’s post But What’s the Because?, I pondered writerly reasons for blogging or for sharing other types of writing with the world.
Apparently, ideas have turned all theme-y in my brain — because here I am, blogging about them again. This time, I’m drawing inspiration from Patrick Ross’s terrific post about Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon.
Chabon says that ideas are like bright light bulbs filling room after room. The lights entice him to distraction. His challenge is to figure out which one is worth his time and energy.
My experience with these “light bulbs” is different. Here are some of the thoughts I shared when I commented on Patrick’s post:
For me, getting ideas is like wandering from room to room in a ginormous mansion. Sometimes, there’s a bright light that draws me to a particular room. I go in and follow that one light to wherever it leads me. When I’m finished in that room, I leave it and go on to the next bright light.
Some lights are dimmer than others — so I know not to enter those rooms until later (i.e. I put those ideas aside for the time being).
Sometimes, one of the rooms lacks a light. Illumination might spill from another doorway, just barely touching the threshold of the darkened room. But there’s no light burning in that room, so I know not to enter it…
…unless I’m feeling particularly adventuresome and want to challenge whatever might be lurking in the darkness. ; )
Challenge the darkness? Do I dare?
You better believe I do.
I’ve got all the tools I need in that dark room. The skills I’ve learned and practiced. The passion in being created to create. The love for my craft. The fellow creatives God has blessed my life with.
If there’s potential for the light of idea to dispel the darkness, then it’s worth it to me to stay in that dark room and coax the light into it.
I just have to remember who I am and who I was created to be.
Sometimes, all I have to do is screw in the light bulb.
How do you relate to Chabon’s light bulb metaphor?
What’s your greatest challenge in following the creative light?
What is the creative darkness you fear most?