First and foremost, I would like to thank every single one of you. When I started this journey a few months ago, I had absolutely no idea that I would get to meet so many wonderful and talented people. You are all fantastic, courageous and amazing human beings. Keep on doing what you’re doing: the world will undoubtedly be a better place for it.
Which brings me to the subject of this very first blog post (yup, no stories here folks, sorry).
When I started writing, it was a fearful gesture, an almost forbidden practice. I wrote because I had worlds inside me and putting them on paper seemed to be the most efficient way of not going mad.
Why the fear then? When I was younger, I saw reality as a profoundly rational and ordered experience: you grew up, got a real job, worked, retired and…tried not to think too much about the rest.
Of course, that’s all a spectacularly huge pile of dragon droppings.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure some people do exactly that, and are very happy with their existence; I have nothing against somebody leading an ordered, rational life. I may even envy them a little…being someone who has tried for ages to be a perfect planner (and has thankfully, failed miserably at it), the prospect of things falling exactly into place as you want them to sounds fantastic.
Except, that it has nothing to do with the person I want to be.
In recent years and in the last few months, I have been slowly bringing myself to accept that I want to write. I want to tell stories, I want to create worlds, and I want to surround myself with countless unfinished, scribble-filled notebooks. I live in places where gryphons fly, where magic is part of everyday life and where heroes travel through lands of mystery.
I think that now I can finally accept it. It’s still difficult. Five times a day, I’ll think that I’m a delusional fool, that this will only ever be a lost cry in the dark and that one day I’ll be sitting behind a desk somewhere, regretting it all. I’ll be bitter, sad and angry; I’ll feel miserable because I got it wrong, because I never managed to become who I wanted to be. Or I think that writing is the occupation of the lazy; I mean, what good does it really do in the world? You rarely see writing making money, or planting new trees in the rainforest.
But that’s not really the truth now, is it?
I started by giving this –by giving me- a chance and I don’t think I could turn back.
How can anything replace the extraordinary rush of sharing your stories with someone else? Can any of you think of a description that does this justice? It’s like…taking someone on a trip through your mind, or introducing them to one of your best friends, or letting them see a part of you that is new and yet so, so old.
It’s joyful, it’s scary, it’s even painful sometimes…and I could never give it up.
And that’s just the beginning!
When I started this blog, I had no idea what would happen. To be completely honest, I thought maybe a few people would stop by, notice one story or another and then disappear into the murky depths of the Internet.
What I didn’t expect, was the incredible support and enthusiasm you fantastic people have shown. Nor was I expecting for someone to actually read one of my stories out loud, review it and post it as a video on their site (once again, thank you ABK. You are the first person who has ever read something of mine aloud and it really made my week). By the way, go check out ABK’s fantastic Promptcast series; it could be just the thing to find the inspiration for your next short story!
So, what does this ramble have to do with sharing stories?
Remember when I said that sometimes I had difficulty imagining writing as something that could change the world?
Well, it turns out that it does. It’s a small everyday thing that subtly runs through us and lives in our eyes, our voices and our minds. Stories shape us in the same way we shape them; they are beings that live next to us, that grow with us and sometimes spread to others. The act of writing is profoundly creative; it’s magical in a way: you are making something out of nothing and you are nurturing it, hoping it will grow up and stand on its own two –or fifty-seven- feet.
And the act of sharing your stories is like giving a gift, or handing a delicate something to a stranger: you hope they’ll admire it, or at least appreciate it. You prepare for the heartbreak that may come if they smash it to the ground.
What writers tend to forget is that, light begets light. The act of creating, of sharing, shifts the world and makes it softer, kinder, and more compassionate.
Some of you are probably muttering right about now.
Something like: “Oh for £%&%’s sake, what a long-winded buffoon Goshawk is! I write to write, and my writing isn’t anything like a rainbow shining from a unicorn’s backside. Nor do I want it to be!”
And you are right of course. Some of you write incredibly sad poetry, others simple journal entries and others how-to’s. What I’m trying to say, is that I honestly think it doesn’t matter what you write: you are sharing yourselves with the world.
You are being human, so fantastically, imperfectly human. I think we often forget what that means or what it feels like; wars, the horrors on the news, the impossible standards, predetermined life paths…all of it squashes and corrupts.
It sometimes wraps me in fear, and in those moments, I tend towards a more orderly existence, one that is “safe”.
And then, I read one of your posts. I page through a book, I lose myself in a D&D session and I remember that I’m human.
So I write. I light a candle and I hold it against the Dark.
Thank you for reading this small ramble; if you have anything you’d like to add, or say or communicate through interpretive dance, leave a comment or a link below 😉
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Here is a brief transcription of the incantation Jason Finnemore used in my story “A functional summoning” to contact Hell.
Kudos to ABK for his amazing reading of the backwards version of this incantation…I almost felt guilty!
“From Earth and Flame I summon thee,
To do my bidding for hours three.
Infernal blood and cursed bones,
I draw you now from cries and moans.
Your art I need to solve my plight,
Join me now, in dark and night!”
Thank you all for reading!-