Sunday, 4 November 2012

5 Years of Silence

"But it's been
Fourteen years of silence
It's been
Fourteen years of pain
It's been
Fourteen years that are gone forever
And I'll never have again"
'14 Years' - Guns N' Roses

It's wasn't quite fourteen years, but it felt like it. From 2003 to 2007, I didn't write. Nothing, nada, zilch. There were ideas rolling through my head but they refused to come out on to the page. I carried notebooks and pens everywhere, sat in front of computers, but nothing.

It was the loneliest five years of my life. The silence in my mind was deafening, a heavy weight around my neck. I wanted to create, wanted to be prolific, but I couldn't. It was one of the most painful times of my life.

The silence could have been caused by a number of things. The withdrawals from the vices I'd left behind. The shitty conditions I lived in for some of that time. The amount of legal medication which was being pushed in to me to counteract the effects of the illegal ones. It could have been anything.

Finally, in 2007, a spark began to blossom, crackling in to life. Oddly, I'd been stumbling around the internet looking for a piece of original fiction I'd read in the previous years. During this search, I fell across a website which only accepted the best of the best in free original fiction (sadly now defunct. May it rest in internet peace). To be featured on it, you had to get past a barrage of different moderators. If your grammar, or your plotting, or any of a number of different factors, was slightly off, it was sent back to you to modify.

Going through the different stories, I began to feel that warm, surging inspiration begin to rise. I started in my soul before it clenched my heart, sending a Bonfire Night explosion of fireworks through my brain. Suddenly all the different neurons were beginning to fire again, pinging off one another.

My first piece was a long, winding piece based on the idea of the Big Brother show (except a lot more explicit and twisted). And that was it. Since then, I've never been able to shut up!

Why am I writing this post? Because, across the internet, I see comments from would-be-writers, all wondering why they can't write. It may be a number of factors, but I see people pushing themselves way too hard to achieve something which may not be meant to happen yet. Writing is supposed to be fun and pleasurable. No one makes money off it in the first go (I started Mars on the Rise in 2009 and it was 3 years before it saw the light of on a publisher's website).

Go and look for inspiration in the strangest places.
Search the internet for those oddities. 
Does a particular song speak to you? Go and look up the meaning behind it and see if that does anything for you. 
Don't force yourself to write in a particular genre (Up until 2 years ago I hated hard sci-fi with a passion. Now there are the beginnings of several such stories on my computer).
Don't force back an idea because you hate it; you never know what it'll turn in to.
Don't try and think too hard; let everything speak for itself (not something everyone does, but it may help someone. :) ).
Go and join one of the writing websites (I got my start on WEbook). Read, submit and talk to others.
Lastly, don't listen to the rules. Rules are there for a reason; to be broken!

Feel free to share your stories, and screams of frustration around here. People do read the comments, and someone may be able to offer some advice. Most of all, don't stop trying to write. There's something in you which wants to come out.

Best o' British luck to you!


  1. I wrote my first novel when I was twenty one, Rae. A horror story based on the Black Sabbath album cover. I showed it my mate and he said he preferred my non-fiction stuff. (I eventually wrote academic stuff for a living). I was so sensitive, I never picked up a pen until 2004. That's quite a few years. I haven't shut up since either and I refuse to write non-fiction now because I believe that is where my voice lies. Others disagree still, but there's only one voice I ever listen to and that's the one in my head. I would add that to your excellent list. I am enjoying your blog! The best of luck to you and your readers. Wiz xx

    1. You've definitely got your head screwed on right with listening to only one voice. :) It's a difficult one to follow when so many people want to offer their opinion. Have "The Ritual" queued up to read next. Can't wait! Thank you for all your love and support. :) x

  2. that should be "i believe that FICTION is where my voice lies...", of course. Your nasty website would have sent this straight back! :-)