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Fighting the Demons

18 Sep

I was in a car crash back in 1972.  I was sitting at a stop light, waiting for the light to change, and a gentleman, seriously inebriated, plowed into me from behind doing over sixty-miles per hour.  His car pushed my car through the intersection and my gas tank ignited.

I remember fumbling with my seat belt, which had jammed, as flames started in the back of the car.  I remember the heat, and smelling my hair start to burn, and I remember the sheer panic as I tried to get that damned seat belt to unlatch.

Obviously, since I’m writing about that memory, I survived.  I came out of it with a seriously sore neck, burned hair, and a couple second-degree burns on my hand and neck, but all in all it turned out much better than it could have.

The reason I mention that car wreck is because for months afterwards, when I went for a drive, I would not use my seat belt.  I absolutely refused to use it because there was no way I was going to get caught in that frightening situation again.  Intellectually I knew that seat belts save lives, but emotionally and psychologically all I could remember was that seat belt trapping me while the fire raged.

My reaction then reminds me of the reactions of some writers now who are afraid to publish because they have received negative comments about their writing in the past.  Months and years after receiving a negative comment about some story or article, they are still affected by that negativity and cannot pull the trigger and publish again.

It’s totally illogical, but it is a very real fear.  None of us want to be attacked for what we wrote.  Most, if not all, of us do not like negative comments or mean critiques.  It is only human to want validation and positive strokes.

But we cannot let that stop us.  If writing is a passion . . . if you derive pleasure from writing . . . you need to buckle up and go for a drive again.  There will always be haters.  There will always be negative people.  That’s why God gave us middle fingers.  LOL

TWO WEEKS TO GO

Can you tell I’m excited? Two weeks of farmers markets to go and then I can return to creative writing. I am beyond pumped for that moment to arrive.  My brain is overflowing with ideas. I plan on finishing my current novel, “The Magician’s Shadow,” and then tackling a novel I’ve been thinking about for years, a 60’s memory which is inspired by “To Kill A Mockingbird.”  Stay tuned!

CAN YOU FEEL IT?

I just watched the latest news coverage of that hurricane back east.  The scenes of loss are heartbreaking.  The scenes of neighbor helping neighbor are heartwarming.

Watch the scenes . . . file it all away . . . use it in your creative writing.  This is the human experience, for better and for worse, and writers need to capture the angst and the jubilation that is unique with being human.

Can you feel it? How would you feel? What would you do?

WELCOME TO FALL

I love this time of year.  There is inspiration in the air, a time of change, a sense that something exciting is approaching, something which will affect us all.  The lethargy of hot temperatures is being pushed aside by the winds, and the smoke of burned memories is washed from the air by the September rains.

I love this time of year!

And I love all of you.  Thank you for joining me once again.

Remember to do all things with love.

Bill

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”