With the latest scandal going on, many authors seem to be feeling compelled to say, “I write my own books.” 😐🤦🏼♀️
My muse streams through me to bring readers the best fucked up, twisted, and deranged shit as I try to maintain some literary, artistic merit with each piece. One day, I’ll untether his arms from the wall and let him go wild. 😈
I’m really fucked up and scribe words—duh.
That said, I think if we’ve reached the point where authors have to profess: I write my own books! — then we’ve entered a sad state where even the words “author” and “writer” are in jeopardy.
Readers are voracious.
Mine are highly intelligent and cling to every beat. They don’t skim. Many of them re-read my books, especially if they’re in a slump. I’m told I give book hangovers.
I’ve written millions of words and spent thousands of hours crafting stories. This is just the published work. There is a lot unpublished.
I’ve been writing since I could hold a pencil, and I’ll be writing until my last breath. It’s in my bones and my blood. But I’m not complaining and this is not a pity-party. This is the truth of what writing is and it’s not all sparkly rainbows and studly unicorns.
I’m a writer.
And this is my story.
Technically, I am my first reader.
It’s a form of therapy for me. I rock, get a little twitchy, and express a multitude of emotions when stories unfold in front of me. I pace. I fidget. I get neurotic—a personality trait, not a medical condition. I fight with characters who never shut up. They go on 24/7. I kind of do seem like a crazy person; I assure you, I’m not.
There are no birthdays, holidays, or vacations that Sal hasn’t been on. He’s polite enough to silence himself (sometimes) when I’m engaged in certain activities.
I also don’t speak well, in person. Don’t expect some grand conversation to come from my lips. It won’t. Ironically, I tend to forget words when I speak as I twist them up into some jargon few may understand.
I do one thing.
There are days when it’s a blessing and days when it’s a curse.
Writing is hard.
It’s hard emotionally. It’s hard physically. It’s hard on relationships.
Because you are never alone.
Writers are always working, plotting, and methodically going over the pieces of the puzzle their brains insist on putting together, even though the owner of said brain may just want to watch tv or ride a roller coaster or read a book.
The simple things in life are sometimes unavailable to the writer.
The truth on the side effects of being a writer.
Writers can turn off and on the flow onto the page, but silencing the constant mapping, grid-making, and outlining is almost impossible. Cleaning the house? Oh, here is a new story while you vacuum. Mowing the lawn? What if your main character did this instead of that? Dinner with your kids? What if these characters had children? Even when inebriated, the writer mind builds worlds, plot twists, and character arches.
I’m not sure why someone would want to profess to have the “ailment” of author.
Maybe it’s trendy.
Maybe it’s hip.
Maybe it’s monetary.
Who the fuck knows?
I don’t, but I’m offended.
I’m offended because those were someone else’s issues they were working through. Those were someone else’s joys they wanted to remember. Those were someone else’s memories that were stolen. Those were someone else’s thoughts that were taken.
This ailment is a gift, but writers cannot return it. We’re stuck with it, for better or worse—forever. Whether we publish or not. Whether we write epic fantasy or poetry. Whether we use pen and paper or tablets. Writing doesn’t discriminate—it can infect anyone, any age, any race, any gender, any sexual orientation, and any religion. It does not care who you are. It will compel you to compulsively write. And write. And write some more.
So what do we with our writer?
We learn to channel it. We learn to use it. We learn to work it. We learn we aren’t just misfits with voices in our heads. We learn there is really nothing wrong with us. We learn to tell those stories because we are writers. We learn this is our jam. And all the other stuff we do with the stories isn’t part of the journey with the words.
We are imprisoned enough in our own minds as writers.
But I’m not a slave to the words.
The words are mine.
–– Kailee Reese Samuels
February 21, 2019