Number 13 Dream

Number 13 Dream

3:30 am.

This morning while struggling with that ‘do-I-get-up-and-write-so-as-to-accomplish-something-or-do-I-chase-sleep-feeling,’ I glance at myself with a different eye. I question whether or not I am a fraud. I teach people how to pull their books out of their heads/hearts and onto the page. This is what I do for a living, yet I’ve not produced a finished, published book in years.

Yes, I’ve finished a number of manuscripts. Six full length books as a matter of fact. I have not compiled and edited them though. They simply gather digital dust in the electronic membranes of my computers’ software containment devices. They’re stacking up like a runaway game of Tetris.

I then imagine me, walking away from the accusation of fraud. The vision of me stands quite clear. I know what I am doing. I know what I look like. Hey, I lay nestled in some sort of dream state, ok? Knowing what you look like is important – as I soon find out.

I walk away. Away from writing. Away from pressure. Away from questions. Away from accusations. Away from fear. Away from uncertainty.

People followed me. Lots of people. I note them clearly. They follow each serpentine zig and zag I produce. I want them to leave me alone. I note where writing resides. This may sound strange, and I assure you I do no drugs nor do I drink. I know my writing path involves walking back toward me.

Two me’s? So I continue to avoid me (the me where writing power resides) with my evasive walking. The people following me are likely book characters. The people appear quite focused. They dance in tune with my every step.

They hang on my directional changes as though they are part of me (the one running away). Thousands of characters are hinted at in my vision. Hundreds are present in my mind. It is as though they know before I do where my feet will land. Every single footfall which changes direction in any manner, they follow in perfect sync. There is no delay. No degradation of movement. Simply a flowing dance of walking away from myself and not knowing where to go and not knowing how to get there with all these characters in tow.

My characters do not herd me, yet I know that any single one of them will point back to me, the narrator, the one with which you are communing at this very moment. Then comes the odd observation, as if all this were not odd enough, which hits me like a feather bomb.

I am female. The me running away that is.

Black straight hair which falls past my shoulders and cradles a thin, attractive face. A lean, feminine body which knows how to walk. Isn’t it amazing how some women can walk and ooze that feminine mystique with no effort? They defy the law of conservation of energy or some such scientific law. You know the one where every motion requires energy of some sort. Some women can exude that womanly energy in their walks and mannerisms without one iota of energy spent.

In this muse-driven moment of contemplation of my writing demise and prerequisite plunge into the abyss of under-accomplishment, I recognize my femininity. I cease running away and walk directly back to me.

Looking at this now, I see the complexities wrapped up in the narrative I’m attempting to describe. No, I’m not a woman trapped in a man’s body. If I were, I’d be totally lesbian. So I would be a woman trapped in a man’s body craving other women. That’s too screwed up to even address.

No, the truth is, I have the ability to access my emotional side at any point in time and any circumstance. This is what makes me a good writer. I can access the softer, more beautiful side of who I am in an instant. Without effort. Without apology.

Another thing I draw from this experience is that I recognize epiphany and I often do not capitalize on the experience. All writers know to keep a pen and paper handy or some sort of writing device. My laptop was on the floor beside me when I woke. It slept as I craved to do, simply there at my disposal. Hence, I used my favorite writing tool.

Here’s the big take away. That beautiful raven-haired-me stops directly in front of my face, as if to say, “So, what the hell is it going to be? Are you going to lie there and grab another hour or two of forgettable sleep punctuated by a couple trips to the bathroom, or are you going to dance with me?”

She’s not quite so eloquent in her accusing stare. More like, “Motherfucker, if you back down again and opt for the easy way out of this, you injure us both.”

I do not wish to hurt her. Hell, I don’t wish to hurt anyone. And I recognize I no longer desire to hurt myself.

She just stands there. I half-heartedly agree to write. I show no movement toward my computer. After all, it’s cold here in Utah at oh-dark-thirty. My daughter keeps her A/C at 65 to make sure it stays cold, even in winter. My dark-haired self says nary a word.

Even though I say she speaks, her communication does not contain words. Those blue eyes and that raven hair and that knowledge of who I am says everything. She knows me better than I know myself.

My laziness exposed, I reach over and lift the laptop to its namesake. I’ve been writing this post while lying on my back with my knees upright and the urge to pee driving me to key faster. I’ve been marveling at my gender change in this dream. I’m marveling at the characters’ connection to her/me. I know that time is not real yet the measurement of time does denote something.

I see her now only as a movie reel scene. She drives my fingers and helps me along in this writing. We are in concert and she is happy with me once again. She knows and notes with sadness that I will shortly get up to pee. She knows I may not return to the narrative for a while.

Yet, as we key this, she whispers to me that her life is meaningless, without point or purpose, if I continue to choose to reject her. She needs me to live. She desires to live. She not only wants to live, she cries from neglect.

Her minion characters, the ones who drive her as mad as they do me, all morph into something beautiful, something ethereal, something mesmerizing, when she and I play. I lose her. I lose the better part of me when I turn her down.
She owns many descriptors. She’s my muse. She embodies my empathy. She’s everything I want in a woman and have not been able to find. She promises she’s that caring, loving tough girl who will find a way.

“Find a way where or out of what?” I ask her. She says it does not matter. Anything. She defines my creativity. My muse. My life. That part of me which silent-screams for me to step into life and make something happen. That part of me far too neglected, although with the volume of written material I’ve produced in my life so far, many would say I’m doing it. I’m successful.

Well, world, I am not, unless I continue to take up letters and form words which form concepts and storylines and do as Ray Bradbury told us all – to find joy within our writing selves and from that joy, impact our world.

I know this writing may read as insanity. In a way I suppose this written creation sounds crazy. It’s been said that writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. I believe that to be an unfair accusation or observation. Writing is not like schizophrenia as much as it’s like Sybil and the many voices in one’s head.

Oops. She’s tapping me on the shoulder now, realing me in. Yes, I misspelled “realing” on purpose. She’s bringing me back to the real world. She’s telling me there’s no need to explain further. Those who will read with an open mind will get it. Those who will mock won’t.

None of what other people think changes her hand in mine. The seal-the-deal-girlfriend who strolls my path to harmony. The lover who goes ecstatically wild when someone suggests I go fuck myself.

She laughed at that last line and is begging me not to explain it to those slow of wit and depth. She’s as crazy as I want to be. A loon who loves laughter and pain and sorrow and joy because all make up the fabric of life and writing. She wrote that, not me.

She smiles at me a loving smile. The smile where someone truly appreciates your acknowledgment. She kisses me on my inner cheek. She loves me.

And I love her.

Write! Yes, I’m speaking to you – the reader! Dammit, stop screwing around and dodging your muse. I don’t care if your muse is male, female, Andromedan, alien, animal. Write. Connect with who you are. Write real. Write true. Write without apology. Let the naysayers come. They’re all stuck in their private hells of not knowing what connection to creativity can mean to your life.

We know the truth. We are a couple who fight over storylines and characters and concepts. We also walk hand in hand for our lifetime. We will be the lovers on the page. We will be the ones who not only enjoy deeply that passionate kiss, we will in fact achieve simultaneous orgasm when we complete a work worthy of our intellect and imagination. We even pillow talk afterward about what is next on our horizon.

“We need to end this one,” she’s urging at this point. I don’t wish to let go. She’s right of course. Seems she always is. I don’t mind that …much…

It’s a New Day

Inking Your Soul

Your book. Your blog post. Your story. Your life.

There exist uncountable reasons and ideas to write. There exist innumerable debilitating explanations as to why we don’t write. In the end, either motivation and inspiration win out, either we give ourselves permission to accomplish our desire, or we distract ourselves with life.

When I consult with aspiring writers, whether seasoned or no, I bring a somewhat counter-culture view of creativity and how to access the wealth residing within ourselves. I spent many thousands of dollars listening to talking heads at conferences who invariably would state something to the effect of, “This is how you _______.”

Fill in the blank. “Write a book. Write poetry. Organize your thoughts. Learn the craft of writing. Etc.”

On the surface, these appear as noble topics. Someone truly desires to help others write. I do not doubt a good number of their intentions. Some, more than I care to think, stood as pompous asses spewing their drivel because no one knew better than they. Of course, I’m certain some might say the same of me.

What I’ve discovered is this. There are over 7.5 billion people on this planet. If each of us sat behind our pen, computer, whatever, and wrote a book, there would then exist 7.5 billion different ways to get the book done. No two would approach every single aspect in precisely the same way.

Yes, we could assemble similarities together to form groups like the write-every-day group or the write-when-the-muse-grabs-you-by-the-throat group or how about one I’m a member of, the I-write-because-I-have-no-choice group.

Diversity. The linchpin of new, fresh work. Homogenization and repetition. The scourge and death knell to creativity and revitalization.

Our very pay structure in writing does more to squash creativity and new ideas than anything else I’ve observed. The money-paying beast desires to bring in more money and tracks trends. Do you know how many variations of the movie Ground Hog Day are out there? It’s shocking how they’ve pillaged the idea and made almost exact replicas of the movie simply to generate more income.

I do not wish to rant today on the squelching of creativity, but I feel it’s important to at least mention to you aspiring writers out there in the world to look around you. Wake up. See how we’re herded. Go counter-culture if you can. Bring us fresh ideas and new material.

Each day our eyes lift from their slumber, each day we stir our consciousness awake, presents a new opportunity to express our truth. Our vision. Our passion. Our soul.

Will you compromise your truth, vision, passion, soul, simply because someone else would not agree with you?

Then why write? This industry is likely one of the absolute toughest in which to make a living. If you must bastardize your talents along the way just to make a buck, why bother? Step into some other line of work.

Today springs upon you, at this moment, the opportunity for ideas to germinate. Passions to arouse. Fantastical dreams and hard truths and wrenching pains and farcical comedies and delicious joys simply await your head, your heart, your soul to express them in print. I urge you, do not dilute your visions for the sake of others. Rather explode your ideas, not as nuclear bombs but universe shattering bombs. Go big or go home. Gift your imagination with the respect it is due by delivering your words without apology to the page.

Make new worlds on your pages. Help usher in a new renaissance to replace what our pathetic money machine chucks out containing the same drivel in slightly different packages like literary water torture. The bottom line will always stand for me – will you tell me a story, or your truth, preferably both, with passion, fervor, and a commitment to own the words you ink. Will you stand that brave?

You own every faculty you need to write your truth. Even in fiction. The only question, truly – “Will you dare to step into your destiny as a writer?”

Please do not write what others tell you to write. Write your book. Ink your soul to the page. Fiction or nonfiction, it does not matter. Bring your life to the writing. Bring life to the writing.

It’s a new day. Ink your soul…impact your world.

Fight or Flight Not the Entire Reality?

Overcoming Writing Fear

I’ve come to disagree with the “fight or flight” model of reaction to fear. There’s an insidious aspect to life which this scenario overlooks. The third option stands true with respect to work-related fears, relationship fears, violence fears, and yes, even writing fears.

Call this option what you will – hunkering down, ostrich syndrome, paralyzation – the bottom line is, if you’re not running or fighting, you qualify for this category.

There are times when this tactic may be beneficial, like gambling on playing dead in a terrorist attack or passively allowing an opportunity to pass you by in order to gain a better opportunity down the line or melting into the woodwork to avoid a fight so you may hopefully escape the situation.

The inherent problem here is that this ploy is always high risk, low return. Hunkering down most often will kill any momentum you may have attained and tends to leave you in a position of weakness and subjugation. This writing is not solely from observation but far too much experience as well.

I examined my potential today and find it so far off the charts I am stunned. This is at once thrilling and disappointing.

Here’s where this relates to writing a book. Our natures appear to be trained to the ostrich mentality. We will defer working on our books for far too many reasons, most of which root in fear.

I’m not talking procrastination. The person playing dead is not procrastinating. The person shutting down in an abusive relationship in order to avoid trouble is not procrastinating. I’m talking fear-based motivation, not laziness.

Action always wins the day. Action will almost always be your best answer. Either fight or flee. You must make either of these two positions a “choice.” The ostrich approach almost qualifies as an absence of choice – an apathy. This position does not require high-level decision-making power.

Your percentages of success tend to be much improved if you fight or flee. That’s my opinion and experience. It’s far too easy in life to do nothing, to allow apathy to rule.

Do you aspire to write a book? I’m telling you true, action wins. Action gets you the touchdown. The finish line. The buzzer-beater. This is why we have coaches in sports.

We have coaches in writing books because accomplishing the task will always require action. You need to stay motivated. You need a game plan. You need to fight. You don’t need to lay down and play possum.

My passion lies in helping people write their books. That’s my joy, my happy place. That’s where I am in motion best. If this makes sense to you and you need help getting your manuscript written, contact me. We’ll overcome your fears and objections which hold you back, and we’ll get that book written.

Want some help? Here’s a link to my book: Go Write and You Won’t Go Wrong – Write Your Book in 30 Days!

Writing a Nonfiction Book

It’s Not the Monster You Make It Out to Be

If you’re contemplating writing a nonfiction book, this means you possess a knowledge you feel would help others. Chances are, if you’re struggling to get started or bogging down, you are getting frustrated. Over the course of our lives, we assimilate information based on our environment and our interaction with others. We take “messages” and “signals” from our life experiences and apply what we think we’ve learned to various aspects of our lives. Unfortunately, sometimes we apply these “lessons” to the wrong life endeavor. Writing a book is one such example.

The people around us, our environment, and even our own selves too often prevent us from doing something we truly desire to accomplish. Writing a book, and for this post, a nonfiction book, appears to many people as an insurmountable undertaking. There are truly only a few items you need to possess in your book-writing quiver to make this happen.

Desire

Do you own a deep desire to write your book? Do you feel driven to get the information you possess into print for the world to see? Desire comprises a significant part of what’s needed to write your book. Typically, writing a book is not a short-term endeavor, although I wrote one of my books in eleven hours.

That said, writing a book does not need to be the horror story ordeal many writers tout, such as, “Oh, it took me five years to get this book out of me.” I’m here to tell you if it takes five years to write your book, your desire does not override the most mundane aspects of your life. Unless you’re some kind of energizer bunny dynamo, you have an hour a day to devote to writing.

Passion for Topic

Do you feel a deep passion for your book topic? Do you have knowledge to share? We all have life experiences in various fields of living which lends us the opportunity to share the knowledge we’ve accumulated with others. If you own the desire to write a book and you possess a passion for the topic of your book, you lack only one or two components to knock this project out. These last couple components are likely not what you think.

No, you don’t need to know grammar nor the Chicago Manual of Style nor Strunk and White or any of the other technical aspects of writing most often foisted upon unsuspecting novice writers. I’m not saying the knowledge of the mechanics of writing cannot be beneficial but simply unnecessary. You don’t need a degree. Again, could that be helpful? Sure, on the marketing end of things.

One of the critical factors involved in writing a book is this:

Your Unique Perspective and Truth

If you’re simply going to regurgitate a textbook or some other redundancy, your motivation will flag, your passion will be diminished, and your end product will be weak. However, if you own a perspective on your book topic which you feel is unique and people need to know, you’re on the right track. If you know a “truth” about your topic which is overlooked or unnoticed by others, you have something of value. If your experience tells you that people are missing something vital or keep repeating a problem for which you have a solution, then you have something of merit to write about. The age-old axiom, “Write what you know.” falls into this category.

You need an excitement when spilling your words from your heart and brain. You need something to sink your teeth into which will feed your desire to get this book done. Little in life is more motivating than espousing a message others need to hear. And “Others” will read when you successfully complete your book project.

I mention the word “truth” for a reason. Just because something is accepted as “the way to do things” does not mean it is the best or even proper way to do it. Innovation requires building on what’s out there and making it better. Please dispel the internal myth that a book must be some huge tome which takes years to complete. One of my books is 46 pages and it covers its topic well.

Please dispel the internal myth that a book must be some huge tome which takes years to complete. One of my books is 46 pages and it covers its topic well. This brings me to something which should relieve some apprehension you may have.

Keep Your Nonfiction Book Topic Niche

It’s been true for quite some time that people do not want broad, rambling nonfiction books. People desire information. They desire it quick. They desire it effective. They desire remedy. They desire brevity.

Do not fall prey to the perspective that a book must cover everything in your industry. Please allow your reader a modicum of respect. Write your niche-topic book. Your market, the folks who will read your book, will likely already know the issues which lead to your “niche topic.” They will already own a knowledge of what it took to arrive at your niche topic. They do not want to read what they already know. They want to take what they know and advance it.

Writing a book is as simple as devoting an hour a day to writing something for which you have a desire to express, a passion for the subject matter, and a willingness to write from your unique perspective and truth. I maintain that writing a book is fun. Exciting. Passionate. Rewarding. I’ve helped over 100 people get their books written thus far. If you find yourself in need of assistance or coaching, that’s what I do. Check out the Consultation page on this site and contact me.

Writing a nonfiction book is simply plucking what you know from your heart and mind and putting this knowledge into words on a page. Simple. I understand the process is not always easy. The bulk of the reasons writing a book is not always easy has more to do with you and your preconceived notions than the actual writing. Write what you know.

Write what you know. Help others solve a problem. Help others overcome obstacles. Reveal truths about our world. Help reshape misconceptions into something true.

For help in writing your book, Go Write and You Won’t Go Wrong – How to Write Your Book in 30 Days has helped hundreds achieve their goal of beginning and completing their manuscript. Need some one-on-one coaching? Contact me – Author@MichaelRayKing.com (limited number of consulting slots available)

What Have You Done for Me Lately?

Writing is like that, isn’t it? No matter how much you sit and write, there never appears to be enough time.

No matter that you’re in the midst of writing passion, as soon as you step away, you know you must get back to it. In fact, once you’re off and running, you’re dying to get back to it. What about when you complete your first draft? Victory, right?

Yes. Victory. Accomplishment. Yet your book wants more. Rewrite and edit.

Therefore, you roll up your imaginary sleeves and you dive into the mechanics that need tweaking. You desire to make this manuscript the best it can possibly be. You invest your time, your brain power, and if you listen to my advice, your money (for a professional editor). You complete the task and you now own a shiny, well-polished product which you love. Victory, right?

Yes. Victory. Accomplishment. Yet your book wants more. Published.

Therefore, you do your due diligence. You explore the myriad publishing models. There are so many, one will fit your needs. You go through the process. If it’s your first time, you battle learning curves and you find there’s a level of knowledge you need. If you’ve been through the rodeo before, you tweak what you learned the first time and you step through the processes more gingerly. You then get your book published. Know this – there is nothing stopping your book from being published but you…

You now feel the slick texture of your masterpiece in your hands. You’re amazed that you’ve accomplished this feat. You’re filled with elation and anticipation. Victory, right?

Yes. Victory. Accomplishment. Yet your book wants more. Branding. Platform. Marketing.

Yes, the bane of the vast majority of writers. I tell my clients all the time, if you want a best-seller, become a marketer. Best-seller does not mean best written. Marketing is an art unto itself. So is branding. So is a platform. All become massively important for the sales of your book. Therefore, you either do one of three things: 1) you take on the learning curve of branding, platform and marketing. The three go hand-in-hand. This tends to be the most prevalent with the majority of writers. 2) you do your due diligence and you seek out professional marketers. People who know how to help you set up your brand, platform, and how to market them. They cost money. The good marketers tend to be worth every dime… 3) you give up. This category gets many writers right out of the gate. Once they realize they either have to work at something other than writing or they must pay people to get their book where they want it to be, they quit.

Option number three does not mean a writer stops writing. Many of us write simply because we must. I feel it’s of vital importance that we do not kid ourselves. The reality of a new book is this – “Who knows the book is available?” Unless you’re Patterson or King or any number of other famous writers, no one outside your circle of friends, co-workers, and acquaintances know who you are, much less that you’ve written a book.

So let’s say you avoid option #3 above. You now have a pristine, marketed book which is getting great reviews and people are clamoring for more. Victory, right?

Yes. Victory. Accomplishment. Yet your book wants more. A brother or sister.

Therefore, you set out to create another masterpiece. Chances are while writing your previous book, other book ideas came to mind, some of which you’re dying to get to. You once again become immersed in the creativity of writing.

You should already see that this becomes a circular cycle. Yet there’s more. Multiple books mean multiple objects in the air which you must juggle. Each of them desires some love and attention. Each of them asks you the same question, “What have you done for me lately?” If you’re like me, the dust settles on them and they whimper the question.

I learned this highly valuable piece of advice the hard way. Build yourself a team. Invest in yourself. Invest in your team. Here’s what I mean by “team.”

Find someone who has a knack for marketing material and can help you build a brand and a platform (if you cannot do this or identify your brand and platform yourself). Find someone to help you get out into the “real” world. Yes, speaking engagements. Your team can be Toastmasters, to begin with, as I did. Find someone to procure speaking engagements for you. Find someone who will handle video for you. In this day and age, video is king.

Develop a support group where you are not the guru. A group where you can learn and be motivated once a week. With all the demands from your book(s) for what you’ve done for them lately, developing a team of people to help and doing this early on is critical. Most writers want to lone-wolf the process. I know I did. The reason for this is we tend as authors to lean heavily toward creativity (of which we can be quite jealous) and away from business.

Know this. Writing becomes an addiction. When you truly love to write and express yourself, nothing will prevent you from continuing your trek except death itself. Success does not equal money or number of books sold unless you define success in that manner.

My vocation, my happiness, and joy in the world of writing, publishing, and entrepreneurialism are helping people achieve their writing goals. Love your writing. My writing hero is Ray Bradbury. Please allow me to add this quote from him for this quote sums up how I feel about writing:

“If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads. I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories — science fiction or otherwise. Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”

Need help with your writing? That’s what I do. Check out my Consultation Page. I love to work with people who have stories trapped within them. We can let these stories out so they may soar…

May I Help You?

Book Writing Dreams

Our subconscious writes more books than we’ll ever know. I wake up nightly with killer ideas and concepts. Most often these days, I don’t write them down. I don’t pull myself out of sleep mode and dive into something rewarding.

I’ve trained myself to get up two or three times in the middle of the night and go to the bathroom, go back to bed, and immediately fall asleep. I fell out of the habit of grabbing ideas and writing them out and then going back to sleep.

Except for yesterday. I awoke with words that demanded to be written. I could not go back to sleep. Eventually, I grabbed my cell phone and wrote in the notepad section. I went back to bed and fell asleep peacefully for hours.

I should take a lesson from this, eh? An issue here is that I had learned this very lesson many, many years ago. I simply slipped out of the habit of capturing these thoughts. Scientifically, these times we wake in the early hours work as our most highly intense moments of creativity. We rob ourselves of the very gold mine we own – our highest creativity.

My vocation (a calling; a strong inclination to follow a particular activity or career) is writing. My passions of writing are 1) writing and 2) helping others get their books written. I refuse to call what I do “work” or label my occupation as a “job.” These descriptors carry too much negativity. I love what I do. I embrace my vocation.

So many people desire to write books. Fiction, nonfiction, poetry, it does not matter. The desire still tugs at their heart. People own stories. Stories they want told. They simply struggle with how to go about getting the words down and creating the end product – a book.

My words today came whistling loudly past my consciousness this morning as I vainly attempted to hold onto sleep. “You are there,” the words said. “Your task is to find people who need your help.”

This was strange. Usually, I awaken to a poem or a storyline. I grasped the subconscious message, however. Tell people. Let them know they indeed may write that book. Tell them I can help should they need it.

This message, on one hand, stands as absurd to me. Of course, they can write a book! I’ve written many books. Anyone can write a book! On the other hand, I know most people will never write their book, mainly because they simply don’t know how or don’t have the confidence or feel they lack the qualifications to write.

I often must step back and realize I once stood in those doubtful writers’ shoes. My passion and drive to help people write books pumps up my motivation in life. I’m at my pinnacle of happiness when I see someone completing their dream.

Do you want to tap into that subconscious I spoke of in the first sentence of this post? Does a book pound inside your heart and mind demanding to be let loose? It happens to many of us. Writing a book, for me, is a passionate release of creativity which grants rewards all along the way. I love writing. I love editing. I love seeing my book in print. I truly love others reading my books. I am humbled by those who tell me how much they enjoyed my books. Most of all, I love helping others know these loves as well.

Therefore, may I help you? My creative idea that woke me up this morning wanted me to write, “May I help you?” Know that you can write the book your heart desires. Know that your voice is as valuable as any other in this world. Know that what you have to say in your words owns meaning to someone. Know that you can do this.

If you need help, let me know…

Realities vs The Writer

As writers, we battle many realities. Whether these realities stand the test of truth remains to be seen. We build them, live them, and write them. Once a particular reality imposes itself on us, what we built, lived, and wrote either comes crashing down in a pile of text-debris or the writing stands, however wobbly, until the next reality assault. This sounds like building a house on the ocean shore and the realities are storms and hurricanes which tear through periodically.

Please allow me to shift to first-person at this point.  As a writer, I desire certain aspects of my life to coincide with my writing desires and my creative nature. Writing, for me, stands as a quest for truth. What truth? Whatever truth my mind and heart must pursue.

At my age, I’ve come to realize many truths exist in this world. Simply take the “truths” about health and eating well along with appropriate amounts of exercise. If I am to believe all the “truths” out there in the world, then I may eat anything or nothing as well as everything in between, and all I need to do physically falls much along the same lines. Therefore, where lies the truth?

The reality, for me, sets in when I deny that sugar is mostly bad for me and I feed my body quantities which rob me of energy as well as other negative impacts on my physical health which I don’t even feel. Up until that point though, my reality nurtures the seed of a thought that chocolate ice cream heals my depression. While that may seem absurd in one light, don’t discount the “truth” of comfort food. Lol!

As a writer, I confront my own views of reality constantly. I believe every writer should. I’ve come to realize that as soon as I peg some aspect of my writing as written-in-stone truth, something comes along and challenges my position. Is it any wonder writers can be so neurotic and downright weird? (How about the reality of “i before e except after c? In the last word of the sentence before the parenthesis, the word ‘weird’ does not follow this rule. In fact, a study found that the rule is only correct 38% of the time! There’s a reality for you!).

Sometimes as a writer, I convince myself I know something without truly knowing. Ok, so as people we do this all the time, right? We may guard against doing this, but somewhere, sometime, someplace we find out we were…what? Mistaken? Wrong? Incorrect? Misled? Whatever label I wish to place on my faux pas, reality must take up residence in my thought processes. I wrestle with some, especially the “high concept” realities of conventional writing vs creative license. My struggle in this area stems from the talking heads and pundits who scream you must write in a rule-laden prison, constantly slaving at the jots and tittles of writing instead of allowing yourself to fling your imagination and creativity to the cosmic winds of chaos.

I do realize the reality of a certain level of conformity being necessary for the end user – the reader. Yet my inner truth and reality screams and shouts that creativity needs elbow room. No, more than elbow room. Creativity needs galaxies of room. Creativity needs a time and place where one thought may never run into another or that one thought may run into godzillion other thoughts. I cannot believe, by the way, that my spell checker did not red-mark the word “godzillion.” Now I must go look it up. I thought I was creating a new word! Lol!

Godzillion – my online dictionary asks me if I meant “gazillion” which means: an extremely large, indeterminate number.

Back to the point. Creativity, in my personal reality, loves my access points where I go in without a plethora of rules, regulations, and restrictions. That stated, my creativity loves when I enter with ideas and assumptions and dreams which all crave sculpting, definition, or life. When I enter the creative process and allow these ideas, assumptions, dreams, stories, etc room to stretch their wings and soar, this becomes the “writer’s thrill.” That place where I get lost in the words and concepts and truths which fly at me, with me, through me, and I come out on the other side with something which previously did not exist in this exact form.

Ah, but realities of the outside world, that place external to my mind and heart, love to storm my stronghold, my creation and attempt to blow the writing down. Sometimes the external realities indeed demolish the writing. Most often, though, my writing stands, however wobbly that stance may be. One of the critical concepts I cling to in my writing life as well as my personal life is the fact that the majority of these “external realities” stem from someone else’s reality encroaching on mine. I must decide whether to stand firm or buckle.

I realize this post is taking place in my own little mind and that some, possibly many or most readers will not necessarily follow what I’m attempting to say. That’s true of everything we write, at least in my own reality. For those who get what I’m saying, those who actually feel a connection to this text sprayed on this screen (god I hope someone does! lol!), this post exists for you. And me. For I truly write for myself as much as I write for others.

I wrestle, in respect to writing, with reality. No matter whether I’m writing fiction, nonfiction, poetry, essay – doesn’t matter. I wrestle with creating something consumable. I fly my internal universes of chaotic creativity with the express purpose of returning with raw nuggets of truths. Writing becomes an adventure. A happy place. A sad place. A frightening place. An enlightening place. When I return to this world you’re reading now, my perpetual hope and desire remains that something I emerge with, held in these symbols we call text, words, sentences, paragraphs – ideas – helps you the reader in some form or fashion.

My view of writing, for now, sees the process as a challenge to my external realities. I know what I’m thinking when I write. Can I convey these thoughts and concepts to someone living another reality? Isn’t this what we do as writers? For me, this is the truth which drives me – will my truth, my reality, connect with others and will my writing help me connect dots in my own life? The writing endeavor truly gets defined by the journey.

My sparring time with external realities now commences. As I prepare to click the “Publish” button, I’m easing out of my creative chaos hoping I’ve snatched something of importance to someone. I feel I have indeed snagged something of importance for myself which always stands as enough for me to continue this writing life. Retention becomes the next challenge! Lol! “Go write and you won’t go wrong!” That’s my book title and it’s my personal mantra. Don’t allow external realities crush your spirit. Use them to grow your writing into the garden you desire to create.