There are multiple reasons for this. Timing, circumstance, attitude... Even if I was a hyper achiever, I'd still probably only be able to execute 5% of what I cook up. Sometimes I justify not doing more by telling myself that it's just the kind of person I am, my destiny; to enjoy thinking things up - and then letting them go. I do very much find satisfaction in the conceptual part of a new project. It's all so potentially perfect, so grand, so unrestricted. Often, I will have an idea for a book/movie/creative project that I will see appear in the public realm five, ten years later. I'm sure this is not uncommon.
On the other end of the spectrum, many times I have attempted to make things happen, to manifest ideas - and reality has just not cooperated. For example, in the late nineties, after studying screenwriting at UCLA, I spent two years full time writing screenplays. I completed a total of six feature films - one for young teens, a chick flick, a feel-good indie, a fantasy film, a comedy and a coming-of-age action/drama. After they were done I spent a year trying to get interest/sell/get funding for them. I concentrated mainly on the last one - which I think is the best and has the most commercial potential. I am not, however, a great sales person by any stretch, and nothing came from any of it. They sit in a box in storage. It was disheartening, I cannot deny, and yet, I did still get great pleasure in the act of writing them. Of course, I have continued with my writing and had subsequent success with radio plays/ comedic monologues and short films. But screenplay number seven is yet to be.
I have also written full outlines for a three character one-man-show and a grand scale musical over the last few years, but they, too, remain concepts - unreleased, not invested in, scribbles in a notebook.
Sometimes, I do the work to manifest something and it is blocked at the last stage of realisation or snatched from my hands. A documentary about Bay FM radio station, Bliss Jockeys, that I wrote and directed was snatched from my hands by a megalomaniacal/paranoid producer at the very final stages because of ownership disputes. After a deal with SBS fell through, he ran off with the tapes and chopped them into segments, put them up on his YouTube channel as his own. That was a full years work.
In 2002, after self publishing my first book, 'All I've Ever Wanted Is What I Know I Can Never Have', and getting satisfaction and encouraging feedback from it, I embarked upon a follow up, 'Karma Rama'. I spent the next 18 months working on it. Once completed, I fully designed the front and back covers, and got it print-ready in Quark. While I was busy trying to scrape together some money for a first run, my computer died. Salvaging it from the hard drive would have cost more than I had at the time. The book never happened.
All sounds a bit sad, in a way. But it isn't necessarily. For me the best part of a project is in the thinking up and the creation. What happens with things after that is a bit boring. Of course, it is wasted effort and disappointing when they get so close to fruition, but I am so quickly onto the next thing that I soon forget.
As an evolving creative entity, my lessons and greatest joys are in the actual doing of things, the initial spark, the first rendering, the birth of ideas. From nothing to something. What kind of somethings they become and whether or not they solidify a place of any distinction in the world is not where I put my attention.
My journals are full of things that could have been. Books, movies, exhibitions, shows. It's not too late. Some may still find there way back into the process. Who knows. But most of them are just part of a wild and zesty creative machine gun process. Benign bullets billowing in the air. With a charged-up and staccato-laughing genius/madman alone on the beach with his never-ending supply of artistic ammo, filling the horizon with new thoughts and concepts that take shape and form for a time, then, like the clouds, drift off into the ether, the endless blue.