I haven’t done a post on writing in such a long time. I don’t mean my writing I mean the subject in general. Looking around my desk I see my writing tools – a copy of The Elements of Style, a copy of The Anatomy of Story by John Truby and my Kindle. The latter of those also doubles as a dictionary.
Writing for me has always been my way of dealing with life when it comes at you with a nuclear warhead strapped to it. This warhead comes in many forms. It can be the death of loved one, a child lost in miscarriage, a parent who no longer cares or when you have to start over from scratch. All of these have driven me to write at one time or another. Life deals you things you never thought possible and then it kicks you and beats you and wants you to tap out.
I thought of tapping out a long time ago. It is something that came to me at my darkest times that brought me through, I could write. I never really learned to use it to my advantage and grasp my writing and use it to beat life into a tap out. At least not until a few years ago. My writing used to be something I shared with my friends and family, until I started to take it serious.
Taking my writing serious changed my writing and the way I looked at the stories coming to me. I started by stopping people from reading a WiP. The reason I don’t let people (except those critiquing and editing) read is because it always became a distraction. The questions _What is that one character you told me about doing?, _What is this new story about? _How far are you on that story you told me about? and the one I hate, _So, are you still writing that book? All of these questions became a distraction to the writing process. Instead of being rude when these questions are asked I have an answer: I am writing, that is all I will say now.
Giving any more than that feels like I am just feeding a giant plant that is going to want more food. Leave them guessing about my current project is what I have done instead of feeding the plant. There are genuine people who want to know and then the ones who like to pick you apart. I was bullied in Middle School, I’m not going to put up with it at 35. I think a lot of my thought on writing came from being bullied. The stories I write now are definitely taken from what I felt in that school and during that time of my life.
Alone in the dark with no one to care, that is what life felt like then. I know my parents don’t know how rough school was or they would have done something about it. We all have our dark times, my darkest was in Middle School. That was also when I started writing down the stories I was thinking, it only took one teacher to encourage me.
I love the stories I have seen lately about talking to your teenage self. There are so many things I would say to my 14-year-old self, things that now that I am older seem trivial. Nothing at 14 seemed trivial, not with the hell my life was then. Being that person and being treated the way I was by people I cared about, that was the roughest part of it. Someone thinking so highly of me that they thought I would make a good ditch digger just exudes how much confidence they had in me.
My writing and my family, when I say my family I am referring to my wife, two kids and dog. I have other family members but one thing some people don’t understand is I keep those I trust in my inner circle and not those that make choices about when they want to be a part of my life. My wife, mother, step-father, and sisters have always understood that about me. If I don’t send you a birthday card, call you on your birthday, Christmas or Father’s Day it is not because I don’t love you. It is because I believe you should love someone for who they are and not for their phone calls, cards or presents.
I love anyone who has been a part of my life, that doesn’t stop when I stop seeing you or talking to you. It never ends, I believe in forgiveness that is who I am.
Writing is my escape from who I used to be, and it brings me back to today and what I am, an unknown unpublished writer who writes for the enjoyment it gives me. I got something the other day from someone on Twitter that totally describes the changes in my writing. It is a great read and I suggest you check it out here.
Did not intend for this to be a rant about life. Apparently I needed to get things off my chest. Remember to those being bullied, regardless of who the bully is life gets better.