Saturday, February 19, 2011

The End of the Affair

Do you believe in love at first sight? Remember the first time you caught a glimpse of that Idea? It was perfect. It was everything you’d wanted. If it wasn’t love at first sight, it was definitely lust. Oh yeah, the things you’d do to that Idea once you got it home…

The honeymoon period is wonderful. You and your Idea, wrapped up in one another, spending all your time together. Long evenings in, watching old movies and eating takeaway food, just getting to really know one another. You can’t stop thinking about your Idea. You can’t bear to be away from it. You stop going out with friends. They’re just jealous because they can’t see how your Idea is perfect for you. After a while they stop calling.

Then real life gets a look in again. You and your Idea have settled into a routine. Maybe your Idea isn’t as perfect as the day your saw it and your heart skipped a beat, but neither are you, right? And you still love it. The first heady weeks of romance are gone, but you and your Idea are both in this thing for the long haul. And sometimes you disagree, but that’s okay, because you always make it up in the end. Eventually. 

And it really doesn't matter, does it, that the passion has gone? 

Then one day you find yourself looking at other Ideas. Just sneaking a peek here and there, just checking them out. There’s nothing in it, I swear. Look, if you’re going to be that way, maybe we should take some time, alright? 

A little bit of space will be good for both of you. And it’s not like you’d entertain any of those other Ideas anyway, is it?

What your Idea doesn’t know can’t hurt it. Besides, your Idea doesn’t own you. Who the hell does it think it is? God, maybe your friends were right all along. Maybe this wasn't the right Idea for you. You realise you’ve made a huge mistake. 

You’ve tried to make it work, but it's like you don't even communicate anymore. 

Maybe the best thing to do is to make a clean break. No regrets, no tears, no recriminations. Sometimes things just don’t work out.

And you’ll try to remain friends, you and your Idea, even if it’s awkward at first. Maybe, one day, you’ll be able to think back fondly on all those months you spent together. Maybe, flicking idly through all those pages you made together, you’ll see where you and your Idea went wrong and learn from it.

Your friends will be supportive. These things happen, they’ll say, and you’ll let them drag you out for a night on the town. You’ll find your feet again eventually. And then one day, when you least expect it, it’ll happen. You’ll feel those goosebumps, your breath will catch in your throat, and you’ll look up and see it: a fabulous, sparkling, utterly magnificent new Idea. 

And its awesomeness will blow your mind. 

* I found all these great pictures here: The Silent Film Still Archive.


  1. This was a great Idea for a post. :-)

  2. Thanks, MC! I found the pictures and knew I had to use them somehow!

  3. Infidelity to an idea? Hmmm...very original. I liked your photos too. Writers are so creative.

  4. NOOOO! You and your idea have to stay together for the kids. Think of the children. The children!!!

  5. Cacy,

    It'll be difficult for the children at first, but they'll still get to see the Idea on weekends and school holidays!

  6. I love this post! Great metaphor for the ebb and rush of creativity--some ideas just aren't meant to be. And I LOVE the photos!!

  7. For a bit of serendipity, I was just reading an interview with Stephen King, and he says:

    "Working on a new idea is kind of like getting married. Then a new idea comes along and you think, 'Man, I'd really like to go out with her.' But you can't. At least not until the old idea is finished."

    So he's faithful, in his fashion.

  8. OMB, I've gone through this so often it's not even funny anymore! (well, yeah, I still think it is). I've done it again two weeks ago, in fact. Juggling with several ideas at once is one of my biggest struggle as a writer.

    Great post, Jen. I loved it!

  9. Thanks Claudie! It occurred to me the other night that whenever you start a new project, it feels like you're cheating on the old one. And I went from there...



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