Write Life – Part One

Posted: May 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about writing lately. More specifically, I’ve been thinking about my writing. I haven’t been nearly as proactive as I should. Days go by without a single word making its way to the screen. Meanwhile, page after page gets written in my head while I drive from one side of Atlanta to the other. But, at the end of the day, that does nothing for my word count. That brings me back to my recent thoughts, Why can’t I put my ass in the chair and get those words out of my head and into a word file?

When I was in my teens, just finding an interest in writing, it was nothing for me to kick out a 2-3k short story overnight, handwritten on loose-leaf notebook paper. I would be exhausted the next day but I had a story in my notebook that had been a blast to write; just put the pencil on the paper and let my imagination run wild. A pantser before I even knew there was such a thing.

I admit, those early stories lacked anything resembling skill. Hell, most were lucky if they even had a consistent plot. I had a tendency to leave one thread and jump into another. And, good grief, there was sex in every story I put to paper – I blame typical male teen hormones for that.

Then, as I got older, I found books for writers on characters, and plotting, and theme, and. . . Well, you get the point. This young writer became overwhelmed with techniques, rules, and do this, don’t do that. ‘Write what you know’ became the worst mantra I could’ve ever picked up. I lived on the rural side of Bumfuck Nowhere. Nothing but rabbit shit, wild dogs, and backwood creeks as far as the eye could see; never mind the pigs, chickens, cows, and goats right in my back yard. How was I suppose to write what I knew when everything I knew was wild and dirty?

So, I did what felt right at the time. I stopped writing. One night, while lying in bed, I decided to quit. The voices in my head were becoming unbearable, the stories were swelling and swelling, and no matter what I couldn’t bring myself to write any of it down. None of it would ever compare to those writers I admired so much. I gave up on a dream because I couldn’t tame the rules and get back to just writing for the sheer enjoyment of it. That inner critic had mutated. He had grown talons and teeth and it was just easier to starve the fucker than fight back.

I still tinkered with words here and there. Hell, I’ve always had an obsession words. I couldn’t give ’em up for good, I just refused to write prose. Instead I played with the juxtaposition of words and meanings, turns of phrases and punctuation in brief bursts of verbiage. As much as it made me smile it wasn’t enough to scratch that storyteller’s itch. Little by little, I was withering away inside. My creative energies were dissipating and only the smallest part of me recognized that fact.

I was losing myself.

To Be Continued

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