Wednesday, May 13, 2015

On writing

When I first picked up my pen and started scribbling about a man who'd taken a girl to bed and woke up in the morning to find her decapitated head on his nightstand, it was easy. The words flowed like water allowing the characters to jump from my imagination like true people in the world. Then all at once, it stopped. I hit a wall and just couldn't figure out how to pass through it so, I gave up. Then I wrote 30 pages about a boy chosen to protect the world from and evil scientist but when he crossed into a new dimension, I couldn't find the right words and I quit again.

I can continue through the dozen or so stories gathering dust in my documents folder, but we don't have that much time. The truth is I always believed writing to be an easy (an well paying) job. You sit down to a computer, pound out a hundred thousand words and make millions. That's all there is too it, right?


Writing is the hardest thing I have ever done and I'm raising a hormonal over achieving middle schooler, a strong willed pre-teen and a destructive monkey boy. They're cake compared to Katrina and Landon and all the vampires surrounding them. I've found that the trick is in the determination and open mindedness. No matter the storyline, there are going to be hiccups along the way. A writer must disregard social stigma and allow ideas to flow onto paper and those pesky writer's blocks will not be so frequent.

In the four year process of writing Taken, I realized a few things. First of all, writing is debilitating and invigorating all at the same time. You create these characters and these worlds and think you have utter control over them but, you're dead wrong. A strong creation will build their own personalities and take control of the story without you ever realizing. A good writer is simply a typing tool. Katrina is no longer my creation but a strong person herself.

Right now, you think I've fallen off the deep end. I haven't. Katrina was never supposed to be a Hunter and Landon was never supposed to fall in love with her. He was supposed to be turned and she was supposed to die at his hand!

The other, and most important, thing I've learned is that writing does not manifest itself into dollar signs. Simply sitting here and pouring my heart and soul onto paper will not make me a millionaire tomorrow. Don't write for fame and fortune. Write because you love it. Write hard and pray.

Let me return to my point. Writing is hard. You start with an idea that grows with vigor and ease. You type like the world depends on your words per minute. Then, unexpectedly, you find yourself stuck and staring at a condemning cursor blinking insults at you. Determination is the only thing that kept Taken from become an inactive member of the documents folder.

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