I’ve been busy lately going through a spring cleaning of my office. This includes my armoire, which I refer to as the abyss. I found junk in there that I’ve been hanging on to for decades. The final papers from the sale of my condo when moving in with Mr. Husband 10 years ago, pictures that I forgot I even had.
1 thing I found which intrigued me was a self-portrait drawn 20 years ago when I was suffering from untreated clinical depression. It made me happy to know that I don’t have to suffer with that much now. Except for the times I stop taking antidepressant thinking “I am all better now, I don’t need no stinking meds!” Then I have to re-accept that, oh yeah, I do have a mental disorder.
Another was a quote from a book on writing that I read about 2 years ago. The quote was from the book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, by Ann Lamont. There are many pearls of wisdom in there for aspiring writers. She recounted her first and favorite rejection letter. The editor returned her manuscript with a note in the margins; “You have made the mistake of thinking that everything that happens to you is interesting.”
Well excuse me, but everything that happens to me is interesting…to me anyway. Where I trip up is finding myself reluctant to post something because I don’t want to bore anyone with trivial ramblings. But I have to keep in mind that it is my blog and I write what is going on in my head on a particular day. No one is holding a gun to the head of anyone who reads it.
Another quote I love is; “What people think of me is none of my business.” How true this is. I’ve wasted many an hour of my life worrying what others think of me. Yeesh, it really does not matter except in some weird scenario where you find yourself under suspicion of murder and are being tried and convicted in the court of public opinion.
I found myself pondering this and realized that the real struggle of acceptance vs. rejection is in what I think of myself. How many times have I rejected my dreams or discounted my nightmares? The true key to happiness is to accept myself, not try to force others to accept me. Lamont absolutely nailed it. What other people think of me really is none of my business!
This is a valid question. I want to know! I tend to write outside early in the morning until the coffee runs out or the sun hits me, whichever comes first. Then I head inside and lay around like a slug on a sidewalk until the sun leaves the patio, then I go back outside. I even bought a small light to plug in a usb port on my laptop so I can see my key board in the dark.
OK, I’m exaggerating about the slug thing. I alternate between doing occasional necessary things; laundry, dishes, feeding my face, etc. But then I return to slothdom and a good book or not so good book, whatever I’m reading at the moment. Occasionally I read a really bad book just to make myself feel better. It doesn’t always work because the little devil that lives on my shoulder will say “well they got off their can and published their book. Na na na. Can you make that claim?” Well no but…there is no but, I either write or I don’t and the don’t part is not moving me towards my goal.
Wonder is there is an inner critic version of that spray they have for dogs called “NO?” It’s a spray that you spray on stuff you want the dog to stay away from. I could spray it on my shoulders to keep the little devil away. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work for dogs and the devil is in my head, not on my shoulder.
So back to my original question, do vampire or other horror genre writers write at night? I sort of hope so. It’s a bit scary to think that I could be in the grocery store browsing the vegetables right next to someone who is cooking up all kinds of horrific things in their brains in broad daylight. Are there any outward signs? A wisp of smoke coming out of their ears, perhaps? Thunking a watermelon with brass knuckles? Muttering while stroking the cucumbers?
Come to think of it though, some the scariest things can happen in the daytime. Getting chased by a lynch mob and hanged at 12 O’clock noon would ruin my day. The freeway in North Dallas should be renamed the highway to hell. Since I stopped the 9-5 grind I’ve lost my immunity to the horrors of this road. I guess if you do have to do it every day your mind copes by going numb to the dangers. I’m convinced that there should be an exit ramp that empties directly into the intake parking garage of the state hospital for the criminally insane. Some psychopaths choose to prowl the streets comfortably seated inside their murder weapon rather than wearing it on their hip.
Sometimes I wish writers had someone kind of secret signal like a hand shake or an eye motion. There probably is, but it’s too subtle for me to notice yet.