Writing is a torment of the mind. I don’t mean this to be funny, I am completely serious. Writing can drive you bat shit crazy. Don’t believe me? Ask the people around me, even the ones who that don’t really exist. The parts of your brain that get screwed around as you create and dissect worlds out of nothingness tends to put you in a realm between reality and you imagination, and there are no stops to permanently get off the train anywhere near your previous destination after you climb aboard.
For instance, I began my journey in the summer of 2012. I had just turned thirty years old and I decided to give writing a book a go. Did I know if I could do it? No way, but I was willing to give it some effort. I did a little research into some authors I grew up reading about and found that a lot of the famous authors of the past used to write the first draft longhand. Why not emulate that, right?
My God, that process is such torture. After 10,000 words I was done. I hated the story, I hated the characters, I hated the book. I was done and decided to quit. Quitting is easy, you just stop doing whatever it is that you were doing and never go back to it ever again, amen.
But…writing is a torment of the mind. Remember? Just as soon as I threw in the towel I found myself doing research about writing still. I came across this little thing called national Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and once again was enthralled about the possibilities of writing a book. This time, I had to start from scratch; forgoing the legal pad and pencil and this time choosing to begin my first draft electronically. The result, my first book “The Dead Planet Series: Exodus” was written in twenty-three days. The entire first draft was thumb texted on my iPhone.
Mission accomplished, right? It was time to pack up and walk away knowing I had done it!
But…writing is a torment of the mind. I felt compelled to write something else, and then something else, and then more somethings (not grammatically correct, but it paints a picture I think). I was drowning in concepts and felt like I needed to write ALL THE THINGS!
Writing is a torment of the mind. Do you know how many unfinished somethings are on my hard drive? Neither do I. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve deleted just as many drafts as I have published. I’m telling you, it is a sickness where the only relief is to finish the next story, to rip it out of your mind just to make your muse shut the hell up. But like most forms of relief, it is only temporary. My muse is a selfish host, demanding more and more. My muse drives me crazy, nothing is ever enough. If I don’t write, I feel guilty. If I do write, then I might end up giving in to the next idea, spewing another lonely concept into existence that may or may not ever be finished.
Writing is a torment of the mind; and I’ve learned a lot about my process along the first four years of my journey. Is it a torment? Absolutely, but the thing is, that craziness becomes a drug and you find yourself addicted to it. Would I ever go back and stop myself from ever taking that first step into voluntary path of mental anguish? Hell no, and neither should you if you feel the call to jump in headfirst and take the first step towards creating a world all your own.
Writing is a torment of the mind, but so is not writing after you’ve taken that first step.
Take it from someone who is living with his fiction every day, all of the characters wrestling for my time as the day job looms over me like a dark cloud. I’m not wasting my time on a hobby, I’m investing my time into something that makes me feel complete, even if there is nothing else to gain, that alone is worth it. There is no better place to be on this side of insanity, than in the worlds you bring to life. So, if you feel called to write, then go for it. The water is fine…
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