The creative mind is... complicated. Beautiful but complicated. As Russian-American philosopher Ayn Rand once said; A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, no to beat others. It's a thing to keep in mind. Some of us are competitive with our actions, others simply want to create, evolve, satisfy. Writers aim to satisfy, but we aim to satisfy the reader whether that be ourselves or some one else entirely. But what would happen if we allowed our creation to read itself? Would it, too, be satisfied? And if not, have we, as writers, not failed to satisfy? Or is it enough to satisfy ourselves? And if so, what is the meaning of achievement if we do not aim to include others in it too? I'm not trying to shame anyone, and certainly not myself, but I like to pose the questions others don't ask out loud. Now the definition of 'satisfy' can be a bit loose, and in this context it's about bringing positive emotions and reactions to whomsoever reads our works. Yes, all writers write for themselves as well. We are not simply altruistic. Some lean more towards being altruistic, and others lean more towards being egotistic. But in general, most of us aim to satisfy ourselves, and our reader. We inspire, aspire, and get inspired. Most writers also read. And some readers also write. And everyone aspires to satisfy someone.
So going back to earlier. How do you satisfy your creation and your reader? Is it even possible? Can you, as a writer, achieve satisfaction from all included parties? Writer, reader, and creation. It is common to doubt yourself as a writer. Sometimes that self-doubt can be reflected in a figure from your works. Are you a monster for causing a creation harm, or are you a hero for causing the reader positive emotions? Or are you a bit of both? Or neither? Canadian-American writer and public speaker Brian Tracy once stated that Fear and self-doubt have always been the greatest enemies to human potential. And although he has a point in that statement, sometimes the most wonderful works of art, and inventions, comes from fear and doubt. Take the lightbulb for example. We fear the dark, so we light up our streets. Fear can sometimes breed innovation. And self-doubt can sometimes manifest into the most inspirational pieces of art. I feel self-doubt. Quite a lot. I am always afraid I can't satisfy enough. So I wonder, why do I create figures whose souls reflect my own pain and short-comings? Does it come from a need to put my pain into someone else? Or perhaps is it to see what I can do to ease my own pains from a third person's point of view? Maybe it's because I'm malicious and want to spread my misery? Could be all, or neither.
I was, let's say, challenged by an idea from someone else. This challenge was all about putting yourself with your character, to see how they would react to you, and how you would react to them. It was suppsed to be written as an interview, and although this will be an interview, it will also be an experiment. A session with a goal to understand myself and my creations. To see if my creations are what I think they are in a sterile environment. But some of this requires your help. I need you, the reader, to imagine a room. It's a therapist's office. There's a desk, a chair, a couch. Maybe there's a flower pot or some sculpture. Maybe there's something hanging on the wall - a painting, a photograph. What colour is the walls? What is outside the window? Are the curtains see-through or not, and what colour shade are they? Is the floor wooden, stone, carpet, or plastic? What does the couch look like? How is the desk decorated? Try to imagine all the details. You are the viewer of the event that is to unfold here. You are the camera's, hidden beind the walls. The observer.
I sit in the chair. It has armrests. My hair falls down to my shoulders and is of a rust red colour, with dark tips and a few centimeters of silver-brown root. My face is pale, slender, and my jaw has a bit of an angle. From the fron, my nose and chin looks soft, but see me from the side and they're both sharp. There's no indentation between my forehead and the root of my nasal bone, and my eyes are large and shallow. Though they look wise, with a bluish grey-green iris. You can see faint veins underneat my eyes through the semi-translucent skin. I'm wearing a green long sleeved T-shirt. It's a dark green colour with specks of even darker shades throughout it, and it covers up long slender arms, and a fitting torso. It droops slightly over semi-stretch black jeans that are good in length, but around my narrow waist, it is clearly too wide. But I hide it with the shirt. On my feet are brown boots, and a black leather jacket hangs on the back of the chair.
I look at a figure on the couch. He's as slender as myself, but much shorter. Whereas I am 5'11", he is only 5'6". His skin is much paler than my own, and seem to be covered in a myrad of tiny scales. His eyes are so blue they seem to pierce through your very skull. And his hair is tar black. He is naked for some reason, but his hands are covering his crotch. And he looks at me patiently, waiting for me to say something. To introduce myself, to explain why he is there. But I am silent. I just look at him, into his eyes. Time is fleeting, and the figure seems to grow anxious. That's when I open my mouth.
"Greetings, Jorah." I say, awaiting a reaction but all he does is to throw a confused frown at me. "How are you feeling?"
He replies; "Scared". It's a simple answer, but it tells me what I need to know, and I respond, trying to sound comforting. "I know. But you don't need to be". My voice is unique. It carried both a high and a low tone simultaneously. There's a rasp to it too. And I have a strange accent. Some might even say an attractive accent, and voice. But it's not a voice you'd like to hear singing. Jorah's voice, however, is clear. Youthful. Enchanting.
"I... I'll try" Jorah replies. Not entirely convinced.
I look through a folder I hold in my hand. It contains all the vital information of Jorah, which might seem odd since I was his creator. But I am no god, my memory and my abilities are limited.
"You are in pain. You have suffered."
"What is your thoughts on that? On pain?"
"I uh, I don't know. It hurts."
"Yes. Do you know where that pain comes from?"
"Do you know the reason for your pain?"
"I was made to feel, and to hurt"
"Yes." I pause, furrowing my brow to make myself look more serious. "and who made you?"
"The forest made me"
"And who made the forest?"
"I don't... I don't know. Who did make the forest?"
"It's a complicated question with a complicated answer."
"Life is complicated"
"You are wiser than you make yourself appear"
"I have lived for very long"
"I know. Do you know for exactly how long?"
"I... no. No I don't remember"
"Do you know why you don't remember?"
"The answer to that is not as complicated"
"All in good time." I pause again, letting Jorah think about what has been said. Maybe I'm hoping he'll figure it out on his own. "Are you happy? Have you ever been happy?" I then ask, still with a furrowed brow. I already know the answer, but I still want to hear it from him.
"I guess... I have been happy"
"Do you like being happy?"
"Because it always ends"
"What makes me happy ends"
It has become clear that Jorah is getting uncomfortable. He doesn't seem to like being questioned by a stranger, and I figure it is time to introduce myself. Partly.
"So, Jorah. You have not met me, and so I introduce myself. My name is Sebastian. I'm a writer of sorts, but not by occupation."
"Um, hi. I'm..." he pauses to think. "Like you said, I'm Jorah. Why am I here?"
"You are here so that I can better understand you and myself. I know it seems... odd, all this."
"I need to keep asking some questions, is that okay?"
"What makes you happy?"
"But you can't meet people"
"Not those people. Special people"
"People like Cassius and Neseva?"
"You're wondering how I knew?"
"I know everything you know, and much you don't yet know."
"Are you a Völa?"
"No, I'm a writer."
"Take a wild guess."
"You... wrote... me?" As Jorah asks, it is apparent to me that he doesn't believe his question. It is what he thinks I want to hear.
After another moment of silence, which is a strategy of mine, I get up from my chair, holding a glass of water in my hand, and I hand it to Jorah who hesitantly takes it to his lips to take a sip. It is lake water from lake Hornavan - almost like proof of my 'omnipotence'. His gaze twists into an expression of true horror as he presumably realised how right he was in his faked guess.
"In reality, Lake Hornavan is not magical, maybe visually but not practically. There is no rift, there is no you"
"Wh-what do you mean?"
"I can't say the faeries don't exist, but I can say that they don't exist as you know them, as I imagined them. You inclued"
"You mean... I'm not real?"
"You are a, um, manifestation of different aspects of myself."
"You are the part of me that doubts. The part of me that doesn't appreciate certain aspects of myself"
"I don't understand"
"I wrote you. I wrote you, I wrote my version of the lake, the forest. You, and Lo, exist only in fantasy and dream. But that does not mean you're not real. To me, and to the reader, you are real. You are part of my life, and of theirs, albeit unknowingly"
After this, Jorah is the one who introduces the silence. He is stumped. I can see the gears turning behind his confused gaze, trying to make sense of what had just conspired. And my serious frown turns into concern. I'm afraid I have broken the poor thing. I'm certain I've at least scarred him.
"How does that make you feel?" I ask, which is followed by more silence.
"It makes me feel good"
Now I'm the one who's stumped. Whad did he mean with that? I just confessed that I was behind his suffering, and he feels 'good'? "How does that make you feel good?"
"Because that means I'm not alone"
"You never were..."
"But I didn't know that. Now I do."
He stands up, walks toward where I stand, near the window and hugs me. I don't know what to do, so I just stand there, both arms in the air.
"I'm sorry you hurt" he says.
"Right. Can you... you know, let go?"
The poor creature reluctantly lets go and looks at me confused.
"So continuing." I say, as I walk back to my chair, gesturing for Jorah to sit back down on the couch. "Tell me about your earliest memory."
"You mean when I first saw the moonlight?"
"Not what I had in mind, but sure. What did you feel?"
"Because I had a purpose"
"Hm. When was this?"
"I... don't know. A long time ago."
"Do you remember the date of your birthday?"
"Do you know why you don't know"
"I'm guessing you know"
"I know why you don't know, and it is because I don't know either. Not the exact date."
"That's okay, you'll figure it out. At least it was beautiful"
"It was, and life is. So you're not disappointed?"
"It was so long ago. Had you know, I don't think I would've remembered"
"Your memory is not that bad..."
"No but the end of the ice age was a long time ago"
"I suppose you're right, I hadn't thought of that."
I paused for a moment. Time had been passing by quickly, and I needed to find a way to wrap the session up.
"Are you... satisfied?"
"I think so."
"You think so?"
"You gave me pain. But you also gave me love, and purpose"
"I suppose that's true"
"Sometimes you have to suffer in between the good moments in life. I suppose you know that from experience"
I let a faint chuckle escape through my nose. It had not been like I expected. I had prepared for Jorah to be devastated, instead it seemed as if though he had gotten closure. He is more mature than I could've ever imagined from what I knew of him so far. He's shy, yes, but he isn't afraid of seeing things through every angle. And although I've written him immense pain, he's still content with the joy I've given him too, and the joy that fellow writers have given him. He's endured a lot, but despite that he seems to have a positive outlook on life, which was a surprise. The creative mind is indeed complicated, and it seems Jorah was not an exception. The ability to surprise yourself by things you thought you had figured out is indeed an intriguing one. I could've never imagined it to end on a positive note. And Jorah truly surprised me with how maturely he took the information. And how calm and collected he was. When I first wrote him, he was this very sensitive figure. If anything went wrong, which it often did, he would react strongly to it. Whether he has evolved as a character on his own, or if I as a writer have changed style, one thing is certain. Jorah has grown. He has achieved a new hight. And I as a writer have achieved character development. And that satisfies me.
My conclusion? It is, to some extent, possible to satisfy all three inclued parties, reader, writer, and creation. However, if this is possible in other situations with other individuals, I don't know. And I require to do more research before I can come to a full generalized conclusion. But for now, we know that it is possible to reach a compromise. Although not all parties were at an optimal stance, it was still enough to draw a positive partial conclusion. I will continue these sessions with Jorah to learn more, and I will also have to interview other creations. And with that I conclude this session, and will hoplefully see you, the reader, again.