Addiction and the Creative Types(In My Opinion)

Addiction:  the condition of being addicted (to a habit), spec. the habitual use of narcotic drugs.

Creative:  (3) having or showing imagination and artistic or intellectual inventiveness(creative writing).  —- Webster’s New World Dictionary

I’m a writer:  Creative.  Word lover.  Avid reader.  Imaginative.  Deep down there’s a pull to make believe; the desire to convince others that my imaginary friends are living, breathing human beings.  My mind is alive with various characters, dialogue, settings, and plot lines.  A chaotic place indeed.

But what is the correlation between addiction and creative people?  Is it because we have so much inner turmoil constantly brewing that we struggle to numb; to quell our demons?  Reaching for just a few minutes of quiet respite?

Some forms of addictions I am acutely aware of:  Sex, drugs, alcohol, money, food, and even work; just to name a few of the better known ones.  A beloved author of mine was besieged by his own inner demons:  Edgar Allan Poe.

I still drink at times though older now I have learned to control it.  But it my younger days I’d go all out.  A mind crowded with thoughts and ideas to the point that either I wanted to either scream or numb it so that it could be controlled.  Addictions find us in a frightening place.  Sometimes I believe we rather not get the help so as to keep the juices of creativity flowing.  Maybe we see our addictions as helping us be part of the bigger picture.  To let us taste of the real world.  To help us understand humanity on a deeper level.  To make our character more real to those we are fortunate enough to have read our words.

Creative types are continually striving to create.  We cannot put down that pen, brush, or instrument.  We have learned not to fit the sway creativity hold over us.  It is near impossible to still the hand, the heart, or the mind.  Like air and water, creating is what keeps us alive; nourishes our souls.  Without it, we are at a loss.

So if you have a child who decides, at a tender age, to pick up a pen, or a brush, or an instrument, or whatever they desire to do, do not discourage them.  Even if you yourself feel bound to do one of these, do it!  For it is the creative types who eventually change the world.

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The Best of Intentions

In the beginning, when I decided that I wanted to have a blog, my intentions were good.  I had set my heart on posting at least once a week, but, as you probably know, I’ve failed at that attempt.  My heart, though in the right place in wanting to do, can’t do much for keeping my promise to myself.  As a writer, not paid but still always a writer, I feel a lot of guilt over not accomplishing my goal of writing on a daily basis.  I just completed NaNoWriMo last month, which was also my first attempt at the 30-day challenge.  I am glad to say that I did complete the challenge and under the 30-days, by four.  I loved it!  I now realize that I have no excuses not to sit my butt down in a chair at my writing table.  I realized that I can whip words out quite easily, but it is the editing that is a bite in the ass!  Coming up with ideas was not a challenge to me.  My many uncompleted short stories can attest to that.  It is finishing them.  Because I know that when they have been completed, that means that the editing process must begin.  And that scares the hell out of me! 

Writing is my passion, yes, but along with having a great love for words, I have a total fear of rejection.  That’s why I found the 30-day challenge so refreshing.  I didn’t need to worry about editing it.  That will come later, if I so choose to submit it for publication.  I find it frightening to turn around and slice and dice my stories.  One does get attached to one’s imaginary friends.  Or at least I do.  You love them into existence and then you have to massacre the hell out of your manuscript to make it just right.  I struggle with that.  That’s why I am constantly trying to find just the right words, even from the beginning of a new piece.  Maybe that’s part of my fear.  Fear of not having it just right.  Fear of an editor scratching his or her head and wondering why in God’s name did I even submit this piece of junk.  I want them to like it.  I want them to understand where I’m coming from.  Sometimes it is from a happy place, other times it is wrenched out of the darkness from my soul. 

We have those moments as writers.  Please.  Please.  Please.  Be gentle with my characters.  They are fragile.  Just as I am.  I want to know that I have talent.  I want to be able to share this with the world.  I don’t need fame or riches, just the opportunity to share my thoughts, feelings, and voice with the world.  All I’m asking for is a chance to get out there, to be heard.  I love to write.  I love words.  I don’t want to be hurt.  But I also don’t want to live in the constant state of fear of rejection.  Can you relate?

November is Almost Here!

Okay, just to let you all know that yesterday I signed up to compete(well, against myself) in writing a 50,000 word rough-draft novel in just 30 days. NANOWRIMO will be my very first attempt at this. A definite challenge for a writer who has difficulty finding time to write. But I figured I’d challenge myself, and this would definitely be a challenge. A challenge to my excuses, and a challenge to my imagination, and a challenge to my will-power. Can I do this? Will I make the deadline? What am I to write about? Do I go with a novel idea already partially started or with a completely new idea?

Any encouragement would be greatly appreciated. That extra push is always a great motivator. Has anyone done this challenge already? Is anyone out there attempting this one this year, like I am?

The last few days I am going through the Thesaurus and jotting down words to describe walking. Yes, walking. Why? I am trying to be inventive in describing how people in my fiction move. And there a many ways to describe: Stroll, stride, meander, amble…okay, I don’t want to bore anyone. I find it lots of fun, and entertaining, to begin the editing process. I am excited to finish up a piece and getting the chance to submit it. I know that this fear of rejection must be wadded up like used tissue(ick) and tossed into the trash. As writers, we know that fear can suck the creativity right out from underneath us. We cannot let that happen to us. We have a dream we must cling to. Never release it because of fear. Don’t allow anyone else to discourage you either. Do your best and always, always believe in yourself and your abilities. Write on, my fellow creative types. Until next time.

WRITING IS GOOD FOR THE SOUL

Okay.  Okay.  I actually got up at 4:40 this morning and felt psyched and ready to write.  No coffee.  No nothing to help wake me up.  Just me and my thoughts.  So far so good.  I have my laptop fired up, and my works-in-progress ready to go.  My brain is ready to play too.  I meant to write for an hour, but wrote instead for about a half hour.  Better luck next time?  Maybe it’ll take me a few tries at getting up early to finally get moving and my fingers flying over the keys.  But, hey, it’s a start.  And I’ll take it. 

What I’m enjoying now is going on different writing websites and author’s blogs and checking out all the helpful and informative articles and thoughts of fellow bloggers/writers.  What are some of your favorites?  Who are some of your favorite writers?  Me personally, in the romance category they would be:  Lori Foster, Karen Robards, Heather Graham, Kat Martin, and Lora Leigh.  In the thriller category:  Vince Flynn(R.I.P.), Mark Greaney, and Alex Berenson.  But my book collection is vast and diverse.  I’m always looking for new authors to discover and enjoy. 

Writing is good for the soul.  It can lead to self-discovery.  It can help us understand the world around us.  It can also help us temporarily escape the world around us while engrossed within the pages of a fascinating book.  Do I make sense?  Does anyone else out there feel that way too?  Am I going in all sorts of different directions at one time?  Am I even able to gather these thoughts together without them running all over the place?  Be it poetry, fiction, non-fiction; I love it all.  Writing is liberating.  Like throwing off one’s clothes at a nudist colony(okay, maybe that one’s a stretch).   

I am a firm believer that a writer is a voracious reader, always hungry for more thrills, romance, interesting characters and great plot lines.  New worlds out there to discover.  We can be swept up into the past, remain in the here and now, or travel into the future.  I will never grow tired of words.  They are what makes the world go round.  The much-needed form of communication to bring people together.  May we, as writers, continue to strive to set the literary world aflame with our brilliance, our dedication, and our love of the written word.  Happy Writing.

My Love Of Words

Okay, I have something to confess:  I like to read the dictionary.  I enjoy finding new words in the English language to add to my writing repertoire(oop, had to spell check that one).  I am a big fan of websites that e-mail you a new word a day.  Love it!  I am always on the hunt to learn new words and what they mean.  My favorite course in school was always English.  Never understood the workings of grammar very well, but I’m still learning.

Okay, I know that one needs to understand the mechanics of said grammar to be an accomplished writer, but again, I’m still learning.  But I’m thankful for the many websites that make learning grammar fun and educational.  I must admit, also, that I love the process of writing itself.  Even if it isn’t creative writing, I like the flow of the pen upon the sheet of paper.  It relaxes me for some reason and I enjoy the feeling

I’ve been creatively writing since the fourth grade.  I remember sharing a poem with my classmates a few years later about being alone on an island and how they laughed at that.  Oh well, so much for sharing one’s work!  Maybe that’s why I still have a difficult time of allowing others to read my short fiction.  I do not want to look the fool.  But deep down I believe that I was born with the gift to write, or at least a strong desire to do so.

I believe that writing creatively saved my life.  By transferring my angst onto paper, it helped protect my sanity and allowed me that small silver thread to grasp on to, just barely.  During those bullied years, suicide was on my mind a lot.  But again, writing saved me from doing something stupid, something permanent.

Seeing the world through a writer’s eyes can be dizzying and terrifying all in the same thought process.  I have such an active imagination that sometimes my own thoughts weird me out.  I can see things in my head as though they were happening like a movie on a screen.  I get that when I read a really good book, like I am currently.  (Plug for Mark Greaney’s The Gray Man series).

It was S.E. Hinton’s “The Outsiders” book that made me want to be a writer.  Her books inspired me and I will always remember what I felt reading those books.  Being taken away from reality into another’s creative thought process was almost like a high for me.  If that makes any sense.  I’ve also been enthralled by To Kill A Mockingbird, and Pearl Buck’s, “The Good Earth”.

Now I am contemplating taking an on-line writing course through the local community college.  I just desire to learn as much as possible about the creative process.  It is like air to me.  It  is what I desire in life:  to be a published writer; to see my name in print.  I don’t need to rake in millions of dollars or have endless fame, I just want to say that I had fulfilled my dreams as a writer.  Publication, and to know that perhaps somewhere out there, I ignited a spark inside someone else soul with a desire to write.