Creating something new is often a process of connecting the dots. You start with something you see or hear, which reminds you of something else, which makes you remember a third thing you stored in your brain ages ago and—voila—an idea is born.
The inspiration for my demons was a passage in Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. When I read this:
“Dearest Fear: Creativity and I are about to go on a road trip. I understand you’ll be joining us, because you always do…There’s plenty of room in this vehicle for all of us, but understand this: Creativity and I are the only ones who will be making any decisions along the way. You’re not allowed to suggest detours. You’re not allowed to fiddle with the temperature. Dude, you’re not even allowed to touch the radio. But above all else, you are absolutely forbidden to drive.”
I saw myself driving a car, with a little guy who personified my anxiety going nuts in the back. Oddly, he looked as though he could be love child of Tweetie Bird and actor Marty Feldman. In the front seat, I envisioned a drill sergeant—sort of a male version of Eileen Brennan in Private Benjamin urging me to just keep going.
This mental image summoned a memory of Allie Brosh’s brilliant Hyperbole and a Half. Maybe I could weave these guys into my stories. They are the root of most of my angst, I thought.
And so I did.