Meta Mondays: Why I Write and Why That Matters

Welcome to “Meta Mondays.”  When I began to get really annoyed at blogging and wrote the post “Why Blogging is Killing Me” I decided to use my blog and tailor my posts in a way that had real writing goals in mind.  Basically, use my blog don’t let it use me.  I want to write more creative horror pieces, hence Scary Story Sunday.  Another goal is to write about writing because this is how us writers kvetch and learn from each other.  So here we are at Meta Mondays!  Writing it all out is my way of organizing my thoughts so I’m using the tool I have always relied the most on to sort it all out.

About a week ago I wrote a post Does Writing Matter?  I’m still processing a lot coming from a job that was all about service to a “job” that feels selfish.  It feels selfish because it feels so good.  I’m giving in to a voice that says: “write, write, tell, show, narrate, write, get it all down, write, write.”  Not only that, but I shed the biggest obstacle, the time and energy the teacher career absorbed, to do this more full time.  I’m not even trying to do both any more.

So I wrote a post with just the beginnings of processing, will my work as a writer, as a HORROR writer, contribute anything good to the world?  Another blogger: The Cabinet of Miss. Collingwood posted this comment:

The purpose of horror fiction is to expose cultural anxieties. Richard Matheson’s I AM LEGEND wasn’t really so much about vampires, but about a degradation of morality and of old values being replaced with newer, more awful ones. And it was about the loneliness of intelligence.
A responsible writer, especially a writer of horror, must write with more than the intention of frightening readers, and even more than catharsis. Horror should be written to combat desensitization, to remind people that there are things to be scared about, and there are things to be angry about, and above all that there are steps that can be taken to put the nightmare back to bed, no matter how scary it may be to care.

Her comment knocked my socks right off.  And got me red in the face.  I love her for saying this and I’m absolutely right there with her.  Sometimes when we are in the middle of something, we can’t see.  Because I know all of this.  I spent a decade apply life lessons from literature to the world for the benefit of the students in my care and I have spent a life time processing what I have learned, as a human, from the works I have read.  I have expounded with my mom or with friends on end about certain parts of Stephen King novels and I know they have changed my perspective on the world for the better.  Every time some superhero or some Stephen King antihero straps on their gear and bravely faces what’s in front of them, I learn.  I am validated much by what I read as well.  Yes, this is an honorable path, because like my fellow blogger said, compassion and empathy are instilled and given a place to thrive in literature and that follows us out into the world.  I have found a new home as a full time writer and it’s a good one.

So here I am at 33, not often willing at all to reveal or talk about my age, and I’m starting everything new.  I have been writing and reading my entire life but I’m behind, still.  Before leaving my job I only ever submitted one story for publication.  I have very few pieces of writing under my belt at all.  And I have a ton to read.  What kind of aspiring horror writer has not read any HP Lovecraft?  I’m ashamed to admit it.

Right now everything is changing and adjusting.  I’m on it.  I’m into the good work of it.  I also just picked up part time work at my city’s library and I’m possibly getting hired at Whole Foods.  So now I’ll need to juggle possibly two part time jobs, care taking, and writing.  I have this theory of a time paradox, I’ll tell you in the upcoming months if it’s true or something my addled naive brain thought up.

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