JASON REYNOLDS

writin' and whatnot

Just because you're creative, doesn't mean you're good

As a matter of fact, I'd be willing to jump out there and say that A LOT of times, the new "cutting edge" thing, is wack as hell. That doesn't mean it wont spawn something great, but often times, the first manifestation of a lightbulb moment is, for lack of a better word, trash. For instance, my very first novel, BOOM, I wrote a few years ago when I left New York, and moved back to DC. At the time, I was feeling down and out and we all know that that's usually when the creative juices start flowing. So I typed three months worth of work into a manuscript about a boy who wanted to try to get his journals about his depressing family, published. Yeah.

Most of the book was made up of really short journal entries, which sort of built the world he was living in. Pretty creative. I mean, I really thought I was changing the game with this one.

My agents called six months later and said, "The writing is great, but we don't know what to do with the story."

"Why? I responded.

"Well, Jason, because nothing really happens in it," which means, "this really isn't even a story!"

Creative? Yes. Good? Nope.

What's the point I'm making? I guess, that we have to stop assuming, as artists and as consumers, that just because something is different, innovative, daring, edgy, and all the other words we use to describe art, that it's good. As artists we have to learn to edit ourselves, and look at our work for what it really is, even when it's crap. See the creativity in it, but look at the product, the outcome, and ask yourself, if you weren't you, would you like it? Would you get it? Would it magnetize you? Would you buy it? Or would you be wondering what the hell is going on? Be honest.

And as consumers...we just gotta stop buying wack stuff for the sake of it being different. Poop on canvas, aint cool. No matter what.

For more on this, PLEASE watch the indie movie "Untitled" with Adam Goldberg. It's hilarious...and on Netflix.