It’s 4:30 AM, and I am laughing at something on my monitor. After four hours of frustration, I’ve finally finished a project that has had me nearly ready to put my fist through the LCD. And I’m laughing, because this is genuinely funny. It’s not life changing, it’s not earth-shattering, it’s not going to make the front page of Gizmodo, Engadget or even Digg for that matter. I made something for the hell of it. And that makes me laugh.
There was a long time where I wasn’t creating much of anything. Taking pictures never felt like creating to me. That could be why I always felt I was missing something that the best got hold of easily. I could see creation in other works, but not mine. No worries, I’m laughing now.
I always come back to my monitor, here, at 4 AM. That’s something you save for the summer, insane sprints of creation fueled by some bizarre internal impulse. Working on whatever I want to do and praying that this work actually, you know, works. And when it finally does, there’s a slow rush that builds and builds. It’s something that sticks around for days. And you laugh.
Four hours of work and I’m left with a browser add-on that replaces text in the Facebook news feed. My girlfriend has some choice suggestions for this glorified find-and-replace that I try, and it’s funnier than it should be. But I’m laughing because, despite the outward simplicity, despite the inward frustration caused by the task’s real complexity, what I’m seeing on the screen is entirely mine. My random impulse brought to life through code and a lack of sleep. Creation always felt to me like taking a bit of the world outside and bringing it inward, making it a part of myself bit by bit. It helps make sense of things. It’s tiny, unimportant and just for kicks, but it means a lot. And sometimes, it makes me laugh.