Cost of Being a Writer

As a writer, I almost always have the want and the need to write. So you can imagine that every time I get inspired, my need to write is felt ten times, if not a hundred times stronger. It never matters where I am or what I’m doing. I stop it and I start writing what I need to write (much like this blog post you’re reading, it’s 1 am and I just had to start writing).

I’ve been in the shower, scrubbing away the grime from my body when I get a burst of inspiration. I’ll turn off the taps, wander out and either on my phone or my computer, I’ll write what I need to write. I’ve sat down on the edge of the bath with my phone in my hand for almost an hour while the shampoo sits in my hair until I’ve finished writing. Then I will finish with my shower.

I’ve been on a date and suddenly cut my own side of the conversation short in order to write an idea out, taking about five minutes of my time away from the date. When I stopped, she seemed a lot less interested in anything I had to say. It’s safe to assume that the date never ended up going anywhere.

Countless times, I’ve stopped to write. While watching movies with friends, while cooking dinner (that one is a dangerous one, trust me on that), while at a party (try explaining to your drunk friends that you were in the bathroom to be in a quiet place while you wrote for thirty minutes…),

At least I haven’t done it in a job interview or during a sexual experience, imagine either of those…

Hiring Manager: So, why would you like to get a job with us?
Me: Hold on, just a moment, I need to write something.

Partner/Girlfriend/FWB: Keep going, I’m about to- (you can finish that sentence yourself)
Me: Wait, I need to do something, I will be right back!

I can definitely see both of those turning out negatively. Sure, I could ignore the fact I need to write, but my body starts to fidget uncontrollably and my mind starts to wander off and not pay any attention at all to what is happening around me. When my mind wanders like that, I don’t pay attention to conversations, where my bus stop is, how hot the food is that I’m eating, and plenty of other things. Getting the inspiration and creativity out of my head (be it temporarily) helps me function as a human being.

In a way, it has ruined many moments in my life for me, but writing is my life and without it, I would be lost. Every time I write while I’m inspired, I have this feeling that rushes over me, that overwhelms me completely, it’s something that I’ve never been able to feel from anything else in my life. It is perfection.

You ever seen a scene in a movie and your hair stands up on end, you forget to breathe, you feel it in your entire body? The exhilaration? That feeling of fulfillment and beauty? That’s what I get every time that I write while inspired. I wouldn’t give it up for anything or anyone.

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Cost of Being a Writer

Imagination of the Past

So, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? You hardly hear from me anymore. I thought it was about time you read something that wasn’t an update for my novel or a review, something fun, something witty.

I wish you could all help me because I’m clueless when it comes to that sort of thing.

How about… imagination?

When I was a child, my imagination was intense. Everyone I saw a plane in the sky, I would close my eyes, fly up there and have a look at every single passenger before coming back down. It was vivid enough for me to believe what I saw was actually real.

Remember those days where commercial television would show (I mean, they probably still do but I just don’t watch it anymore) marathons of old tv shows? Well, the Simpsons were on one weekend and I spent the whole day watching it (I was still a child) and by the end of it, I imagined everyone, including myself, to be yellow. I saw it that way for a few hours.

It was incredible, powerful, exciting. That kind of thing drove me to want to write in the first place. To take notes of my imagination, in a way. My imagination intoxicated my body and mind and I continuously thought up new things to try, new games to play, new things to imagine. I even wrote a story in primary school about two fictional greek warriors battling to the death in the middle of a war.

If you combine the love I have for my imagination with my love of history and war along with my love for magic and fiction, then you can understand why I write.

Well in the end the blog post wasn’t witty and it wasn’t fun. It was me though, it was something different and without that, it would be just another blog.

Imagination of the Past

The Truth Behind Books

When someone holds a book in their hands, do they understand that it is someone’s heart and soul they are holding? That a writer bled their heart into the world within that book for a year, five years, ten years, or even their whole life?

As writers, we fill the books we write with our own emotions, memories, knowledge, friends, family and more. The worlds come from a mixture of imagination, knowledge and past experiences. When reading a book, you’re quite literally reading someone else’s imagination. That’s quite a personal thing to do when you think about it.

Sometimes, the editing process of the novel can take some of the soul of the writer out of the books but some will always remain. You can usually see the limits of their imagination, how knowledgeable they are, the pain or joy they have felt at some point in their life, and many other things. When I read a novel, I try to take in the world and the essence of the person or persons that wrote it.

As a reader, can you make better sense of the writer through his words? Or do you just see the world that you’re reading?

The Truth Behind Books

The Mind Of A Writer

In day to day life, a writer sees the world differently and sometimes, they don’t see the world at all.

When a writer doesn’t have their head buried in a book, whether it be one they are creating or one they are reading, they are usually seeing the world for what it is, what it isn’t and what it could be. Their minds are always wandering, with every sight, every smell and every conversation or interaction with the world, they could see something else, something magical. That’s why they are usually distant and often distracted.

Their minds are always working, always trying to figure out where one of their stories goes next or what kind of a backstory one of their characters has. Their minds work while they work, while they sleep, while they do pretty much anything. Being a writer is to always think about what you could be writing. It’s a full-time job.

When writers are otherwise engaged with something that requires their full attention, they tend to either get really into the moment or remain silent while they try to get through whatever they are doing so they can get back to those fictional worlds they love so much. Things such as a job, socializing and other such things are usually just activities to keep other parts of themselves happy or alive.

Writers write, not because they want to, but because they have to. They are a glass that is being filled with water. The glass being their mind and the water being their thoughts. When that glass overflows, you lose the water that is spilled and that is a fear every writer has, to lose their thoughts, their words, their ability to create. When the water spills, there is a risk of it damaging itself and the environment around it. Writers usually aren’t very happy when they stop writing because they are denying a large part of themselves.

Writers react to things with a curiosity that may not be seen by most people as “sane”. They may not be the sanest of people but are usually some of the truest and honest people you will meet. This can also be seen as arrogance when a writer states their honest opinion bluntly or unexpectedly. They mean well, even if it doesn’t seem like it, trust me.

In the end, writers are slaves to the written word. They tend to fill their lives with books, make friends with fictional characters and they constantly live in fictional worlds. They overthink, stare into space, say what’s on their mind or say nothing at all. For most writers, if they can write, they are happy. They are those people who struggle to sleep because the best of their ideas pop into their heads the closer they get to falling asleep. They are also the most ambitious procrastinators you will ever meet.

One of my most favorite quotes in the world explains much of this better than I can.

A writer is a world, trapped inside a person. – Victor Hugo

And by nature, that which is trapped will always try to escape.

So, that is what I perceive a writer’s mind to be because it is how my mind tends to work. I like having the mind of a writer, it’s a truly beautiful thing. I wouldn’t trade it for the world, not when I can create my own worlds.

The Mind Of A Writer

Nightmares

I’ve talked about how my dreams sometimes enhance my writing, but there is nothing I enjoy more than a good nightmare. I’m not talking about a dream that simply makes you afraid. When I wake up and I’m short of breath and covered in sweat, I write my nightmare out and jump straight back into that world again. If a dream can scare me like that, I think it is worth writing down, even if it doesn’t make sense.

I have died many times in these realistic and horrifying dreams. Sometimes I beat down the nightmares and come out victorious but more often than not, I lose against the evil within those nightmares.

I’ve been hunted by enhanced humans, captured by aliens from other planets, I’ve fought against supernatural enemies that I can’t even see, been in battle against monsters created entirely from my imagination and even had to survive against dinosaurs once or twice. I don’t believe I have ever had a dream that has been better or more exciting than one of my nightmares.

Don’t be afraid of your nightmares, try to draw inspiration, bravery or something positive from each of them. Look at the light rather than staring at the horrifying shadow that it casts. Each and every shadow has some kind of light that can help pick you up, so look for it.

Whether it is to write, draw, paint, craft, build or do something else, what inspires you to create the things that you do?

I’ll go first and tell you things that influence my writing, even if only a little:
Music soothes my souls and really pumps up a scene in my mind.
Dreams and nightmares put my imagination in overdrive and allow me to see things I didn’t see before.
Fictional works such as literature, tv shows, anime and video games all make my brain work harder to create amazing scenes, characters, and worlds.

Nightmares

Dream – Post Apocalyptic

Last night I had a dream. I dreamt of a beautiful and scary post-apocalyptic world ravaged by beings called reapers.

Just imagine that the world was overrun by half human, half machine beings that seek to remove humans from existence. It is more thriller than action and it had my heart pounding when I awoke. It’s rare for a dream to affect my body after I wake so I know it was an interesting one.

I might work on this when I have the time and most of my other works in progress are finished. What do you think about the dream? Do you often have dreams that you would love to recreate through writing?

Dream – Post Apocalyptic

Self Publishing

When I finally publish, I am skipping traditional publishing completely. For as long as I’ve been an writer, I haven’t wanted my work to be picked up by a publisher. So, self publishing is what I am going to be going with.

I don’t really know why, I’ve seen pros and cons. I’ve even considered the possibility of a publisher coming to me one day if I write something good enough. But I still don’t want to. I don’t need the publicity or the fancy name behind my book.

I have myself and that’s enough. Writing isn’t about popularity or selling out or about money or movie deals. It’s about enjoying your craft and being happy with the end result.

It might be because I want everything in my stories to ultimately be my decision. Sure, if I submit short stories to an anthology or novellas to a publisher, then why not. But my main stories, my babies, they stay as my own.

Self Publishing