T.S Eliot once said that “The purpose of literature is to turn blood into ink” – this guy knew he was talking about. There is something truly masochistic about being a writer at times. You could sit down, all pumped up about having enough free time to bang out a few chapters but then your brain switches off and all you hear is white noise inside your head.
NO power on earth could give you an idea right now.
You’re more likely to have a Capuchin monkey jump out of your nose and slap you round the face.
I have learnt that inspiration does not take kindly to command performances, so instead I try to pretend I don’t need it. I try to trick my brain into thinking that things are going really well and I don’t at all regret adding that transvestite private detective in chapter four…
This unfortunately never works. This is because inspiration can also smell fear.
Getting a book down on paper is like catching Mexican jumping beans with your bully button. It’s harder than it looks. I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I blame Daddyo for this. He used to tell me bedtime stories but always forgot where he left off the night before. Out of pure frustration I started to write them all down in a big notebook as a prompt. Which is when Daddyo suggested I start writing some of my own stories. I have been scribbling and typing away ever since.
What I love about writing is that you create a whole world that nobody else knows about. Characters, worlds and scenarios start to take form using the power of your imagination. You can commit murder, find true love, fight an epic battle – and showers are almost exclusively reserved for reenacting scenes and testing dialog. To the point that I’m pretty sure my boyfriend thinks I’m schizophrenic.
Unfortunately, with the onset of adulthood HAVING the time to write is a miracle in itself. With a full-time job as a PA and all my spare time gobbled up doing the other 355,000 inane little tasks I am required to do on a daily basis – it gets really hard to find a few moments out of my day to tell everyone to go fuck themselves because I’m doing something for me. So I write wherever I can. On toilet paper, napkins, my phone, notepads, on my palm and I bunch it all together and offer it up to the literary gods. My desk is a veritable shrine as I burn incense, light candles and all but smear on war paint and dance naked under a full moon.
But when all the planets are in the right alignment I can lose a whole day glued to my keyboard.
Two chapters become three chapters become four chapters.
This feels a lot like finally dislodging a bit of apple from between your teeth using nothing but the power of your own tongue. Glorious. Inside my head, I’m making orgasm noises. Believe me – it’s a welcome change from beating my head against my desk.
The initial beginning of my book is entirely different from the beginning I now have. Which is a relief, because in retrospect the original was total crap. The upshot is that’s what first drafts are for. My problem was reviewing what I had written over and over until I never really moved past that page to the next section of the story. I was so hung up on being perfect that I didn’t let it all hang out and flow on the page. It’s SUPPOSED to be crap. Not totally crap, but there’s supposed to be about 77% of cringe in your first full draft. The point is writing the damned thing from beginning to end. Don’t stop, don’t look back, don’t review – just plow on until you reach that goddamn end then go back and review. That’s the best advice that I have ever been given and something I am currently sticking to as we speak.
Don’t get me wrong, there are moments when I want to throw my computer through the nearest window… but I’m being strict with myself and it’s actually working. All I know is I need to finish my manuscript. Even if it kills me, I am finishing this goddamn thing. I’ve reactivated my Watpadd account and I’m trying to get a decent chapter published on it by the end of next week. Something meaty that potential readers can get their teeth into until I manage a few more. You can find me under AnnieRoxlin if you ever decide you want to buckle up and join me on this particular emotional rollercoaster ride.
In case you were wondering, I decided on a ghost name because I’m deeply mysterious like that.
Excuse the initial shitness. Like I said, I just reactivated, started writing and I’m ploughing through to the end before I allow myself to glance in my literary rear view mirror. What you see now is what I believe is called “raw material.” Which sounds like a big, gaping, pussy sore – and I guess that describes it perfectly actually.
I have a handful of followers already. Only eight – but one of them seems to be a bit of an old hand at this, with 15 published works under her belt and 1.4k followers to boot. Amazingly she messaged me to say that she liked my work and was looking forward to reading more. This is both encouraging and terrifying at the same time.
I mean, no pressure or anything.
An actual author wants to read more of my stuff. How the hell did that happen?
It’s a good sign, right?…
Well, I guess we’re about to find out.