Thoughts from a Writer: Fear

I haven’t written fiction in a while. Not because I’m not interested, but my discipline had long ago went on sabbatical and never returned. Writing requires discipline. Inspiration helps, but inspiration alone leads to unfinished stories and ramblings. Like any serious endeavor or pursuit, the work must be done. Every writer has their own method and time of day to write. For me, it’s the early morning—that moment when I should still be asleep, when it’s dark outside. I believe it helps because I can pull from my dream state, or at least I tell myself that, and it works. And also I like to tap into that dark side of my imagination, where fear awaits. Today I awoke and felt the need to write. I had no idea what to write, though. So, as I walked to the laptop on the kitchen table, I glanced out into the dark back yard. My imagination kicked in, and I envisioned people sitting in our patio, chatting away, others staring at me. Sort of like those horror movies where people stand outside wearing potato sacks over their head.  Chills formed on my back and I was sure that I was being watched. I flipped open the laptop and started to write whatever came to mind.
“Where does one start when writing about them? They won’t go away until I write about them. Damn those little bastards. As if I don’t have much to worry about. In two weeks I won’t even have a home to write a word. Those shelters don’t provide the best environment for a writer like me. Once I spent a night in one of those places and my journal ended up missing. I found a page tore from it, snuggled into it’s new home—a chain-linked fence along the alley. It raised more questions about who would be interested in a stranger’s life than any anger about losing it.”

Just as I reached the last line, I felt the need to stop. It’s a good start. I could write more, but I’ve planted the seeds to a story. Where will it go? I have no clue, but the idea is there and I just need to do the work. I also recognize that the fear that can help kick my imagination in gear, is the same fear that can paralyze my writing. So I write to face the fear, and use the fear as a catalyst for my stories. 

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