My Neighbour Errol- Projects
When it comes to our projects, Errol and I have a system.
Errol thinks up some fantastical creative endeavor.
Errol gets excited about said fantastical creative endeavor.
Errol tells me that we are now doing the creative endeavor.
I tell Errol the reality of our situation; that we have not the expertise nor the time to pull this off.
Errol says “You’ll be fine”, gives me a list of impossible tasks, then runs off to work on his other projects which he is perfectly capable of doing because he’s actually got experience.
Take NaNoMusical for example. The trailer doesn’t lie.
That is honest to goodness how the conversation went. “Let’s do a musical”. Nevermind that we’d never written a full length script (well I had…but in university, what happens in university creative writing STAYS there), nor produced anything outside of tiny youtube videos, nor that we had almost no time to develop this thing. We were clearly going to do a musical.
When I expressed those concerns? “You’ll be fine”. And then he danced away to tell the world the good news, leaving me to fret and worry.
Of course if you follow our stuff at all, you’ll know we were fine (albeit with a couple of headaches throughout the process). For the first time in my life, I wrote, filmed and starred in a musical. It was an experience I would never forget.
Unfortunately, admitting this also gives Errol permission to be a big smug jerkface about being right. As soon as a project is done and somewhat successful Errol turns to me with his stupid face and emits a satisfied “See?”
In many ways, Errol and I suit each other as creative partners. He sees nothing but possibilities. I see nothing but doom. It makes for a good middle ground, especially since we’re both fairly good at listening.
It’s not that I’m not excited about the project. It’s simply that I’m afraid of everything and I need time to process this very big creative bomb Errol has dropped in my lap.
Unfortunately for Errol there isn’t really any such thing as “processing time” and my introverted soul cowers before his extroverted excitement.
I am being a bit unfair. In truth Errol knows when I will like an idea, so he will push me to do it, even if it means driving my anxiety up to eleven.
But in my defense, I do have good reason to be anxious (even if my anxiety is…a titch exaggerated).
After all, most of the things Errol asks me to do are things I have never tried. Write a song! Write a musical! Do online reviews! Produce a webseries! It’s enough to drive the most insecure person to drive off a cliff, except they actually wouldn’t because they’d be too afraid of screwing even that up.
Which brings me to our current project.
I had plans to do NaNo this month. I didn’t really have a novel planned per se, but I did have a general idea that I wanted to write that fantasy that has been percolating in my head for ten years now.
Then about a week ago, along came Errol. And of course he had a new idea. I would relay the conversation to you, but this comic says it all:
And off he went, dancing merrily, to do his many other projects and leaving me with a “You’ll be fine”.
Now…at the very least, with NaNoMusical, I had SOME experience with a traditional script. It wasn’t a terribly complex story and Errol was the music man so getting some songs for our musical was taken care of.
But this is something far different. This is a video game. Not just any video game. A time travel video game. Let me ask you, people, let me just pick your brains. What is the most nitpicked genre of story out there? What genre is the first to get torn apart by geeks who have nothing to tear apart now that Lost is over?
Time travel. Freaking time travel. With 50 different endings. And different dialogue trees. And programming language that has to be incorporated. And puzzles. And…
I’m a bit in over my head.
I attempted to voice my concerns to Errol, who was busy with his gigs and EP release and nanotoons and NaNo novel. What was his reply? Guess. Just guess.
“You’ll be fine”.
Those have got to be the least reassuring words to a very inexperienced, anxious creative. No, wait, those aren’t the least reassuring. The least reassuring thing to hear from an Errol when you are working on a project is his second most favourite phrase: “I’m not worried”. Which he uttered just this morning as a matter of fact.
But I am worried. You see, this time is different. This time I am truly out of my depth. I am staring at my gelatinous blobs of text that don’t seem to be going anywhere, blobs of text that we intend to actually use, and I am truly terrified.
And what’s also different is that right now I am somewhat alone for Errol overbooked himself once again this November and he is distracted by crazy things like novels and music and gigs and a family who happens to love him. He doesn’t have time to look at my scribblings and give feedback. And so I have to continue to write. And wait. And hope that when he emerges from November battered and beaten I will not have to trash every word I wrote because time travel is impossible to write.
It would be nice if Errol could simply see that we are doomed. But no. Even when he starts to have even the smallest of doubts all it takes is a plate of eggs to turn all of those around.
I am continually certain that Errol will finally realize how truly inept and uncreative I am. Heck, sometimes I go out of my way to tell him so. But he has this stupid faith that I can do this.
Of course, I know that a lot of this is me. I know a lot of it is my own blown out of proportion fear. And it’s also given me a good way to measure actual doom versus my way of doom. Because the day that Errol is ACTUALLY worried about a project is the day, I’m fairly certain that the Earth will implode.
And part of me is thankful that amongst the two of us, there is one who will remain forever optimistic and push me to actually finish a project I start rather than giving up.
But darn it…must he be so smug at the end of it all?
Still…time travel…freaking time travel.