Embracing a need

The best thing about writing fiction is that moment where the story catches fire and comes to life on and suddenly it all makes sense. You get to feel like both the creator and the audienceNeil Gaiman

It seems I’m hellbent on creating a writing life that is far more creatively chaotic (and I mean that in a good way) than I could have ever imagined for myself.

As recently as last week’s blog, I talked about figuring out how to juggle two writing projects at the same time. I didn’t give a reason for wanting to be busy as a bee. I just figured I needed to start writing again. None of this taking time off to ponder my next move.

I was already pondering my next steps when I was finishing up the second book. 

The two projects are in their fledgling stages. WIP1 and WIP2 are in their conception/research phases.

And as of last Thursday, I’ve added another ongoing project/endeavour to my writing plate. I won’t even call this one WIP3 because of the beast it could potentially become.

I say ‘beast’ with zeal and affection. It is a beast I get to call my own. The beast will play with me and experiment with me in the sandbox. I’ll get to flex some creative muscles I haven’t flexed too often in my writing. The hope is that by playing with this beast, whatever I learn from it, it will be absorbed onto my other writing projects. Kind of a win-win situation.

You’re probably wondering why the hell would I throw myself into another writing endeavour. Would it be okay if my answer is “I’m a masochist”? 

I suppose I should say I’m following my heart. But I’m also following my instincts. I’m pursuing an opportunity to grow as a writer and storyteller. I think most importantly, I’m following a need to write, a need to create. The need is not one of those things that drills into you like a woodpecker making holes into a tree.

By the way, I actually saw one in action back in September when my best friends was in town. Fuck that pecking/tapping is loud. When I heard that bird strike the tree with its beak, all I could think about was the kind of massive headache you could get if you weren’t careful with that thing.

Anyway, the need doesn’t feel like something violently poking at you until you bleed or break a rib. Although some folks might like that feeling.

The need feels more like a gentle prod against your ribs and occasionally gives you a fervent, hungry hug. Then it decides to sink into your bones. It’s not there to cause you pain. It’s there to remind you that you are more than how people want to define you. You are more than what the physical world allows you to be. It’s there to remind you that your creative life is just as important than your work life and any other life you have.

More frequently than not, it’s more important, more urgent than all those other lives combined.

So yeah, I’m embracing this need. I’m operating via the phrase “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” To be honest, that’s phrase that been with me for my entire adult life. It hasn’t always been at the forefront of my life but sometimes it’s all there is.

Right now, it’s wrapped up in this need. It’s an incentive. It’s a reminder. But it’s never a lie, never a trick of mirrors. It is something that will never lie to me.

People will lie to me. Lies said out of selfishness, misunderstanding, misinformation, ignorance, envy, weakness, fear or cruelty. 

A need, especially a creative need, will never do that. I choose to follow that need. Nothing else matters.

Write the first draft… check

There are a million ways to write a book. You only need to find one Delilah S. Dawson

Out of the million ways to write a book, I found one for the second novel. And the first draft is finished. Last sentence was typed at 4:07 this morning.

Just a little short on sleep, but long on ambition.

There’s still a ton of shit to do. Revisions, editing, feedback, book cover design, make sure the Spanish I use in the book is more than adequate. Oh yeah, I gotta come up with a title for the book. It’s something I don’t think about while I’m writing but now I have to burn some brain cells in order to figure it out. I suck at titles. But I gotta do it.

It’s Tuesday late afternoon and it still hasn’t really sunk in yet that I finished writing the first draft for my second book. It’s kind of weird. I’ve been through it before. I don’t recall feeling mildly disbelieving that I finished it with the first book. Maybe it has something to do with my characters for this book. My attachment to them, my connection to them is vastly stronger than with the ones in the first book.

Maybe that’s normal. Maybe it’s not. Does it matter? Nope.

I suppose I should celebrate this milestone. I’m not particularly fussy about what I do. Feeling low key right now. My plans for tonight is to do some food prep for the rest of the week. Bake some banana bread, make egg muffins and poach some chicken. Yeah, I know. Scintillating evening. It’s not all food prep though.

I’m trying to take a break from working on the story tonight. But it’s kind of hard when I know there are a few things things I already want to look at and revise. But there are a boatload of movies on Netflix and in my collection that I would like to watch. So, it is food prep and Netflix tonight.

Keeping this post short. Got stuff to do. But a little decompression is in order.

Laterz.

Embracing the voices

People have always heard voices. Sometimes they’re called shamans, sometimes they’re called mad, and sometimes they’re called fiction writers. I always feel lucky that I live in a culture where fiction writing is legal and not seen as pathologyRuth Ozeki

I am a fiction writer.

Yes, I have heard voices — or specifically, I hear the words. Once in awhile, they come to me in my dreams. But that form of communication is rarely used with me. They prefer to come to me in images. Sometimes, the imagery is scattered or disjointed but never random. Most of the time, the imagery is specific and words usually accompany them. But it isn’t uncommon for the imagery or the words to appear without each other. But I always know where they go.

Am I crazy? Give me your definition of ‘crazy’ and I will tell you if you are correct. Normal is so boring. Normal is something everyone is told be so every individual will be easier to handle. Easier to control. That’s why laws exist. That’s why religion exists. I think you need to be brave and a little crazy to be the person you could to be, the person you should be, the person you need to be.

Am I a shaman? Technically, I’m not. But I could be. If I am, does that frighten you? If it does, would knowing that I only access the supernatural and the other-worldly to tell stories, make you feel better? If it still doesn’t, then I’m sorry… we can’t be friends.

Whereas some folks may be riddled with angst and a little fear as a result of hearing voices, I embrace them. It’s easy to play with them. It’s easy to be around them. Sometimes, it’s far more comfortable to be in their presence than being in the presence of actual living breathing human beings.

Let’s be honest, humans are a weird lot. Yeah, we have a brain (sometimes that can be contested), we claim to be intelligent (that’s definitely debatable) and because of that, we have the ability to communicate better than species in the animal kingdom (that’s kinda laughable, to be honest). And we have the ability to access all of our emotions, but we don’t. Okay, some members of humanity seem to issues with that, especially when we’re told to repress them for the sake of not embarrassing others. Yeah, fuck that shit. And now you know one of the reasons I’m more comfortable with the voices or the words I hear in my head than with people.

So, yeah. I’m a fiction writer. It’s the skin I’m most comfortable in, right now. It’s the skin I can call my own. It’s the skin I’m meant to wear. Anybody who says otherwise will get a swift kick in the arse.