Bleeding out from the tip of a pen


I have begun writing the next chapter in my saga of the little fox boy and so far it is shaping up well for all that i’s only three handwritten pages at the moment.  This is the best I have felt about anything I have written in a very long time though, the most excited I have been about an idea and the prospect that it will carry me all the way to a finished novel.  The one thing that I keep struggling with though is time, there just never seems to be enough of it to do all the things that I want to do, which includes writing.  I want to write more after work, the thing is I always feel like I am still at work if I do that with no down time.  Don’t get me wrong, I would never directly compare the soul crushing despair that forms the bulk of my days in the form of what could only be called a job in the uttermost bowels of hell to the joy and passion that fills me when I put pen to paper.  The thing is, and this really is the bit that those so called “professional writers” don’t ever tell you, that writing is in fact work.  It may not be manual labor and I wouldn’t want to equate it with let’s say fishing for king crabs for months at a time off the coast of Alaska or working in a coal mine but it is work just the same.  There is a physical aspect to it, whether you are siting at a keyboard and typing until your back aches, you can’t feel your wrists and your eyes have decided to retreat permanently into your skull to escape the glare from the screen or you are writing long hand at a desk with the same back aches and wrist and hand cramps until once you are done your whole body feels like it got worked over by two large lads who make most of their money hurting people just enough so that they can still pay back the money. Then there is the mental part of it, because you are making something.  Yes, they are just words and most people out of kindergarten can put them together in sentences, but it is more than that.  You are making people, places, events that have to live and breathe outside of the pages they are trapped in and you have to do it for a very long time with resources that flow in fits and starts like the words were being supplied by the teamsters and you pissed off the union.  I wrote that last piece whilst trying to work at the same time, getting out a few sentences then taking a call, finishing that up then trying to write a bit more.  It was like trying to shift gears constantly without using the clutch and I nearly dropped the transmission of my brain.  The whole process can be so daunting at times and the will to work a full eight hours, come home and maybe work another four or five is just sometimes too much to bear.

It really does seem like I am writing with my own blood sometimes, like the pen has tapped my veins and that with each word I am becoming less, more and more of me spilling out onto the page until when I finally have to stop I feel dizzy and weak and spent so utterly.  I push and pull, hammer, bend, break, force the words into shapes they have absolutely no intention of taking until I am just as twisted inside and out as they are and we just keep going round after round until 13 with Apollo Creed doesn’t actually sound that bad.  It is hell sometimes, it truly is, painful, frustrating, with moments of despair and desperation but it is also the happiest I think I have ever been on this earth.  After I have beat my head onto the page and I can sit back, looking at what I made and I can say that I like it then right there is this feeling almost like the afterglow from good sex.  There is nothing like it really, that feeling of both loss and completion all at once, something bittersweet and perfect as you let go for the last time and let what you made loose on an unsuspecting world.  After having written many pieces over the years I think I might have even some small idea of what it might be like to give birth or at least the closest I will ever come to that experience directly.  I will not say that it is exactly the same thing, not by a very long way, but I am creating something, it was a part of me at one time, I struggle to bring it forth not without at least some pain and once it is outside I may be proud of it but I also know that it will never really be mine again.  I gave it all I could to make it the best I have to offer but once it is out there as a piece of art it belongs to everyone else, no longer me and that is a somewhat painful thing too.

I don’t know where exactly I was going with this, I wanted to give an update so that people who have been following my blog would have something new, I wanted to talk about process and what writing is for me, and I guess I have done that sort of in a wild and sort of ramshackle way.  I guess, as with any piece of writing, anyone who comes in and reads this will take something of it with them and it will live inside them, finding it’s own place and meaning just for them.  At least that’s what I hope will happen.  Thank you for letting me bring you the pieces of me, I hope they can find a home.  Cheers.

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3 Responses to “Bleeding out from the tip of a pen”

  1. emisformaker Says:

    Dearest brother, I know you don’t want to hear this, but you should at least browse around for a new job. In a different field. You don’t even have to apply (though that helps with actually getting a new job). Because you have an income, and there’s no immediate pressure to acquire new employment, you can take all the time you want, apply only to jobs you really want to. You might just get surprised one day and actually nab a job you don’t hate. It happens to people all the time, but you’ll never know if you don’t try.

  2. blackwatertown Says:

    It’s also exciting.
    I’m looking forward to what’s coming next in your story, partly because I feel you are not quite sure yourself.

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