Ms. Lori Eat WorldI haven't completed a short story since September of '04. I haven't attempted the novel that's been badgering me for almost two years now. I am afraid to write anything that I might love.
I'll bet you're all thinking "Writer's block!" aren't you? But you would be wrong. It's my computer that is the culprit. My computer. The one who will not play nice, whose word processor will invariably shut down on me in the middle of a story, thus decimating every last new thought. It doesn't care that I spent hours bleeding through my fingertips, meticulously putting flesh to bone, thought to imaginary brain, planting seeds and conjuring love, hate, and every other emotion in between, carefully choosing just the right word, phrase, punctuation mark to make it all come alive. My computer murders my people as easily as one would flick a light switch; my computer takes my blood like a fucking vampire, my spirit, even. And it just doesn't care.
I have hundreds of thousands of things to say, dozens of worlds begging for creation, character after character that haunt me day and night. I sense it all, can practically taste the words, smell the air, feel the clothing, hair and skin. I hear the voices clearly, and lately, they've been screaming.
Dramatic, huh? Why, I'll give you dramatic! Let me put it this way: I've needed to write words, befriend my characters, move into their neighborhoods, breathe the air that surrounds them, since I was eight years old. Not wanted, needed. When I don't fulfill that need, I get a little bit loopy, scatterbrained, moodier than usual. I have been known to become violently irrational, agitated by the least little remark, crying over nothing, laughing at inappropriate times.
Yeah, I'm crazy, but even more so now. I feel like ripping my own face off. Because I can't write what I might fall in love with for fear of it being murdered.
Oh, I try every now and then, and was successful in September -- wrote a 4,000 plus word story within days, without incident, and it was heavenly despite the constant fear that subtly shrouded the creative process. But since then, everything I start is lost to the vampire, so my attempts are becoming fewer and farther between.
I can't write longhand -- physiological reasons that I won't go into here -- and I can't use a bastard typewriter (tried that for years, and I was thisclose to actually going ahead and ripping my entire face off). I haven't the money for a new computer, haven't a clue as to what may be wrong with it, am not able to bother with professional help. Believe me, if you knew what I go through just to acquire ink and paper for my printer...
My writing is not top priority in this reality, in this space I occupy. I'm not bringing four figures into the household on a regular, monthly basis, so I am relegated to the bottom of the heap of bills and obligations.
You who may be writers will understand when I say that writing is unbelievably hard work, demeaning work, at times. Respect is but a dream, one realized by perhaps 5% of us. Who else but writers would work so damn hard for so little? Who else would take the constant rejection and neglect for the occasional pat on the head, a kind word from a reader, a paltry check that wouldn't cover the mortgage payment? Nobody, that's who. Those nobody elses don't get our obsession, do they? They can't possibly fathom how close to heaven we fly when our work is validated, recognized, there in print for all to see. But even validation doesn't compare to the feeling of finishing a piece that dances, does The Hustle and spins on its back like a B-boy rolling on X. Whether anybody else reads it or not, it's finished, and it's all ours. A piece of ourselves, our souls made tangible...There's nothing like that feeling, for me, at least. And I miss it so much.
So. I am lost, just like my words. And, really, nobody cares but me, which, I will tell you without fear of appearing like the loopy nut bone I am, is the loneliest feeling in the whole world.
Addendum: After I posted this, I went downstairs to check on Mr. Butler, and to my horror, found that he was covered in blue marker. And I mean head to toe. He says, "Mommy! See? I'm blue!"
To which I replied, "HAWHAWHAWhahahahahahahahHEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"