Why I Write

writing1

These last two months, I haven’t written much. I wanted to, of course, but haven’t. A paralyzing bout of depression has made it impossible, and I still don’t know if I’m back, or to what capacity I’m back. Looking back, it’s like a blur, these weeks of doing nothing but playing facebook games and watching tv shows. There’s little variation, there’s no guarantee it’s over.

I didn’t mean this post to be this dark, sorry. But it’s the place where I’m at. Not writing, or not writing much, is part of the problem for me, because I’m always happier when I write. Really write. Every day. Several hours, words by the hundreds, then thousands, because that’s what happens: if you write every day, you write more, faster, hopefully better too.

But when you don’t write, things just stop. Maybe that’s already one reason I write, because life goes on. Writing is part of my life, and life usually happens much more when I write. Confidence has a lot to do with that because I really hold that writing does take confidence. And maybe I’m stating the obvious here, but it’s usually so much clearer when you don’t have it that you need it.

Note: Writing is life.

As a kid, I was about 11, I guess, I started telling myself bedtime stories. Usually, I’d fall book2asleep in the middle of it just as it should be with bedtime stories, but sometimes it got so intense that I would get up two hours later, walk into the living room or my parent’s bedroom (depending on if they’d already gone to bed) and tell my mom I couldn’t sleep. I never told her that the reason of not being able to sleep was that I told myself stories and my mind just wouldn’t shut down. She’d give me something to drink, put me back to bed. Sometimes, I would continue the story. Other times, I’d force myself not to and fall asleep.

Not being able to shut stories out, is another reason why I write. Sure, I could’ve just continued to tell myself my stories and never tell another soul about them. But as I continued my education, I found I had a knack for telling stories, I wanted to tell them, not just to myself, though I’m still my favorite audience.

If you know writers you probably heard them say that they cannot not write. It’s because stories keep coming. It’s how we process everything that’s happening in the course of one day, how we cope.

Note: Stories won’t stop telling themselves in my head – I need to get them out of there.

I was about 16 when I wrote a short story for a competition (I never sent it in, but I still wrote that story, finished it). The competition’s head line was ‘The dream of the magic word’ – it doesn’t really make that much sense, but I figured they wanted a sappy love story. What I wrote instead was a story about a woman how had HIV. After I finished it, I told a class mate about it (one of those rare moments where I opened up and shared a secret, I guess). She wanted to read it, I didn’t really want her to read it, but she was persuasive so I gave it to her – handwritten at the time. A few days later, I get a call from her. She’d shown the story to her mom and her mom had cried. I can honestly say, I’d never been as proud of myself as I was in that moment.

Note: I like making people cry. And laugh. Feel with my characters.

I’m not saying this is a complete list of reasons. And they vary so much through the times I’ve lived, for different reasons. I’ll never forgot the pride in my mom’s eyes when she held my first published work in her hands. Or the time a friend texted me that she was reading my book and was delighted that she shared a character’s name. Amazon reviews, praise from your math teacher, some distant relative asking for a signed copy of your work, those are all reasons for writing, too.

I just needed to remind myself why I write. Because there’s only one reason I do not write, one reason that shuts me down in life. And that’s – I’m afraid.

So why do you write? And do you partake in NaNo? Tell me in the comments.

Advertisements

Yesterday’s Poem [6]

It is strange how certain stories inspire us, make us feel. I watched This Is Where I Leave You yesterday, so this is where this came from:

All the Ways

All the ways
we fought –
back and forth.
How I never forgave you,
how you blamed me,
how she yelled at both of us.

Just the three of us,
against each other.
Against the world
if need be.
You never made it easy for me,
because you thought
I had it too easy.

You still think that.
We still fight.
We don’t forgive,
we blame,
but never yell.

All the ways
we loved –
for different reasons, in different ways.
How she protected us,
how you taught me,
how I looked up to both of you.

We had that, we have that
and each others’ backs.

Yesterday’s Poem [5]

So, maybe I wasn’t in the best place yesterday. I watched Kill Your Darlings and got a little swept away by the world sorrow.

I see a dream

written on the wall.

It has no end,

no beginning,

is all middle.


The sour sting of drink,

I tumble over forgotten chains

tied to my wrists.

The charm of the ever-believer.

The curse of my paralysis.


Have you been to war

like I have?

Have you fucked

your closest foe?


There's no string in the shoe box

to tie me down

beside you.

We have been high and drunk.

We tried on life.


I pause the movie, the illusion of my genius.

There's no written consent,

no formal request

to overcome my demons.


It's all in a dream

and the sneakers under your bed.

52416

Yesterday’s Poem [3]

Valentine’s Day special – I was drunk and watching Transparent‘s 2nd season (so, don’t blame me!)

To be in love
the feeling
the person
the indescribable
connection.
LOVE.LOVE.LOVE.

The fucked up
pain
of feeling,
no, having feelings
for another
soul.
BE.A.SOUL.

I didn’t call.
Because I didn’t want to/
couldn’t get involved.
Never
had my heart broken.
Never
felt — That.
YOUR LOVE.MY LIFE.

I’m so not ready.
TO LOVE.

December Blues

Am I really blue, or is this just this day’s feel? I’m not sure. I feel like the new year should begin already, so that I can make New Year’s Resolutions. This is not very productive, I know. But after-Xmas always feels like nowhere-land to me. I’m free-floating.

But that is no place, no state of mind to be in. So, let’s look forward, let’s think about all the great things that are gonna happen NEXT YEAR.

In writing: I’ve got three short stories I wanna write for submissions so far. I’ve already started on two and maybe that would be something good to do these last days of December, writing on them. One is a zombie-story. I actually enjoy writing something that is so very different. I remember before I read Cell by Stephen King, I was sure that there was no way to write a zombie-story. I guess I’ve come a long way. It always surprises me, the restrictions my logic brain puts on my imagination, and how my imagination just goes along with it until it is proven wrong. Gotta work on that.gale-zombiediaries

Resolution No. 1: Broaden Horizons.

The second short story is a love story that relates to writing/has a writer in it/is book related. I always criticize writers when they indulge in writing about writers, but I’ve done it in the past and will probably do it in the future. I’m doing it with this story. Why is it a bad thing? Because I feel it’s self-indulgent. I feel like nobody is quite as fascinated by writing and writers as writers are. But maybe I’m wrong. Gotta work on letting go of prejudices, of things I think I know, but just have a notion of.

Resolution No. 2: Be More Open-Minded, As Well As Open-Hearted

The third story is going to be a fairy tale of sorts. A new take on an old fairy tale. Mine will relate closely to that first short story, will be a sequel in a way. Fairy tales are in high command, a fad, a fashion. I like fairy tales, but I’m not going to use a Grimms’ tale or even Anderson. It will be a favorite, though. I’m gonna tell you all about it when I’m writing/have written it. The thing I’m especially happy about this and the first one, they’re genre works. They’ll both have a love story and a HEA/HFN (Happily Ever After/Happily For Now), but they’re genre fiction.

That’s something I actually wanna do more of. Taking a step back from romance and engage more with genres I haven’t written in yet. I wanna get my feet wet, try things out. That’s why I’m a writer, after all.

Resolution No. 3: Write Differently/Difference

sightlesseyesMy big project for 2016 will be The Sonnet Series. Come January, I’m gonna start with Sightless Eyes, a paranormal story of a girl seer. She discovers that her world is inhabited by supernatural creatures and that there’s a war going on, in secret. One of my inspirations for this were a couple of Shakespeare sonnets, hence the title(s). For this it’s sonnet 43.

Resolution No. 4: Read More Classics

There are probably more resolutions, there are always more resolutions, more things to do. But I guess these will help me with my writing, hopefully. There are also more projects, but I’ll tell you about them by and by. Who knows how much I’ll get done in 2016?

What are your resolutions, writing projects for next year? Tell me in the comments.

For now, I hope you’re enjoying the last days of 2015. Maybe you’re more inspired/motivated than I am. I hope so.

Time for a cuppa and a romance

ck32

Today is the perfect day for absolutely nothing – except for a cup of my favorite tea and a well-loved romance novel. I feel blah.

That is not to say that I didn’t do any writing today, but it felt awkward. It was a phone conversation, one of my favorite things to write usually, because the dialogue is so front and center. But what should have come out as a light, flirty scene became something awkwardly silly. And now I’m gonna forget about it until I’m doing the revisions.

My body’s begging me for some downtime, maybe a nap. My imagination wants to get fed fluffy romance. And I’m just gonna indulge them, ’cause really there is no good reason not to.

Well, until tomorrow and then it’s back to work.

The Organized Scribe

ck9

I know what you’re thinking: you don’t seem particularly organized to me. And you’re right. At the moment, I’m free-floating through the social media sites, playing games and dodging responsibility. But as I remembered yesterday, that was different last year. I wrote quite a bit.

So, what was different? I was organized – or as organized as a chaotic person like me could get. I have a dreamwidth journal and I counted words there for every month. That’s like NaNoWriMo, just for yourself. You just count words per month or week or day, or whatever you feel comfortable with. You set yourself a goal for the year. I set mine at 200,000 words, and I wrote 300,000.

Given, most of those were a multi-chapter fanfic, but I was writing almost daily. And it felt good – a good way to keep the demons away, if you know what I mean. So, this year’s full of demons and me cowering behind all kinds of distractions. Fuck that!

troy-exclamationpoint1It’s time to get my head back in the game (oh, don’t even pretend you’ve never watched High School Musical!). And the first step would be to go back to organizing myself, my writing. ‘Cause, you know, human beings like statistics, they like graphs, they like to have a pie chart showing them possibilities. I’m no different.

I’ve written 450 words yesterday. That is not a lot, but more than I’ve been putting to paper these last few months. Yes, I’ve done revisions, but I haven’t really written. Today, I’m gonna write some more and maybe by Sunday I’ve finished a short story, or maybe I haven’t but I’ll still have started writing again.

And you know, this is part of writing, too. The not-writing, the anxious waiting periods when you feel you’re not really good at this anyway, might as well give it up. But you don’t because you love it, because when you do it, it makes you feel better. You see, I’m motivated today. And I’m writing a little story that dips into some of my passions, and I just followed an inspiration there.

And I’m counting words, and I’m looking at the time to see how long I’ve been at it. And I’m walking and thinking about what to write next. I get up in the morning eager to write. And that’s the most important thing for me right now.