Dark Necessities

The music starts with soft but strong repeating cords and builds with piano but its the pause about forty seconds into the song that the bass line hits and it gets stuck in your head. By the time the lyrics start the song has reached places in your mind, deep into your soul and beyond, and it is a song that will stick with you.

That is the same with writing for me. It is a necessary obsession, writing. It stems from the soft yet strong foundation. The patience of a teacher to help a kid who couldn’t read. It builds with trauma. It peaks with a realization that what could be said out loud made more sense when it was written on paper and gifted to the intended. That is the constant bass of the writing. The need to do it in order to express oneself to the world.

Anyone can write. I’ve maintained that since I was a teenager. It doesn’t take much to pen a letter, a song, a story, a poem. But it isn’t for everyone. And even those who say they are writers are not for everyone. Some of us write for the pure need deep in our soul. It is a Dark Necessity. How we get through our lives. The words we write, the obsessive nature of perfect stories, and the struggles of the task are beyond the simple word vomit that can end up best sellers by algorithm and paid reviews. (If you are a writer and take offense that’s on you.) I’m not a highly reviewed author. Hell I don’t think anyone I know reads my books except for a select few people. If I can’t get friends and family to buy my books am I a real writer?

That is a debate I’ve had many times, not just with myself but with others. Just because someone can put out a book in a few months (ah-hem, yes I’ve written a novel in a month so I can do it,) doesn’t mean that the book is ready for the public. Sometimes the first draft should always be that, a draft. Sometimes a story can go from idea to finished and ready for publishing in a short time. It is all a process that is different for everyone.

I’ve been a writer for nearly four decades now. I’ve been a published author for only eight years. Yet I consider myself a writer and author who commands the attention of readers, and I know my words have an impact. So how come I’m not more popular, a best seller on amazon, highly reviewed, traditionally published? There are a lot of factors that go into that.

Cutting through all the noise of other writers has never been a strength for me. Cutting through the noise of the world less so. I’ve spent too much of my life in a cave of my own making. Self isolation due to depression, anxiety, fear. It was easier to escape into the world of books and the written word. When you are an artist, a creative soul, one who desperately yearns for more beyond wealth and fame your passion can also be your prison.

So if I can’t be a superstar author who has all the reviews and the movie deals and the best sellers, then why do it? Why continue to chase a dream that most fail at.

It’s a dark necessity.