“I don’t know how you did it.”
The compliment came when I announced I’d completed my 2018 goal of writing six books. They didn’t know how I did it. Thinking back, neither do I.
I normally write a blog post at the end of the year about my accomplishments and hopes for New Year, like it was a wondrous learning experience. I save the post for New Years Eve, an achievement of great pride, to tally up that I at least had something to show, and would finish on a note of peace and hope.
Laying claim to six books sounds like I had an awesome year, it would have been a great post.
I did not have a good year. I didn’t want to write that post.
I had a very bad year that has been proceeded by several bad years and my writing suffered for it. I’d swing between writing something great, the editor has said no major changes to A Phantom Presence, which was a first for me. But for him to then say that To Chase a Prophecy was not Ok, I think I rewrote it twice.
And I didn’t get those books to him on time, or in the condition they *should* have been up in. Because of all the real world distractions that dragged me down, and left me feeling used, hopeless, and above all tired.
So how did I write those books? With sadness. With despair. With a wellspring of unquenchable rage that this was all I had in the world that mattered, and it mattered to few more than to me.
It consumed me.
It was my waking wrathful thoughts and my bitter night time regret.
I sat at the computer when I was hot, tired, dirty, mind blank, with nothing left except that that burning anger at the world and all the things in it that had gone wrong.
My work wasn’t a reflection of my mood. It was what drove the stories I intended to write.
I burned through words as I tried in vain to exhaust the endless anger within me. All it did was tally up a word count I wasn’t trying to prove to anyone, not even myself. I’d write over ten thousand words a day and shrug it off as thought it was nothing, because to me, it was just what I needed to do.
There is no other way to get word counts like this, and if I have gained anything from it, it’s the ability to sit down at a computer and write ten thousand words in a day. Day after day. I am not proud of that because when I was writing those words, all that mattered was the story, the all encompassing desire to write ceaselessly on.
So if you need advice on how to sit down and write six books in a year, if you need motivation pull you through that work in progress, I don’t have it. I wouldn’t wish this feeling on anyone.
Because underneath all that rage, all that wrath, all that energy I had nowhere else to direct, I found I was made of a one very simple component.
Where I had failed at so many things, had so much taken away, this was mine.
No one could take it from me, no one could stop me, and no one could tell me I was wrong.
I lit up words, destroyed people, created endless streams of nonsense tangled in tales that were from waking nightmares and bitter memories. And I made it beautiful, but my own.
No one can tell you how to write.
No one has a magic wand on a best seller.
No one knows the story like you do, and no one can write it like you will.
Write from the darkness within, and you’ll find what you need. I know I did.