In my time as a writer I have met hundreds of new writers and seen just about as many style, techniques, and points of view on every aspect of the craft. There’s plotter or pantser. Those who work on one project at a time and those who have multiple simultaneously in progress. There’s even a difference on why authors write. That sounds like an obvious statement at first glance right? Money, fame, passion, etc. but what I really mean, is what keeps them from stopping. What drives an author so hard that they slave hours at a time over a red and inky manuscript that may or may not ever be released into the wild.
I’ve met a few different people who have the desire to leave their mark on the world and writing will let them do that. Through their writing they are able to leave a piece of themselves behind when they're gone. I admire these people, and I envy them.
I've been told quite a few times that writing for yourself as in the "I write for me, if people don't like it, then don't read it" mentality is wrong, that just by virtue of writing, you are writing so others will read it. I'm not sure I agree with this mentality, partly because of why I write. Because I have to.
Writing and reading work interchangeably for me. I write because if I do not, then I experience a creativity overflow. Basically, my imagination becomes too vivid and seeps over into my dreams. Night terrors. If you have never experienced one or don’t know what they are, you're lucky. Night terrors are usually grown out of, however, some of us are not that lucky. Simply put, a night terror for me is when my dreams blend with the real world around me. In the beginning I would wake up startled, blood pumping and heart racing, but able to eventually get back to sleep. Then they got worse, I’d wake up screaming. This past week I experienced the worst one I’ve ever had. I not only woke up with my heart racing and a scream torn from my throat, but I woke up crying and in the middle of my run into the living room to get away from my terror. What am I so afraid of that can wake me from my dream and keep me from sleeping in my own bed for two nights?
Yup, apparently I am more afraid of spiders that I ever thought possible. Actually, I’m sure some dream guru would tell me otherwise.
*pulls glasses down*
“Your subconscious is seeping into your dreams, and in reality you’re not afraid of spiders but of something else and your dreams are manifesting your fears of blah blah blah…”
Yeah, like that.
Here’s what I do know. Without fail, when I stop reading or writing for extended periods of time, my brain kicks it into high gear and the night terrors start. What that means, is I need to fix my schedule and get back to work, Keeper’s is waiting and my brain knows it.
This was a more personal blog post that I normally write, how’d it go? If you like what you read and the format let me know in the comments or via twitter or facebook and I’ll make sure to write more like this.