This week has been a nightmare when it comes to making progress with my writing; I’ve made minuscule advancement in my projects. I’ve been told numerous times that writer’s block does not really exist and there are ways around it. I do not believe that for a second; the struggle is real and writer’s block is true aggravation.
So in lieu of making real progress on my shorts or second novel I’ve decided to let my mind wander a bit; allowing my fingers to begin typing without any rhyme or reason.
This has let me to an interesting question I have been asking myself recently; Why do I enjoy writing anyway?
It’s been the cause of a lot of frustration lately, and I feel like I spend more time suffering from the mythical writer’s block than I do actually writing. All that considered I still would be lying if I said I don’t love to write.
So why do writers write?
The short answer is quite simple; because they have a passion for it. I am still an unpublished, no-name in the literary world but I recognize the ambition that drives the industry. To be a successful writer you need to have a passion for the craft; always wanting to get better, always trying to tell a story.
Even the two authors I continually use as the personification of everything wrong with the industry cannot be denied this trait. Stephanie Meyer and EL James are not great writers; in my opinion I would not include them among “good” writers. The mindless narrative and underwhelming characters of their tales are as believable as muppets.
EL adopting her twilight fanfic into an atrocious interpretation of a modern day BDSM relationship. The basis for her story is quite gripping; I will give her that. I think there is plenty of potential for a good, compelling story to be written where a suave, billionaire persuades a naive young woman into one of these contracts. There’s a great commentary on where to draw the line between what is a healthy submissive relationship vs an abusive one. On the surface people who are not familiar with the lifestyle have trouble differentiating between the two. Where is the line drawn where it stops being a woman making a voluntary decision to enter herself into a dominant/submissive relationship, and starts being an issue of brainwashing into believing she wants something when she really don’t.
Seriously, this could be an incredible psychoanalysis of less conservative human relations… the problem is that it was written as tween porn in the vain of Twilight. I will say right now that I’m basing this opinion strictly on my experience with the first novel of the trilogy and what I’ve seen of the even worse-composed movie… if the later installments are improved than I offer apologies for my conjecture. But EL James is not a good writer, but she is a successful one.
Why is that?
Most people would chalk it up to just coming along with the right book at the right time; it’s true that is a big part of it. What I think is more prominent here is that although the talent isn’t there; the passion is. EL completely enthralled herself with her story; she would have to in order to writer and publish a full trilogy of novels.
This is what makes writers write. Passion.
To get a little more specific I think writers have at least a small case of a God complex. Seriously, I am almost certain this is the biggest drive for me to get to the keyboard and pound out a narrative. When you’re writing you control everything.
While I’m sitting here staring at the blank canvas in front of me it can become very overwhelming; nothing is impossible. When you are the one at the keyboard and you begin to script your journey for the characters, you can make anything happen. There are no limitations.
For example I could do this right now:
Janus, NL is a city that is subject to a very unique astrological event. Between 2003-2010 there have been so many seismic events, like earthquakes and hurricanes, that the Earth’s rotation has been affected. Since 2010, every three months Janus finds itself shaded from the sun; this causes a 72hr night for its residence.
There you go. In a few short lines I’ve managed to literally changed the way the Earth rotates and now my fictitious city now has a very strange aspect about it. Does this make sense in a real world setting? I honestly have no idea. In all honesty I would do a lot more research first before doing something that catastrophic… but the point is it doesn’t matter how plausible it is for the real world. It’s in writing, and Janus is my city. Therefore I can make this happen.
My characters now live in a city that experiences a 3 night long period of darkness. Considering Janus is home to many ghouls and creatures this new development would have enormous effect on how some of these stories play themselves out.
Of course, this is strictly non-canon so it isn’t something I will implement.
This freedom is so liberating. Reading is a great escape from the real world but for the writer I think nothing compares to stilling at your computer/typewriter/legal pad, and free roaming into some far away world in you mind just waiting to come to life in your words.
I think the God complex expresses why someone would have a passion for writing, but that doesn’t necessarily play a solo role in what they write and why the write the way they do.
I would be a fool if I neglected to mention the power that writing shares with all forms of artistic expression… which is simply expression.
I’ve used writing entries for The World Is Broken as well as my own short stories to help me cope with whatever I happen to be feeling at the time of the writing. Sometimes it’s very blatant and I will end up writing a fantasized version of something traumatic or memorable in my life; in turn it will help me rationalize it in my head and get over it… other times it can be more subtle. There is a character in my novel who is a fictionalized older version of the daughter of one of my friends who tragically passed away a number of years ago; it’s something I still deal with.
Using this character, protecting her and seeing her rise to the situations I put her in feels like a form of honoring my lost friend while still channeling it into (what I hope is) compelling literature for others to read. I want people to able to enjoy my writing without realizing how therapeutic it can be.
This is why I write…why I want to be a writer… and why writer’s block is SO DAMN ANNOYING… it’s like blue balls & constipation at the same time… *ahem* Sorry, got a little carried away.