A blog flashback from 2/27/07:
Insomnia possibly was one of my worst childhood problems. Classmates couldn’t grasp how I read Gone With The Wind on a regular basis. When you can’t sleep, there’s only so much to do through the hours. My mother would quite often wake up at five in the morning and lecture me on how I need to sleep like a regular person. I wouldn’t. Years went on and I would continue to read and write until all hours of the night.
And, the sleepless beast has suddenly attacked again.
It’s quite horrible, sitting in complete silence and darkness with a plethora of words roaming through your head. My other childhood problem. The desire to tell stories. The desire to write. The desire to put things on paper and the need for those to understand. The need for those to appreciate what I have to say.
I get up out of bed.
I don’t even know where to begin. I run my hand across my first novel. It was a joke to start. I wasn’t going to write more than the first chapter. Then my mind and my fingers took over. until the novel itself took over. I lived and breathed for it when I was writing Letters To Young Chong. I would get home from work, crack open a Corona and go to town. I poured my soul out on those pages and set possibly a world record. A four hundred page novel in less than a year. It was everything I was. It was nearly like giving birth. It, to me, was my legacy. My creation. My words. My story.
And I have let it down. The dust on the binder says so. I analyze the dust particles on my fingers. They scream at me that I am a failure to it. If I really cared, if I really wanted people to feel the way I felt, I would try harder.
Then I think about the death of my second novel.
At least one hundred and sixty pages. Gone. My own stupidity. My own belief that it would be there for me forever. Gone. Mysteriously whisked away from my computer when I removed Norton AntiChrist, I’m sorry, AntiVirus.
All those chapters. All those stories. Stories that I probably will never be able to tell the same again. Stories that those who I dare let in to read the new makings swore it was ten times better than the first novel. Gone. I would of likely felt the same if I woke up one morning with no legs.
I’m left not knowing where to go. To restart? To give up? To finally heed to all those years of people saying, “Writing, that’s nice. What are you going to do for a real job though?” (And that sad realization, that most writers have to go on with real jobs forever. Few people get to just be a writer ‘when they grow up.’)
For now, I will likely just waste away the dark hours of the day and read another’s tales until I either feel tired or until the day begins. (Truth and Beauty, great book, but I think it has contributed to this feeling of writer’s awe.) And now I ponder, how is it possible to give up when the river of words in my head will never stop flowing?