On Writing

What Am I So Afraid Of?

I’m two days away from the end of my writing challenge and I will be honest. I am no where near close to 75,000 words.

The only good thing I can say about this writing challenge is that it got me to write again and that is something I hadn’t done seriously since January 2010.

The funny thing is I know I can write a novel in 30 days. If I took all the days I actually wrote in Barfly, it was twenty-five days of writing across 55 days.

I did it though.

This novel…it has been a hurdle and as I walked Nick da Dawg today, I kept asking myself: Why am I not writing and what am I so afraid of?

It hit me.

I finished Barfly after my mom passed away. It was a way for me to forget the bad and live in an imaginary world that I created. I have long since dealt with the emotions that are related to my mom’s passing. I spent 2010 on a drunken-head-in-the-cloud journey trying to get closure but ultimately ignoring life. I spent 2011 on a spiritual journey of closure and closed the book on December 17, 2011 as I watched the sun rise in Bondi.

When I started the one of many versions of The Night of the Hunter, I knew I needed to start and finish it…a version…any version…this version…but I was afraid to start it because I had just spent two years of my life dealing with the real life darkness that lived in my head and I didn’t want to return to it. I realized I needed to write The Night of the Hunter for peace in my soul. It was draining the creative spark from me and as I sit and stare at the blinking damn cursor, it still drains me because I am afraid that after being with it for so long, I will be alone when it’s gone. Writing, it’s a double edge sword. I want peace for my creative side and I am ready to move onto another novel, but I feel that if I finish this novel I will have to return to reality and it’s rather cozy in the imaginary world that lives my head.

Afraid to start, afraid to end. Afraid to face demons real or imaginary, afraid of creativity ending. Afraid of reality, afraid of the imaginary.

I’m afraid that after I write this novel, there won’t be another in me. I’m afraid that another idea won’t come to me. It’s the novel I need to write, but I’m scared for it to end. It’s been with me so long, like a child growing inside me, but inside of my head. I’m afraid to let it go and let it out.

Knowing this doesn’t make it easier to actually finish it, but it at least gives me an understanding of my own head.

The Night of the Hunter will be written. Corvis and Maia will see the light of day. I will guide them on their journey as they will guide me on mine.

Writing is a solitude job, but in reality, I am never alone. The voices in my head don’t shut up for long. There’s always a knock on a door I cannot see and another character sits down next to me at my imaginary bar and shares a story with me that I must tell the world…