A Writer’s Demons

Oct 5, 2020 | NaNoWriMo Diaries, On Writing

“Creative minds never sleep.”

I had a strange dream early this morning.

In it, I woke up to a figure looming at the foot of my bed. My eyes adjust to the low light and I could make out this attractive, sharply dressed man in a tux. The Givenchy kind. You know, a real hot-shot.

I try to move but I can’t. I’m frozen still on my bed and I watch with wide eyes as the man reproduces, from behind his back, a bundle of sheets.

(Get your mind out of the gutter if you saw that going another direction!)

My heart’s pounding as he makes his way over to my side of the bed. 

I still can’t move, not even as he flaunts the stack of sheets above my face, swinging it from side to side.

I watch in horror as he then drops my manuscript into a brown cardboard box, takes out a lighter, shoots me this god-awful smirk, and then lights my dreams up on fire.

I bolted awake at 7 a.m., seconds before my alarm went off. I scanned the room for a burning book and Givenchy-wearing asshole (not necessarily in that order,) then kicked off my sheets and got started with the first day to begin my early morning routine change – my stomach in knots the whole while.

Was my nightmare possibly induced by the fact that I watched a cinematic masterpiece, by the name of Se7en, the previous night?

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Perhaps.

But the fact that my insecurities on my writing manifested in the form of my usually friendly muse donning a tux that screamed EVIL was not the creative inspiration I needed.

It’s been a while since I’ve done some fiction-writing and the guilt has been gnawing away at me the entire time.

There used to be a time when I would race home after school just so I could type into a blank Word doc until my fingers felt like they were going to fall off. I used to carry around a small, leather-bound diary with me everywhere, in case that itch to put something down on paper struck.

And it always did! While I was taking the bus, grocery shopping or even during the middle of a work call. I used to do justice to those sudden bursts of inspiration.

But now – I’ve let the fear of whether my writing is good enough stop me from even trying. 

Now that I’m actively pursuing my dream to get traditionally published, the path seems a lot darker. Scarier.

I’ve been creating stories in my head for as long as I can remember; stories that I wish to share with the world. I used to write for myself but when I gathered up the courage to start sharing my work with people, I realized through the smiles, laugh, and sometimes tears on my reader’s faces that my words carried weight.

Suddenly, it wasn’t just about me and my writing. My world grew, and with it, my dreams. Even if my story resonates with just one single soul somewhere in the world, that will be enough.

My words carry weight, yes, but they find meaning in the hearts of my readers.

I think that’s what scares me. What if that meaning is not found? Or more accurately, what if it’s not good enough to be found? Slowly rebuilding that confidence in myself and my fiction writing is something I need to do well before November comes knocking around.

I think I might start off by doing more of what got me into writing in the first place:

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