I had always admired authors. Their attention to every detail so that no item laid useless in their creations. Every word supported every desire of every character. Writers had a way with words of course but they also had to be deeply connected to people and the emotions they emitted. Authors knew what kind of effect anything could have on the things around it. And no one knew better than writers that every story didn’t really have a happy ending unless it was forced.
Somehow I got it in my head from a young age that I could be an author myself. I’m still not sure if my insanity came first or if that sprang out of my writings. When I wrote, I had complete control over every smile and tear. I could make people fall in love or punch each other. The more control I had in my writing, it seemed, the less I had on my reality.
Stopping was never an option to me though. I tried to but it was comparable to someone who stopped breathing. They either passed out, returned to rapid breathing to catch their breath, or they died. Writing was important to me. Still I never thought I’d be writing for my career. Or my life.
It was way more practical to have a regular job and write in whatever time you had to spare. Instead, I was writing because it was my last resort. You never realize how scary your biggest desire is until it’s staring you in the face and begging for your forgiveness.
Crippled by anxiety, I dragged myself to the laptop every day and poured out my soul on those colorless screens. I had always spent my writing time as if no one would every read a word of what I was writing. Looking back I should have realized that was odd for any writer to think that way. How would they sell anything if they never let go of it and made it public to the world?
I guess I always assumed I’d get over that somehow. Like I could eventually just start spitting out crap I wouldn’t mind others reading. Even when I found those writing pieces, I had trouble watching anyone read them. Worse even than that was when they sent me feedback. I craved it but had a panic attack every time I read or heard “I loved it! When are you going to write more?”
You liked it? Oh god, I wasn’t expecting that to happen. What do I do with – what was it even called – enjoyment? Over something I wrote? Did I send you the wrong file?
Those days were the worst. Rejection I could handle. I could stand in defense of my characters and my choices for them. Then reader could shrug and go read something else and I could crawl back to my characters and console them with more stories of their adventures.
Why had enjoyment from a reader set me back so much? Maybe it was because they liked who I wrote that character to be and by extension they liked who I wanted to be. But since I wasn’t there yet, it was like a weird chain rejection they didn’t even realize they had set off.
I wasn’t ready yet. I wanted to be able to pick up a sword like my characters and wield it in the face of every disaster. But my first challenge proved to be more difficult than any monster I could imagine. She blocked me at every path and countered my every move. She was me and more so she was my negativity taking root in my hope.