The Stories In My Head

So. . . I ripped down my old website and decided to redo it new, different. . . trying to change things up. I did this partially because I was tired of the old but also because I have had an epiphany. . .one that was rather strange and oddly disturbing to me. It was, none the less, a good thing even if I kind of felt stupid afterwards.

This epiphany began after reading things by three people and each of them played a part in the understanding of one of my major failings as a writer. . . or rather. . . a wanna be writer. Even though I have put out books of erotica and I think they were good and people have enjoyed them and all, they were not what I really want to write. They were not what I really dream of writing.

I was told once a piece of advice from a very learned person that I should write, whatever and whenever I could. Find a job that paid me to write and it did not matter what I wrote as long as I was writing. It would improve my craft and help me develop my own style of writing. This was sage advice but I took that advice and ran in circles with it. I didn’t build a jumping off point to write what I dreamed instead I wrote the same thing, over and over. Not that erotica is not fun to write and it is kind of a sexual thrill to know that my dirty thoughts can inspire other people’s dirty thoughts . . . intellectual exhibitionism, flashing my mind at people. So I was paid by websites to write erotica and I just kept on doing that, short stories that titillated people.

In my mind though I kept writing great novels, science fiction, horror, crime. . .all kinds of genres. I would work an idea into a story, into a novel idea and even, at times, into a whole series of novel ideas. Then I’d write more erotica because, it was easier and the feedback was much faster. All the while I kept thinking to myself (and also telling others as well but only in such a way as to sound cool and very intellectual) that I had 5 novels written in my head. . . .8 novels. . . .16 novels all written in my head. It actually made me feel good to think that all I had to do was write them down and I’d be an instant hit.

Then I started reading the blog of Chuck Wendig who actually does have that many books out and more and a TV show coming and game credits and a blog that is totally awesome. When I read his blog I read it with the voice of the drill sergeant from Full Metal Jacket screaming at me for the most part because his blog and his writing books are all about the work of writing. About actually stopping whining and dreaming and shutting up and doing it. It inspired me to want to write my novels.

Then I began reading  a series of books by William Bernhardt, another person who is all about getting it done. As I read his Red Sneakers Writer series I began to realize, as much as I had ideas for novels in my mind and even snippets of scenes and an entire mental movie of what it was all about and cool scenes and wonderful sound bites of dialog in my head, I didn’t have any novels in there. I had ideas, concepts, and story lines but not novels. It is like having a big pile of boards, boxes of nails, and a hammer and thinking that means you have a house. I had pieces but they were just sitting there collecting dust. They were just raw materials and in no way the novels I had been telling myself and others that I had hidden in my mind. They were just pieces of stuff that could be better stuff but they weren’t because I never bothered assembling them. I never put the work in to them.

Then I happened to remember reading the book by Matt Paxton about hoarders. There is a kind of hoarder I call a Hallmark hoarder. They buy things with the thought of giving them to someone and they experience in their mind the emotional response of that act, just the idea of how happy the person will be with what they have gotten them makes them feel very good. Then, they can’t give it to the person. The reality of the person’s reaction might be less than the emotional feed they have already gotten by thinking about it so they can’t risk losing that feeling. Much like the Hallmark commercials every year where they show someone looking at some dancing Santa and imagining how everyone will laugh about seeing it. . . well that person is screwed cause more than likely people won’t respond that way so they will never share it and hide it away and just think about it and get that emotional high. Then the epiphany came to me. . .

I do that with my writing.

I hoard ideas.

I take the concepts and storylines for what be excellent books and I work on them in my head and then I lock them away. I hide them because the idea of how good the book will be. . .I got that emotional high. The reality might suck. Stories I can risk but the novels, the stuff that I really want to write, that stuff is scary as hell to let out. What if everyone hates it? What if it sucks? What if no one even notices it?

So I hoard my ideas in my head, I keep those raw materials hidden away. I hint at them and cover the highlights sometimes talking to people but, that is just the movie trailer. The work of writing that novel, the risk of writing that full story with all the connecting bits so that it is more than just an idea for a book but a full novel. . . that is scary, it is a risk.

So I hoard novels in my head. The same as any hoarder I resisted the fact, I justified, I deflected and I denied. I always had a reason not to do it. I always had a reason that the future was a better time. Time and time again I started and then distracted myself with writing some erotic bits that deflected me away from what I really dream of writing. Don’t get me wrong, like I said I do love writing erotica. But it is not my dream. So now, with the help of these three men I have never and most likely will never meet, I have forced myself to look in the mirror and see the truth. Now it is up to me and that is what this blog will be about. Some old stuff will pop up I am sure as I go along. But I have started on my first novel. It is going well so far but I have to periodically stop myself from diverting away from it. . . .I periodically have to replay the drill sergeant screaming at me “stop screwing around, bitching and moaning  and just write!”

Hi, my name is David. I’m a story hoarder. I am 14k words into my first novel and it is both wonderful and terrifying to put the words down. It is a risk to who I have viewed myself as but  I am going “to be” rather than “to dream”. I am going to be a writer.

Welcome to my blog.

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