Last night I sat around a campfire and contemplated for a moment sticking my hand into the middle of the fire to grab a handful of orange coals. It started some kind of interior dialogue.
“No, come on now. You can’t be serious,” I was thinking.
“Come on now, do it, what’s the worst that can happen?”
“A little skin coming off the hand.”
“What’s the big deal?”
“What would people think?”
“How would I explain this one?”
“Maybe you can say you fell in?”
The longer I debated this, the more scared I got, as I couldn’t believe I was entertaining these thoughts. I had to tell myself that I was NOT going to do something so stupid. Still the heart of the fire kept beating and I sat there staring into it.
My wife calls these psycho thoughts? I don’t know if they are normal. I don’t know really how dark they go. If she thinking about chopping me up while I am sleeping or driving head-on into traffic. These really dark ones are embarrassing they are so scary. Probably best not to tell anyone about them.
Writing an erotica novel started as a psycho thought. It is about the same as sticking your hand in the fire to see what would happen. I didn’t know if I would be able to do it. I didn’t know if I would stay with it. Writing erotica is like going camping without knowing the weather forecast. I had no idea what I was getting into or how it was going to turn out. I didn’t even have a story I wanted to tell. I just kept throwing sentences down to keep warm.
Writing in general I am finding to be very self-destructive. You lose sleep, lose time with family and friends, and run the risk of losing your mind. What I mean is I find my self at random times thinking about my characters. Becoming self-absorbed into a made-up world can’t be good for the head. I find myself at times even thinking the same as my main character. Maybe the main character is me? I hope not because he is a real asshole.
I miss having solid ground beneath my feet. I miss feeling normal. I miss coming home from work and not doing anything, or taking a nap, or mowing the grass, or going camping, or taking a walk, or falling asleep. Instead I sit down at the computer and jump off a cliff.
It was two months ago I began a writing journey that has taken myself further than I knew I could go. I had thought I would have given up weeks ago. Sometimes I wish I had. If only I had made it further than this place I have stopped. I wish I could say today it ends, I am finished. The worst of it is I am only about 30,000 words in. That’s it. It is embarrassing how little I have done. I even told myself and friends two weeks ago I was going to release it soon. That was me thinking I was better than I am. I wish I could even say I am at the halfway point, but I am not even there yet.
My plan was for my novel “The Wrong Goddess” to span a full year in my main characters life. The 30,000 I’ve written so far just covers five days of his life so I know I have much, more ground to cover. My only problem is I don’t want to write another word. I am also having trouble getting over myself. Is it embarrassing to describe my main character masturbating to images of his college professor and of making it with her? It shouldn’t. Is that normal behavior? Why then do I squirm in a prudish way? Maybe I am taking it too far in my description of the sex act? Should I focus more on the romantic parts? I find myself wondering if I am going to end up embarrassing myself?
Honestly, and I don’t want my readers to take this the wrong way, but I got into writing erotica, and this is going to sound greedy, but I got into erotica as a way to make money. This all sound so shallow. My point is I was very, very naive. I thought hey I can write. It can’t be too hard. Nothing is further from the truth. Nothing comes without hard work and writing is just that, hard work. It is not really the writing that is the hard work. It is all the hard work I have to do before I can sit down to write. Writing a novel I am learning is like piling wood, a huge amount of wood, enough wood to keep the entire county of Norway or Iceland warm for three winters.
I have no end in sight and that my friends has me feeling discouraged. I have contemplated deleting the entire 30,000 words I have right now and just go to bed satisfied that I gave it a try. Nothing ventured nothing gained. At this point I have nothing to show for my efforts, just this big sticky clump of a novel that is going nowhere.
Still I go on.
I try not to think about it too much, and I am not writing this to be pitied by anyone. I am writing this right now because I am procrastinating and feeling overwhelmed and infinitesimal and don’t know what to do.
This I can say with certainty: my respect for all writers has grown exceptionally. I cannot help but give all writers everywhere a huge apology. Being a writer is something you have to earn. Sorry to think I am one of you.
Maybe I am destined to just blaze out, fade to black, say good-bye, and save whatever dignity I have left.
Good luck to you whoever and where ever you are.