Not Knowing What’s Next

The experiments are odd projects. They are utterly open-ended and can feel, at first, like you’re being thrown into a void. But when you hit your stride, find your perfect genre or angle or sample, you finally see where it could go. Although I’ll tell you a secret, I often have no idea what I’m doing until I get to the end.

Working on my first experiment felt like a break from doing homework. I chose to do a video vignette with hand-drawn animation based on a song from my notebook. I was learning a new genre, new software, and being visually creative – which is something I don’t do often enough. I was 80% out of my comfort zone, but I was forming a new one.

My second experiment wasn’t quite the same satisfaction but was still a great outlet for exploration in creative writing, a genre I am even less familiar with. I wrote a short story expanding on the lyrics of one of the songs in my book. In the beginning, I thought having a strong outline of the story from my song would make writing easier. In the end, however, I found the outline restricted my freedom. I was able to add a lot of detail to characters and settings, but the direction was already laid out for me, and I didn’t want to majorly change the plot. Although I would say the experiment was a success, I think I will try creative writing in a more open context next time.

I’m excited to see where the third experiment will take me. I want to keep the creative energy of the first project, but incorporate more writing like the second. I’m thinking about a pamphlet on how journaling/songwriting can be used as a coping mechanism for teens. Or maybe a website or even a bookmark with information on it. This use of journaling is largely why I wrote so many songs throughout high school. They helped me sort through emotions and situations that I didn’t want to talk to anyone about. Instead, I could vent or create characters and stories that said what I could not. I think sharing this as an option for people who are going through a rough time could help them, as it helped me.

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