February 24, 2013

Nerdy Quote of the Week

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
― Ernest Hemingway

The other night I had an amazingly weird dream involving a baby, a train, a governess, perfume, and a guy who could make airplane wings shoot out of his body.

On waking, I knew it was the beginning of a story. A very odd, steampunky story with a grand battle over good and evil, with magic and terror and all sorts of lovely things.

I've talked it over with my husband and he agrees. I work on it in my head, naming my characters, working out their back stories (those airplane wings really take some explaining!), and trying to figure out why the baby is in need of rescue.

What I haven't done yet is actually write any of this out. I haven't typed even a character list or written down an outline.

I am too afraid. I am afraid of the bleeding to come. There really is pain involved in writing, and I feel as though I write a piece of myself permanently into each work. I will never be able to get it back. It will never be a part of me again. And did I mention the pain? For me, writing has become horribly like using Dolores Umbridge's punishment pen.

Remember that? Every time Harry had to write out his sentences, the letters were cut into his own flesh at the same time, leaving him with painful, bleeding wounds. Like Harry, it seems that every word I write takes so much energy it hurts. At least I can honestly say that I shouldn't end up with scars.

The sad thing is, writing used to come as easily to me as reading or eating or whistling. But then came high school and worse, college, with all of those research papers to write, all due at the same time, and often each one needing to have its sources cited in a different way. Turabian, APA, MLA, American Anthropological Association...it was enough to make a person crazy. And it sort of did, actually. For a long time I found that I literally couldn't write at all. I couldn't put two sentences together to save my life. Research paper overload can do that.

Now I can write, but it is very difficult. It takes all of my concentration and I feel as if I have danced an entire ballet by the end of it. Even my silly blog posts wear me out!

But there is hope for the future. I just have to overcome my fear and make myself write, or the world will never know why the governess never leaves her room without her smelling salts, why the otherwise intelligent footman can't get his own birth date right, and why that sweet baby is in such grave danger.

Do you write? Do you find it easy, or is it more like pulling your own teeth out without novocaine? Please let me know by commenting!

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