Musings in the Dark: Into the Void


Into the Void

Any author can tell you that there are times when the muse is awake, the story flows like water.  And then there are times when writer’s block is so severe that s/he believes the dam will never break.  Being an author, of course, I have those same issues.  What I’ve learned during reflective periods is that when my muse is leading me, I am in a place where I’m more alive than at any other time in my life. I’m somewhere I always want to be; yet I cannot visit very often due to the understated danger of that wonderful strange place.  I suppose that is the point, because when I’m there, I’m completely there.  I call it the void.
Let me try to explain.

When I look back over my previous works, be they fanfiction or novels (and I could argue that there is a significant overlap), I’m always stunned at the layering, complexity and continuity of what I’m reading.  I read and go, “I wrote this?  Where in the hell did this come from?”  I’m not trying to blow my own horn or put my questionable talent on blast, because I certainly do not have the bank account to show for it.  What I’m trying to say is that when I’m in the void, I’m able to produce work that, by my normal standards, is impossible to replicate.  And not from lack of trying.

I can say this: when I’m in the void, it is just that.  It’s a dark place, a black place, a silent place, a raw nerve ending where my emotions are volatile and precarious.  There is no noise and there is no light; just the rapid reel of my thoughts, my pulse and my breathing.  I’m usually on the verge of tears, or they are streaming down my face.  Standard functioning is at a minimum: I don’t sleep, I barely eat, and I do not remember how I get through my days.  Nothing else is important.  Everything falls by the wayside.  All that matters is being in the void and telling the story that’s in me at that time.  It’s a metaphorical bloodletting; so much has built up that I have to bleed out or die from the overload. And sometimes I bleed for weeks.  Even months.

When I’m in the void, my muse is light-years ahead of me.  I’m not aware of very much beyond the frenetic movement of my hands.  I’m not in control; she is.  She’s like a wild mustang, a wayward missile, a rogue comet, and it is all I can do to hold on to her.  She pulls philosophy, thoughts and dreams from the dark undercurrents of my subconscious, combines them with one or two random unrelated and uncorrelated concepts and turns this miasma into a novel.  Pain is usually the other result; I guess that is where the tears come from.  But I feel better afterwards.

You may ask, “If I feel better afterwards, then why is the void dangerous?”

I’ll have to answer that in a later post.

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