I found myself thinking one day while waiting for students to arrive and load onto my school bus. It dawned on my that like anything worth doing — writing is hard work.
As a new fiction writer (and a school bus driver, medical company owner, astrophysicist, skydiver, etc.) I’ve been considering who my audience is and how to reach them. What kind of crazy, out-of-this-world books will I write?
Who am I really as a writer?
I have always loved suspense and horror. Stephen King is, of course, an Earthly idol of mine, when it comes to writing mind you. My dreams are as dark as his novels; many of my own life experiences too, for that matter.
But, like so many writers, I have lived for decades and have seen so many different books printed, adapted to movies, and stuffing the shelves of bookstores and libraries. I have also found myself wondering: Is there anything left to write?
I suppose we all suffer from the same issue. The idea that everything that could possibly be written has been. How can a new writer be unique and convey something in such a way that it has never been done before?
I mean, really, who wants to write the same thing, in the same way? I have seen so many writers trying to emulate other’s styles; trying to, somehow, copy their success. It’s almost like stalking! Or vampirism.
When I lived in Russia, a gypsie who read my tarot cards multiple times—and each time I picked the same cards—told me, “Watch out for the ‘energy vampires,’” and it stuck in my head. I have met many, if not mainly, energy vampires since then: everyone I came into contact with had an excellent idea for my business or entered my personal life as a so-called “friend,” but, when the money was gone, and I was sucked dry (and I put my foot down), they all disappeared. I wonder if, maybe, modern writers prey on the success of others, “liking” them on Facebook, befriending them on social sites, emulating their writing styles, only to ingest some of their success.
Mulling around these questions in one’s head is enough to make one, honestly, depressed; like many of the self-loathing, confused, even suicidal characters in my own novels, who yearn deeply to understand their condition and embark on journeys of self-discovery in worlds they don’t quite fit into.
The battle to be a relevant writer—and a published one—seems to be all uphill as well; anything worthwhile, as they say, is work; anyone reading my post can probably empathize. Life can be tough. When you look at all the steps it takes to not just write a book (or in the case with those with a plan, multiple novels), not to mention the many expenses involved in hiring proofreaders, editors, cover designers, etc., it’s no wonder 97% of those who try writing a book peter-out before finishing their first draft. Because, while you’re writing your first draft, you’re also contemplating all the steps, doing research, getting advice on how to be a writer… It’s overwhelming.
And it gets even worse!
Believe it or not, writers have regular human lives. Having the time, the motivation, and energy to establish a creative mindset capable of producing a fantastic work on paper is extremely difficult. Like all other humans on the earth, we have relationships, jobs, numerous responsibilities, our heads are pumped full of crap from the exhaustingly negative reporting we watch on television and read in the newspapers. At times, it seems it was all created just to get in our way, to trip us up, and destroy the dreams we’ve had of being successful, famous, and hopefully well-paid writers.
I’m not whining, seriously.
Like the cathartic exercise of releasing all the crap that’s in one’s head and putting it on paper, such as a novel, I’m doing the same thing here in what is my first blog entry on www.BeauDurand.com.
It sounds like bitching and whining, but it’s just information, whether another writer who can empathize reads it, or whether one of those remarkable people who have read one of my novels or is planning too, reads it. It’s just a little insight.
But, you know, with all that said, I’m so freaking excited. I wake up every day grateful, and prepared to put pen to paper—this is the computer age, so, finger to keyboard—and create lives on paper, situations, and fictional worlds that not only take me away from my reality but also those who are reading my blog or my novels.
I’m addicted to the unknown and the possible. One day, long ago, I got in my car—told no one— and drive to an airport. I purchased a tandem skydive. It was amazing. At the time, my impression was that I had never been so close to God, not even in the church. I never looked back, and like that first skydive (I got my license since then), I jumped right into writing with the same excitement, and fear.
And I want HONEST feedback from readers!
Do you hate my writing? Great.
Do you like what you read? Awesome.
Do you have comments and advice, and things to add? Even better. That tells me you’re thinking.
I started questioning what it meant to be human—why I existed at all— when I was in kindergarten. I spent my entire childhood in my head. I questioned everything around me; when other kids were playing, competing in sports, and later, of course, drinking, driving, and partying. I was one of those kids that, on the outside, wore a smile, but inside, secretly felt something was always wrong, that I was off, different, odd; use any word you want. I suppose the phrase “not belonging” is appropriate. I know I’m not the only one. I just never believed everything that was placed in front of me; I didn’t “drink the Kool-Aid,” resigning myself to the reality in front of me. Maybe that’s what they mean by the term “ignorance is bliss,” where the more you know, the more complicated your life becomes. Knowledge may be power, but it can also be a curse.
So, I am a writer. I write fiction, primarily horror, suspense, and fantasy. I’m working out what’s in my head, and in my dreams.
Life can be amazing. It can also be horrible and frightening. I want to explore as much as I can before leaving this life; hopefully with a jolt rather than a quiet whimper.