First of all: Writing is much more than an interest that requires a particular mind-set. This is something I’ve always been comfortable recognizing even if I don’t always understand what that means. Recently, it has become more clear, though I’m years from getting close to complete comprehension. It’s a fact that you cannot write, you cannot even think about being a writer, if you do not experience the world. For those who know this, we have those moments of life that affirm the fact. When those moments happen we direct it towards our favorite outlet – building a life with words, making sense of it with words, finding new words to explain new things as we experience them.
Simply put: We write.
What this is all beginning to solidify for me is that writing is a place. Practically a physical location, possibly chartable if you have the correct compass. It requires a journey to get back into the setting you’ve built. Everything from voice, your characters, the cities you’ve created and the tone you’ve set. A physical ritual. When I sit to write, there is a moment of calm before I even plan the first word. I close my eyes and exhale, or I stare out the window until ‘it’s‘ there and only then do I begin to write.
Even with this short piece now – I exhaled and swallowed half a glass of water before typing.
The problem in this current journey to get back into writing my book is that I find an emotional minefield in the way. The journey is a moment of opening yourself to everything, and it is an unpredictable place. In fact, I truly believe this opening moment is when you are most susceptible to the dangers of the coming task, AKA: writer’s block or lack of inspiration/motivation. You have to pull on all your experiences to mold the lines into a story that grips your reader with emotion and honesty. While the voice isn’t you, it still takes a deeper understanding of pain, love, hope and happiness to create the life within the voice. You have to feel and understand that, and depending on the emotion sometimes that journey is as painful as it is challenging.
It’s in these moments that I sit back and wonder how the greats have managed. How did they push through?
The more I seem to understand this place of writing, this discovered place of passion and excitement for building a world with the right combination of words, the more daunting it all becomes. The more I experience the world, the more raw my nerves become when I sit to write. The hurts you can’t move past as they needle you when you begin the journey. Those hurts make all very clear what I’ll have to sacrifice for my desire to keep writing. The question becomes: Am I ready to completely expose myself to this unshielded, unrestricted way of experiencing life? Am I ready to take down all those natural human walls?
The answer is: Yes. I’m not ready to give in, sir.