Writer's Block

A to Z 2017: WRITING & WRITER'S BLOCK

A to Z 2017: WRITING & WRITER'S BLOCK

This year for the A to Z Challenge 2017 I'm trying something completely different... vlogging! That's right, I'll be putting myself out there on YouTube, talking about who knows what for who knows how long! Come join in the conversation as I talk about a variety of topics throughout April.

Let the rambling begin!

A to Z 2013 : DEMONS

(An A to Z 2013 Challenge Entry)


“When I speak I cross my fingers
Will you know you've been deceived?
I find a need to be the demon
A demon cannot be hurt”
- Guster


Demon lore, and the fascination surrounding it, has existed for centuries and spans across multiple — if not all — cultures; each having their own take on the subject. I’ve never studied demonology, short of some online meanderings, but the topic intrigues me greatly. Do demons really exist? Are they denizens of hell, fallen angels? Extra/interdimensional beings?


Everyone has their own opinion, every religion their own belief. Naturally, I can’t speak for everyone. So I will speak to you on different fronts about demons and the various correlations they have with me. A tale of obsession, A tale of lust, and perhaps a tale of truth and discovery...

Demons of Twilight


Demons of Twilight is the working title of my first Fantasy/Adventure novel; a work in progress. It may be confusing attempting to explain its origins, but I will try.


My main body of work in progress is an expansive Fantasy Adventure epic/saga. In my mind, it expands of the course of three trilogies, and has multiple break-offs from it. I believe part of my 12 year writer’s block spawned from the sheer overwhelming intimidation this created. I struggled and have multiple outlines and many of the events worked down, but it just seemed to be too much. I was trying to start too big.


Everyone told me this, and it annoyed me. Why was it too big? I resolved in my mind that they felt it just wasn’t feasible, or accomplishable. That annoyed me even more. It was the story in me — pulsing and throbbing — the story I wanted to tell. The story I had to tell. Have to tell.


Over time, I conceded to the thought that it was too big of a project to focus on. One of the main factors leading up to this was reading about how publishers/editors would sometimes ask writers to completely change and/or remove characters — main or minor — to fit whatever mold they feel will market best. That is still a fear instilled today.


So I had a plan: Start small, with short stories and/or a stand alone novel. Hopefully get lucky and garnish a following, and gather enough pull to where I’d have control over my writing. Enough to where I could tell X person(s) wanting to change my art to fuck off. Or, I could self-publish. I won’t get into all of that, but it should give some understanding of my thinking at the time. How I still think.


A stand alone novel won out, because — as if it weren’t obvious — brevity is not my strong suit. This is where Demons of Twilight came into conception. The novel would be completely unassociated with the main trilogies. Up to that point, any piece of work I created became associated with the saga. And I have to admit, for a good while, this standalone stood apart from it for a long time.


Then I began writing the prologue and... wait a second... what the hell is this character doing here? He belongs in the trilogies, not here. He is intruding! Get the bloody hell out of here! But, he wasn’t budging, and he had brought along friends. Soon multiple characters from my main saga were present within this standalone. Insisting they belonged. That the book took place in their world, and that its main character was connected to them.


Then the standalone became a trilogy all on its own; a standalone trilogy connected to the other three. I stopped trying to fight its connection to my planned saga, but eventually — like all the rest — it was shelved in the bookcase titled: Writer’s Block.


This triple trilogy was somehow infecting, or rather absorbing, any other pieces of work I’d try to breathe life into. Demons of Twilight fought back, though. It is the best way to describe it. It instilled within the saga an element that wasn’t present: demons.


Now demons are a rampant element not only in the three trilogies, but almost all my other pieces of work. Even modern day projects — the only writing capable of avoiding being sucked into the main trilogies. So I feel the saga characters were correct. Demons of Twilight, and all within, were connected to them. The implementation of the standalone’s demon element fleshed out various storylines existing within it.


All of it was shelved, though. Until this past November’s 2012 NaNoWriMo that is. The standalone trilogy surged forth, once again, and whispered to me its sweet nothings. I know some of the specific reasons why, but it's tied into another topic to be discussed later. So, while I haven’t touched the first book since November, it is officially in progress and will be revisited soon.


What is Love, if You Don’t Hurt Me?


(I debated posting up a disclaimer given I was going to talk about sex briefly, and I am aware there is no age restriction to participate in the A to Z challenge, but I plan to be pretty non-graphic. If a Co-Host could tell me otherwise, if stumbling across this, that would be great)


A departure from my writing association with demons. Once upon a time, I was dating a girl who was incredibly sweet, but suffered from depression. This depression was deepened by the constant barrage of her parents asking her to come home. She was from out of state, but that is a story all on its own. Let’s focus.


There were moments that were great — as there usually is — but eventually the depression got worse. The inability to get a job really sent her spiraling. But, again, there were good times even during this period. It ebbed and flowed.


One night, when making love, our sexual encounter held a nugget of surprise... at least for me. During this specific session my ex became very aggressive, taking control. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love aggressive women. It’s a turn on, but this was a bit different. She overtook me and began having her way with me; placing the palm of her hand on my face, turning my head to the side, and then proceeding to push down.


Now, hmm... I’ve seen this in porn. It usually consists of the males doing it to the women and it's a complete turnoff for me. This, however — I’m not going to lie — kind of excited me. You have to understand this was a fairly timid and shy girl. Any kind of actual sexual aggression was not the norm, and this was extreme in comparison. The pressing down hard on the side of my face, choking, and... the grunting?


So this grunting wasn’t normal. It was guttural, deep and animalistic. It literally reminded me of movies portraying demonic possession. I went along with it, I didn’t have much choice. When finished, and we were laying next to one another, I expressed my surprise with her aggressiveness, but also assuring her it was okay.


That was when she said she felt like she was possessed and that during the act she had the strong desire to hurt me — bad — possibly even kill me; that she didn’t feel completely in control.


Soooooooo... that ruined the moment for me, because she wasn’t joking and poking fun, she was serious. At that point, she went to sleep and I went about calling a co-worker and family member expressing concern for them to call and check up on me periodically. I didn’t give them exact details at first. Hell, I didn’t know if anyone would have believed me; she was a sweet, shy girl.


I then did a little bit of that online researching I spoke about above. There were some sites describing a lot of the recent events going on, and some directly citing some of the specific mannerisms she displayed. But, its the internet, ya know? All I was doing was freaking myself the fuck out. Thankfully, regardless of it being hot within the moment, no similar event took place ever again.


Eventually we broke up and she went back home. The described event had nothing to do with the break up, but rather it was just the course of things. From what I’ve learned, she is more active in church and is doing really, really good now; I’m extremely happy for her!


Saved by the Word Count


Two of three tales shared. That should suffice for now, as this entry is becoming quite long. Sure it’s a lame excuse, but the next tale goes to an even darker place. A place that is hard for me to journey to.


The story involves another kind of demon. The kind the lives within, which we struggle with — sometimes daily — until we gain the courage to stand up and face it. I feel I’ve slowly gained the courage to face this one, and I really want to finally share it. This whole blogging journal is meant to be therapeutic afterall. For me. And to share myself, but this isn’t daisies and rainbows.


So this demon will have an entry all to itself. If I can get myself to write about it. That is the plan, though.


But no promises, and definitely no pinky swears.

Have you ever had an obsession? If so, what? Ever have a creative project that was so intimidating you couldn’t work on it? How did you overcome it? Ever experience a writer’s block? How real are my fears about being told to change my writing when attempting to be published? Do you believe in demons?

THE HARMONIC (DIS)CHORD OF YESTERYEAR

Once upon a time, I had an incredible bout of writer’s block. I will try to pretend that it wasn’t more than a ten year struggle that just recently ended last November. During this time, I was unable to extract the bountiful creations swimming around in my mind. I would think about writing, my writing, all the time. Characters, plots, dialog, etc etc. It was quite maddening; not being able to bring to life my imagination in some tangible fashion.

To those who say writer’s block is a myth, I say: Piss off.

Sure, I can sign on to the various psychological barriers that are self-induced and causes one to be unable to be creatively productive. I get that. Those claiming it is an excuse to be lazy, or that it’s a sign your creative product is shit: Piss-right the fuck-off.

I'm sure I should read the books claiming the latter (and I will eventually) before letting it get me all worked up, but it just comes off to me like a - newly prescribed - jumping on the bandwagon scenario. Perhaps I will sing a different tune once researching more.

I am getting sidetracked, though.

I wanted to point out that, while enduring this block, I was somehow still able to create on a very minor level. Essentially I would write song lyrics (this may seem to contradict my claim of being blocked but... it doesn't to me). I'm not exactly sure why that was. Perhaps because music is such a central force in my life? Because I constantly am making up songs throughout the day? I make up songs about the most random, mundane events. Think Marshall, from How I Met Your Mother. It used to irritate my ex, and does others in general. Someday someone will appreciate it!

So, I thought I would share some of the various songs (lyrics) I wrote over the years. Does the fact I got them out past the writer’s block mean they're not crap? Not at all. They do, however, hold different levels of importance and nostalgia with me. This will be just a sampling, but I will likely offer more as time goes on. I’ve never been good at writing poetry, but I’ve always considered these creations to be on that level.

The poetry of my soul.

Some are fun, some are vulgar, some are emotional, but all coming from somewhere within.

Perhaps someone will enjoy one themselves.

The Beginning is the End is the Beginning

We'll start with the first song lyrics I believe I ever wrote (or at least documented). This would be in the mid-1990s. I remember trying to get a friend to write up some music for it, but it never came to fruition. Creative differences? Ha! Gotta love high school.

-QUICKSAND-

I need your help
But you give me none
Life overwhelms me
And it’s not very fun

I call out your name
But you don’t hear me
Or don’t you listen
Anymore

I am stuck here
Or can’t you see?
I’m stuck in this rut
With nowhere to go

Help me
I’m sinking deeper down
To my death
Within this land
Within this quicksand

You were my everything
My dove
You were the only part of life
That I loved

Help me
I’m sinking deeper down
To my death
Give me your hand
Within this quicksand

You left me
But I still love you now
Even though you can’t seem
To return the vow

Help me
Take my hand
I’ll pull you deeper down
Within this land
Within this quicksand
Quicksand

*     *     *

-THE WEIGHT OF US-

She sits alone
In her room, in the dark
Praying for a change
She wants to
Get away from this life
But she’s too scared to move

She has a dream
That she thinks she can’t reach
That can’t come true
So she dances
Because it sets her free
It sets her free

Keep on dancin’ girl
Cause I know the truth, the truth about you
You hate the world and want to escape
Keep on dancin’ girl
Cause I know the truth, the truth about you
You pray for the pain to fade

He wishes
That he was somebody else
Someone with fame
He wants to
Make so much more of this life
But he can’t seem to move

He needs to
Find out the reasons why
He’s misunderstood
He smiles
Pretending it’s all okay
Everything’s okay

Keep on smilin’ boy
Cause I know the truth, the truth about you
You hate the world and want to escape
Keep on smilin’ boy
Cause I know the truth, the truth about you
You pray for the pain to fade

Keep on dacin’ girl
Keep on smilin’ boy
Someday your pain will fade
Keep on smilin’ boy
Keep on dancin’ girl
Someday your pain will fade

Sometimes the weight of us is enough to hold us down
Sometimes the weight of us is enough to make us drown

*     *     *

-WORRY-

Where has the time gone?
I swear I was a boy just the other day
And where do I go from here?
The future, it scares the shit out of me

And is there love?
Is there someone out there waiting for me?
I thought that I had found this once
But I was wrong and that ended up just a dream

Pre-Chorus
And are the Angel’s above looking down?
Are they laughing, or are they crying for my tragedies?
Should I even worry about what all the others think?
Should I worry?
I can’t worry
I can’t help but worry

Chorus
Will I always be the last one to understand the joke?
Will I always be the only one left standing out in the cold?
When will it be my time, my time to be happy?
You just sit there and stare and all you can say to me is: don’t worry

And where have my walls gone?
I swear I was safe just the other day
And how do I get out of here?
Vulnerabilities scare the shit out of me
And can I believe
In such things as my happy ending?
I hope that I can find this once
Cause if not all of this may have no meaning

Pre-Chorus/Chorus

Break One
Try two days in my shoes
And see if you feel the same
Try two days in my shoes
And see if you can still say
Don't worry

Break Two
Are the angels above looking down?
Are they laughing?
Are the angels above looking down?
Are they crying for my tragedies?

Chorus

*     *     *

The End is the Beginning is the End

Three should suffice. And it seems I left out the more “fun” songs this time around. I think these were some of my more emotional creations; especially the final song Worry, which remains one of my favorites.

As I said, I may share more as time goes on. If not, I am glad to at least have these three up.

Technically I create new songs almost daily, but rarely do I ever write them down, which is a shame. Even if they aren’t the best out there, they are still creations I am missing the opportunity to work with. The ones that keep coming back over time are the ones I eventually document. I figure, they must be coming back for a reason. Makes sense right?

Until next time, try to be more mindful to the poetry of your own soul. What you find may surprise you.