Common Sense

So you want to be a writer…

If I had had my way, my chosen profession would have been in the WWE. Growing up I was obsessed with Brian Pillman, Brett Hart and the Hart Foundation. I wanted to be one of those few women who got to the WWE to change the idea that women couldn’t wrestle, I wanted to be a Diva.

As it turns out, my fight wasn’t in the ring but very much outside of it, I was fighting Pedophiles and Rapists, trying to survive everything they put me through by refusing to give up. As it turns out, I was born to be a fucking writer.

I wouldn’t recommend this life to anyone, it’s not a choice it’s a calling. It’s an itch that you can’t scratch no matter how many times you try to give it up, the fact that it is there, this need, this desire, the fact that it exists is enough for you to give up everything else in your life to make more room for your obsession.

Because that’s what writing is, everything in my life takes a back seat to my need to write, and on days when I can’t I feel like a complete and total failure with nothing to offer the world.

It is the hardest experience because I love it but the reward is little. For some people it’s the accolades and the awards, for me it is the crafting. It is in the telling of the story and the weaving of the words.

It’s watching my fingers fly across the keyboard as my thoughts become energy and energy becomes word.

Writing is my WWE. And the pay off sucks. Very few people read my blog, and even fewer people comment, and so it makes me wonder if what I am doing has purpose, but I can’t stop. I can’t give it up because I am addicted to it.

I am addicted to saying the things you are not supposed to say that have truth in them. I relish in the knowledge that I say the shit people are too afraid to say, I love knowing that I have the freedom to say what I want to say, that my words can be used like balm or weapon.

There is a rush in curling up to write on a daily basis that I can’t fix with sobriety or weed. Nothing in my life feels as good as when I am writing. That’s how I know I was born to be a writer.

I remember telling a guy that I was a writer when I was about nineteen, “are you published somewhere I’d have read your work?” he asked me, “no” I replied suddenly filled with shame. “Than you’re not a writer,” he responded.

I have visions of that man every day, each one increasingly more violent and bloody than the last.

There are days when I can’t write at all, when my body shuts down and demands space and time away from the addiction, and these days the world is broken to me and nothing makes sense.

Those are the hard days, when I wonder if I am ever going to write again and every voice inside my head whispers “no” cruelly, there are moments when I remember The Shadow Men and I realize that the reason it’s so hard not writing is largely because pieces of me are still stuck in the past.

There are triggers and reminders that tell me when my writing is on the right track, my entire body starts to feel buzzed and I am completely irrationally excited like a child.

There are triggers that remind me when I am not and I am suddenly frustrated and angry, for no apparent reason.

There is a scene in a Buffy episode where Buffy and Riley are stuck having sex for hours on end while the world descends into chaos around them without their knowledge, I often feel that is me when I am writing. The words are the sex for me, the completion of a well written piece the orgasm.

It’s a comfort, it’s a fucking nightmare, it’s everything and nothing, writing is “my person”, it’s my other half, it’s what I need right now, because its all I really have, take that away and I don’t know who I am.

When I was being abused I could not for the life of me keep a journal, I remember I did it once, and I felt so dirty that every time after that I tried I couldn’t. My ex read my journal once without my permission, that was such a deep violation that I realized in that moment how powerless he had made me against him.

People ask why I would publish a first draft, it’s not because drafts deserve to see the light, but because I am choosing to hold onto my power by releasing my stories in my time, when I am ready, because if I put it out there first than no one can ever take it from me again.

I just realized that while writing this particular essay, writing gives me the power. I need that, because for so long I didn’t have any at all, the only real power I had was in the designing of my tattoos, that was the only other time I felt really like my true self, when I was getting a tattoo.

Now I have writing, another tool in the box to help me survive the pain and sorrow of being a survivor.

If you want to be a writer, get the fuck up and be a writer. Write a blog. Write a thousand letters. Learn the craft by trial and error, don’t listen to anyone else’s ideas, choose your own fucking path. Write your own story, include Vampires Demons Wolves Angels and Hero’s, make sure you experience everything you can in all the beautifully chaotic ways.

Being a writer is a fucking calling, there is a spirituality to it that exists in the flow of the universe. If you want to be a writer understand that writing in of itself is a legacy art. Passed from one generation to the next in ways only few have ever truly experienced.

You will be tested in every possible emotional and physical way along your journey, the world will shift around you with the blink of an eye and the universe will demand that you prove you want what you say you want.

When you begin to recognize the patterns in your own existence, when you begin to realize that you are experiencing the same shit over and over again with each time growing less entertaining and more annoying, painful of frustration….only when you face your first true Vampire do you realize, you might be a fucking writer.

We come in all forms. Construction workers and Lawyers, Homeless men and women, Teachers and Philosophers take all different forms in their journey on earth but the one thing is certain underneath it all they are here because they have a story to tell. They are writers.

It’s a giant club, fraternity some would say, filled with the echos of those who came before,  daring you to best them, to out write them, to create stories that shake the foundations of all that came before. They are waiting for you on the other side, telling you that you can’t fucking do it, not because it’s true but it’s because you’ll erase their legacy by creating your own.

That’s what it means to be a fucking writer.

Be a writer.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

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