The greatest thing about being a writer, to me, is the diversity of information I end up digging through when doing research. If I’m writing about cars, Roman centurions, or John Wilkes Booth’s family tree, I can pull up everything I need then and there because it’s all at my fingertips. The side effect of this is a plethora of knowledge that is spread out across subjects.
The flip side to this is the idea of specialization. Specialization is most often known as a college degree of varying levels, aiming to ensure that one would become an expert in their field and, hopefully, an innovator. There is a path to reach these scholastic heights, and while these paths may change in small ways, they are there for anyone to start down.
With little rhyme or reason besides the warped musings of my imagination to what knowledges I absorb, I recently found myself wondering if there was anything I could point to as an underlying theme in my time as a wordslinger.
The answer, of course, is “Finnegan Straights”.
Maybe you’ve heard of it. Maybe you haven’t. Either way, this idea…no…this narrative has been classified by myself as a chronic creative illness. This brain beast will never go away, and no matter how much time passes, it still sends electricity through my spine when I shoot even the smallest amount of effort in its direction. It’s my favorite work out of everything I’ve done, and it’s also the most maddening thing I have ever attached myself to. I want to see it come to fruition much more than any other projects, and there is a very good chance it may never see the light of day.
Okay, maybe I’m being a bit over dramatic about it, but I really don’t think I am. So, let me lay it all out for you, and you can judge for yourself about whether I’m exaggerating or not.
Any work I am currently putting into “Finnegan Straights” is work done on the third iteration of the project. The first iteration was, at best, a disjointed narrative that was told in fits and starts. This led to the eventual suspension of the project until I could figure out a better method of execution.
The second iteration was bigger in scope, and while it was also fraught with issues, it found a footing and evolved into its current form: a real-time fiction narrative told through multiple social networking platforms and utilizing multiple media formats.
If you think that’s quite a bit to wrap your head around, think of how it was for me! I had to invent a new method for multimedia storytelling that pulled together writing, photography, video and audio production, voice acting, project management, and social media marketing. This is what may have pushed me over the edge.
The second iteration ran for over a year, finally ending due to my exasperation with human-related fuckery, and the unfortunate fact that I am not several people. I was so burned out on daily posting schedules, unattended shoots, and doing the work of a small film studio by myself that when the end came, I didn’t fight it. I walked away from something that had taken so much of my time, my life, and my mind, that I was ready to heal and drop that clusterfuck into the void.
Are your ears pierced? Have they been for a long time, or have you gone ahead and gauged them out? Did they ever completely and totally close up, all the way through?
No. Didn’t think so.
Neither did the hole left by “Finnegan Straights”.
Time passed. Other projects and productions came and went. But every time I completed something and put it out, I felt like it just wasn’t enough. Add to that the fact that as I dug into media formats and experimental storytelling concepts, I never saw my concept duplicated elsewhere. At least, not wholly or with the intricacy I had envisioned.
Wait. If I just adjusted how I approach the project…
Back Down The Rabbit Hole
That was it. That one little scratch at the surface was all it took, and I began mapping the story from the very start all over again. Which brings us to now. I have the entire story, beginning to end, in my head. This does me little to no good if that’s where it stays, or worse, if it’s only doled out in frantic chunks just before they are slated for production. So, I’ve reasoned that the whole damn thing needs to be put to paper before anything else can happen.
I am also acutely aware that I can’t go beyond writing and scheduling the damned thing on my own. Having gone down that road which led to my complete burnout, I’m not ready to repeat it anytime soon. I’ve spoken to a few other creative types about the project, but instead of looking to utilize individual talents, I’m instead talking to them about taking part of the project for themselves and becoming partners in bringing it to life. I won’t go into detail about how I want that all to shake out, but I can tell you with absolute certainty that the more people responsible for “Finnegan Straights” becoming something other than my mad fever dream, the more likely it is to happen.
Now, I’m certain you have questions, mostly due to the fact that I’ve been vague about the project’s details on purpose. Can’t give away all my secrets at once, right? But, I’ve also done this because, let’s face it. The time, energy, and sanity this project could cost me may never be worth it. Hell, writing this may not even be worth it. Yet, as my research bounces topic to topic, and my attention is divided between other, more feasible projects, “Finnegan Straights” remains a constant, to one degree or another. Magnum Opus, or nightmarish unfulfilled burden?