Coronavirus Part 2, Day 34- Life as a Series of Creative Decisions

Jenga!

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing.

Annie Dillard

Last night Penny and I watched an episode of Fuller House in which Kimmy and Fernando dressed up as Lucille Ball and Ricky Ricardo. It was hilarious (all the episodes are funny) so I decided afterwards to show Penny a Youtube video of Lucille Ball’s famous performance as the Vitametavegamin girl. Penny loved it— we’ve watched it probably six times now. If you haven’t seen it ever or it’s been a long time, check it out. It will make you smile.

There’s a podcast I’ve been listening to for a while called Story Grid, hosted by Tim Grahl with regular guest Sean Coyne, who is Steven Pressfield’s editor. It’s a podcast about story telling but it takes a somewhat formulaic approach—which I love. During one of the episodes, Sean Coyne describes a novel as the representation of “a series of creative decisions” made by the author. I didn’t appreciate this until I tried to write my own novel and had to navigate what felt like infinite possibilities to questions like: Where is this story going to take place? What characters do I want to create? What’s going to happen to them? The end result is indeed a series of creative decisions I made based on figuring out these different things.

Because people have so many choices now, a lifetime can also feel like a series of creative decisions. We’re always having to navigate how we will spend our time and the activities that we allow to interrupt us. Sure, there are events imposed upon us (Coronavirus!), but in the day to day we exercise a lot of choice, and we defend against the random or extraneous things that threaten to eat up our time and energy. It’s good to figure out what that stuff is and prune. Because a story that doesn’t add up to anything, is a lot less satisfying than one that does.