To Write or Not to Write

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

That was the question for MANY years! Today, I am drawn to write again and I feel fortunate that the words are flowing freely. I never know what tomorrow may bring and I don’t take my gift for granted. Please keep that in mind as you read the rest of this post.

Let me tell you a story starting with last year (2018) when I decided to write a novel (one of many) that had been brewing inside me for a few years. I started writing with ease. The characters came to life in no time and I was discussing them with my closest friends and family as though they were real. I even shared a brief synopsis with others who wanted me to write more and were anxiously awaiting the final product.

I had to work hard to keep these characters alive and work on my story-line every day. If I spent too much time away from them, they felt old and stale; then, they were harder to summon when I needed to apply them to the paper (actually, the Word Document). I not only kept the characters alive, but completed THIRTEEN entire page-turning chapters and then the unthinkable happened… I lost EVERYTHING! I am sure you must be wondering how I could forget not to back up my writing. I will get to that part of the story momentarily. I do still have a summary and I know the general direction I was going with my story. But, when I lost all of that work, that painful moment froze as though I had lost multiple loved ones in an accident. In a sense, I did. I lost my characters and there was an accident. Or was there? Maybe some people would look into their memories and conjure up a version of what was there previously, but that is not the case for me. My writing is often “other worldly.” I’ll leave it at that since some of you might stop reading if I elaborate too much.

Here is the part that was epic… I not only saved my work to my hard drive, but also uploaded the document to my e-mail and finally, saved to a flash drive. Maybe that sounds paranoid, but I have lost work previously and I didn’t want to take any chances on it happening again. I really never trust anything but pen and paper. But, since I don’t write fast enough to put all my thoughts on paper, I type.

What was left on the hard drive was a blank document. On the flash drive, I had a heading for my table of contents. In my e-mail that I had checked the previous day (and I had it saved in my drafts), I had nothing! It was almost as though none of it had ever been written.

Since then, I questioned whether or not that book was supposed to be written. It was extremely dark. Yes, I am a true dichotomy; a person who lives by day in gratitude, meditation, optimism and writes dark, macabre pieces of work in the evenings.

Photo by Carolina Pimenta on Unsplash

Have you ever seen the 1993 movie, “The Good Son” with Macauley Culkin? Considering all the movies and books out that contain horrific images and stories, that one isn’t as bad as some. However, in 1993, I was the assistant manager of a theater in California. There were 2 boys who lived in my neighborhood who came to see the movie. The moment my employee sold tickets to their mom, I began thinking and that thought process changed my life. I actually tried to talk her into letting her boys see a different movie, but she was determined. Their mother was basically an absentee parent who allowed the boys to do whatever they wanted. The boys weren’t old enough to see that movie, but she bought the tickets for them, gave them money for the concession stand and then left. These were the same boys who put a snake in an elderly neighbor’s mailbox; they didn’t need any ideas! (It wasn’t a poisonous snake and luckily, no one was actually harmed, but it wasn’t the point). I ‘d even had my own dealings with these boys; if they had put the snake in my mailbox, I would be writing to you from prison. Anyway, without parental supervision, they were coming to see a movie about a boy who was extremely depraved. I started wondering if the movie should ever have been produced and even further, I wondered if the script should ever have been written.

Do you see where I am going with this thought process? Feel free to comment! If you are interested in this blog, I am interested in knowing what you think!

One of the books I had planned to write many years ago was about the torture and dehumanization of a woman. What if that fell into the wrong hands and some psychopath used it as a blueprint to harm someone? After all, it was a mostly true story and not actual fiction. It had already happened; it could easily happen again. But, this time, I could be “responsible” for some horrific crime that someone committed… And, I still have to look at myself in the mirror each morning. So, I stuffed my thoughts and stifled my creativity. I quit writing… for years! People had told me that I could have been the next Stephen King. I did and do still have some brilliant ideas that have never been written. But, they are so dark.

Why would I write about this on a blog that is about optimism, meditation, gratitude, being your best self? I have a simple answer… That dark side will always be a part of me, whether I access it or not. I am more interested in knowing what this audience would think about that type of writing than any other audience. After all, at the very end of the day, when all the dark thoughts are tucked away, I retreat into meditation and peaceful sleep.

Photo by Zohre Nemati on Unsplash

As always, thank you for taking the time to read!

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