I was having an email conversation a while back with someone I consider close regardless of the distance between our homes. I was lamenting the fact that I was two days behind in my invoicing, somewhat lacking in energetic motivation, and bereft of a writing inspiration for the blog. Her retort was a simple, “Make it short and sweet. It’s okay, no one will care.” I had to explain it is really not okay, and someone will care -- me.
I would guess that most of you have figured out that I am a writer at heart. What you may not know is that with VERY few exceptions, it is nearly impossible to make a sustainable living writing. So instead I ply my talents by helping other writers, researchers, stenographers and the like with editing and proofreading. But I still desperately seek time to craft my own words on paper (well, computer media), and ease the over-pressure of creative thoughts that haunt my subconscious; hence, I blog.
Unfortunately when writing fiction, I am one of those craftsmen that must shut down my innate persona in order to animate the characters that inhabit that other world that I write about. Those characters are both the subject and authors of my stories. It is their words that end up on my paper, often surprising me by taking the plots onto totally unsuspected paths. It is a tedious and difficult process of stripping my ego to its bare id; an adventurous sojourn into what I refer to as “the hole.”
Getting in is a conscious and intentional act; getting out is something completely different. There is no intentional way to control the length of my stay in the hole. I have ventured in for as little as a few hours and sometimes for as long as a week. While there, I am not conversant, generally quiet, keeping to myself; I have been told I am not pleasant to be around, I don’t eat much, drink much, sleep much, do much of anything because I am off living a different life, the life of someone trying to get out and onto the pages of my story. In case you’re trying to figure out the differences in my personality, I normally eat too much and drink too much; the quiet, introvert that isn’t very pleasant to be around, well, that’s just me. So by its nature, my writing is not as easy as “stealing an hour or two” to jot down a few pages.
So back to these posts that you all have to suffer through. This is therapy for me, a pressure relief valve that vents just enough steam to keep me going. I get to tell stories about me (no hole needed), and occasionally say something humorous or at least thought provoking. I can tell when I’ve been successful, or not, by the feedback, or not. So please indulge my ramblings, and don’t worry that this task was an unnecessary or superfluous addition to my over booked schedule. Admittedly, sometimes it’s hard to come up with a good topic (they don’t shoot the Waynesville town turkey every week), but I like doing it. I hope you like reading it; if you do, please share it.