Balanced, like a canary on a wire, I am perched on my chair. My knees ache from being bent so long, holding my weight. Sweat is making my skin feel sticky, my hands are slightly shaking, I forget the basic function of breathing, my eyes burn, my stomach is in knots, and my brain is about to explode as I play the scenes in my head. Conjuring them. Living them. Typing them.
On my best day, this is me writing.
On my worst day, this is me writing.
When this book stuff got started, I had just six folks in my head and a few fledglings. Now, I’m at 47 solid characters and counting.
They are all screaming for release. I want to give it to them. I really do. But how the hell do I do them justice? Their pasts? Their presents? Their futures? I cringe… some may not even have a future.
But that’s not the worst of it. Oh hell no. That’s the fun part.
There are the “others” that come to me too. Every day, like clockwork, the demons of pessimism and ridicule rear their ugly heads and spout nasty words. Those pesky f^ckers sit on my shoulders, whispering my worst nightmares as if they were truths: I’m not good enough at this, writing is a waste of time, they’ll laugh at you, you’re insane, you’re a joke.
Insecurity and Doubt, those are their names. Sometimes Failure joins in the party too. It becomes a ménage-a-trio of dark thoughts looming over me. Damn, they love a good party.
Who can blame them?
I pluck those downers away like beetles on my shirt and focus on my writing, but they flutter around my head in circles. Waiting, watching, taunting. I should probably spray their buzzing asses with Raid, but I don’t have any within reach.
With gusto, I go back to typing. The friendly folks in my world swing their swords and scream battle cries of encouragement my way. Even the nicer demons smile at my attempt to move ahead – those bad boys are kept on a leash though. No worries. No worries.
Glancing at the clock, I note the hour and sigh. I have to join reality soon… just not yet.
More drama ensues – lovers are made, enemies connive, wars rage. I blink and another person enters my world. Oh hell yeah, I already know their destiny. I hold the key to create and to destroy. Let the almighty power trip continue. Huzzah!
I create insane problems and then smack my head when I don’t know how to get out of them properly… and preferably with mind-blowing cliffhangers. Seriously, this is when I actually feel like puking. Panic sets in and I contemplate not making the problem be a problem.
Screw it. The problem stays. I’ll solve it somehow.
Laundry. I break from my world and put a load of whites in the machine and I make a cup of tea while I’m up too. But, that’s all the reality I need for now.
Back down the rabbit hole I go…
Now it’s time to read over what I’ve typed so far. My eyes and brain can’t keep pace – one is always faster than the other. They take turns being in the lead.
Wait! Is the word shudder or shutter? Too caught up in the emotions on the page, I end up quivering.
Holy crap, spell check is a bitch. The English language is maddening. I curse it. No, not the hex, the cuss – hey I’m crafty, but not that talented.
Or am I? <insert evil laugh>
Alas, I digress.
Great, now it’s the other pain in the ass. Grammar check and I are about to have words. No pun intended. Seriously, grammar check is an asshole. Well, I’d like to think that, but really it’s just doing its best… same as me.
Then I actually sit back and look at all the mistakes the damn computer caught. Oh good grief, Charlie Brown.
That’s when the moment of opportunity is noticed: The demons, Doubt and Insecurity, circle over my head again, cheering on the grammar check, causing me to second guess myself. I can’t let them win. I can’t. Spelling mistakes are one thing, but I can win an argument about grammar… well, sometimes I can.
“Instincts, lass. Go with your gut,” the Druid’s voice rumbles in my ears.
I stick to my guns. How I wrote it, is how it needs to be said. Period. Y’all can appreciate that, right? It ain’t fittin’ to have my words changed around when they need to be said a certain way.
Next, the premonitions come. The Fates lay down small glimpses of future stories. I scream with excitement, bat away the demons with my hands, and continue writing – balanced on my perch, nose inches from the screen, fingers pounding away on the keyboard.
Cheers to the power of creative pursuits! Woop! Woop!
The sun rises and I hiss like a vampire at the rays shining in my eyes. No, not really, but I have been known to groan about it. The coffee pot turns on (damn you automatic timer), birds chirp to tell me it’s time for a break, and I now know my time is up.
I hit the save button and I back up my document on a thumb drive. Hey, I’m not paranoid, I’m cautious.
And now, (drum roll please) it’s time to start the adventure of another kind of glory with endless amounts of drama, love, and ridiculous scheming.
My kids just woke up.