Dear Stephen King- Writing Is Lonely
Afternoon old friend. It is a bit after 4 on Sunday afternoon and I am back at the computer. It is just you, me, a cup of coffee and some Alka-Seltzer. Ok, that is not entirely accurate because I have a thousand voices inside my head and the whispers are starting to irritate the hell out of me.
Don’t finish dialing that phone- I am not crazy. I know that these voices aren’t real. They are just one more way for me to try and describe the stories that I see and hear inside my mind. I am tempted to say that I don’t know what to do about them but that isn’t true either because I am doing something.
I am writing a book. I am trying to get it out, this thing that is stuck inside but I am not sure if I am doing a proper job of it. I lack perspective. I am too close to this tale and I find myself swinging between feeling like I have the tiger by the tail and wondering if maybe instead he has clamped down on my arm.
It is kind of fitting to describe it that way. Supreme confidence and whispers of insecurity sandwiched between the knowledge that the only way to get out is to go through.
Don’t get me wrong I am not unhappy or upset. I love this. I feel like Indiana Jones except I don’t wear a Fedora or carry a bullwhip. Not that it matters, but I have both items. I like hats. Got the Fedora about 25 years or so ago and wear it upon occasion. Thing is that every time I wear it people ask if I am a rabbi.
I kind of laugh at that. I am not a rabbi but I have thought about becoming one. Been a long time since I took that seriously. Can’t say whether I will or won’t. Time will tell.
Anyway, this writing deal makes me happy. There are parts and pieces of me that are singing our song with the utmost joy and I am excited to see what happens. I don’t know where this story is going. I have my ideas but I really can’t say for certain. I suppose that this is in line with what you wrote about in your book but I am not doing it that way because you said that is how you work.
I am not you. I am me. That is a different topic and for once I won’t go off on a tangent.
The characters are going to let me know what to do and which direction to go in. All I am doing is helping them find their voice so that they can sing their song.
But I have got to tell you that sometimes this writing business is kind of lonely. Sometimes I feel like I am the proverbial outside looking in. Sometimes I feel like there are a million people outside doing their thing and then there is me locked up in a cage with nothing but them.
And by them I mean these characters. I feel like I know them. I feel like I see them. I feel like I have a pretty good idea of who they are, what they value and what they are going to do. Yet I also know that humans are anything but logical, reasonable and rational.
So even though I think that I know them I haven’t a clue if they’ll do as I say or think. They might. They might go ahead and try to find a way to turn a second chance into something special or maybe fear will prevent them from taking a risk.
I am curious and intrigued to see what happens. Anyway, I suspect that I am not the only writer to think or feel these things but I wouldn’t care if I was. I am just recording these thoughts down for posterity and because I think that one day I might find them to be interesting.
Or maybe not. Maybe it will just sound silly and I’ll nuke the entire post. Suppose we shall have to wait and see.
What do you think?