“Writing is like sex. First you do it for love, then you do it for your friends, and then you do it for money.” ~Virginia Woolf
Writing is not for the faint heart.
For starters, it’s a lonesome task.
No one can read your mind, right? And unless you’re writing a group paper, it’s not a collaborative effort. It has to be written out by you. Whether it’s sitting or lying down, you’re pouring your thoughts out on paper – alone.
Next, there’s knowing your thoughts will be read by hundreds, thousands or maybe even millions of people. I don’t know about you, but that’s a scary feeling. Someone will know what’s going on in that head of yours. Some may enjoy what you have to say. Others, not so much. They’re going to give their opinion and you might not like it.
No matter the critique I’ve learned not to take it personal. What someone feels about you is none of your business. Besides, we’re our own worst critic. Who needs the outside voices adding to the pressure we already have on us to create a masterpiece? Instead, I receive what’s been shared and use it to sharpen my skills.
Lastly, there’s accepting sometimes you won’t have anything to write about…
Writing doesn’t always come easy.
One day I lost my mojo.
I tried countless times to push through what one might call writer’s block. I also have to point out in my case it was more than that. Unlike now, back then being a newly published author, I allowed the criticism of others to get the best of me. Remember what Erykah Badu said, “I am an artist and I’m sensitive about my shit.” I couldn’t handle someone saying my words weren’t good.
As a result, and for some time because this one person said it wasn’t my best, I believed my dreams of a writing career were over. How could I put out another good book if I sucked at it? I believed their words and suddenly the passion I had for writing was gone…and for a while I thought forever.
Days turned into weeks. The weeks turned into months. Ultimately, the months turned into years.
Inspiration escaped me.
The world around me no longer fueled the fire and even if I did get a spark my mind was filled with self-destructive thoughts. The words from the negative self-talks became louder and stuck. “Remember what they said, this isn’t going to be good. You’ve let your readers down. That story is so old. Who wants to hear from Mo Flames at this point? Girl, they’ve forgotten about you.”
Imagine sitting in front of a computer and hearing those words in your head versus the characters you need to create the story. I obsessed over every single scene – editing, rewriting and deleting everything to start over. It took some time before I was able to get into a space where I could be creative and once again believe in my craft. You can read about that journey in my other blog post, “Imposter Syndrome – Stop Procrastinating and Write!”
I’m forever grateful and appreciative for the friends and supportive readers that have encouraged me behind the scenes to never give up.
Writing is therapeutic.
I didn’t forget that I can escape from the real world and get lost in the one I’ve created with my characters. There all hell breaks loose. And like all fiction writers, I get to tell lies that are almost believable.
Yes, I lie, and I lie a lot. But it’s to entertain people with the drama and scandal I’ve conjured up in this mind. I get to live out the details of someone else’s life that I’ve made up. From beginning to end, I intricately weave a tale of sex, murder and lots of mayhem.
In 2008, I introduced the world to, One Ain’t Enough. The scandalous tale of Desiree Edwards, a married woman, entangled in a love triangle with two men that didn’t include her husband. She’s unable to make a decision on who she loves because they each have a piece of her heart. Just like its title, one book isn’t enough to tell it all. Yea, I know I left everyone dangling with that cliffhanger ending.
It’s taken me more than a decade, but I’m back to continue with her story in One Still Ain’t Enough.
Stay tuned because there’s more to come from Mo Flames!