About Me

My photo
Brian J. W. Lee is a writer. When he's not writing, he's plotting to plunge the world in a deep chasm of terror, darkness and screams. Sorry, did I get carried away?

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Let's Talk Writing: Masochism

Well, fie. Me being a horror writer (exclusively for now), I'm bound to stumble on topics like that. Regardless, nothing is sacred in writing.

I have always extolled a certain kind of attitude when it comes to writing. And that attitude is to enjoy it, to write only an amount you're comfortable with, and to write whatever you're comfortable with. That's how I settled on a daily 1,000-words-a-day writing routine, and how sometimes I'll fall a little short when something happens, like Christmas celebrations. That's how I ended up with a horror novel for a debut book, and why I've been writing horror short stories as my second project.

But that doesn't always work, if my falling short of my 1,000-words-a-day goal occasionally is any indication. And it doesn't quite explain away the 100% of how I do things either.

There's this other side of me, a dark side if you will. And I believe it's a dark side that every writer possesses, that hell, most people have. It's more common than you think.

It's the will to step out of your comfort zone, and improve yourself, try new things.

It's how I managed to get through 1,000 words a day to begin with. Just look at my first few posts on this blog:

A New Beginning - An Introduction

Writing Report #1: Exhaustion

Writing Report #2: The Return

So, I went from being barely able to scrape out 300-500 words a day and a wee bit of edits to churning out 1,000 words a day, or 2 chapters (4,000-8,000 words) of edits a day.

But what if I take it one step further?

What if I were to join the dark side and be masochistic? I'm already halfway there, making sacrifices for the delayed pleasure of achieving something. Even in my real life, I used to run half-marathons, and I can tell you that it's gruelling - all for the sake of staying fit and... achieving something. And when I stopped running myself into the ground on a tri-weekly basis, I started recently eating less with a fruitarian bend (but enough) to stop gaining weight - even if it means going to bed hungry sometimes.

Sometimes, I talk about achieving a state of Writing Nirvana, wherein I bring out inhuman results at little cost to myself. For this entire year, I haven't been able to get there at all. And now I think I know why.

The path to Nirvana is supposed to be fraught with pain and suffering. I wrote 4,000 to 5,000 words a day once because of the pressure of meeting a deadline. At first, I was filled with anxiety and dread, but at the end of the day, I was pleased with myself.

Perhaps I should re-enact that on a daily basis? But to be masochistic is to be more than that.

It's to enjoy the whole thing, all the way. Writing as a masochistic demon can't turn out to be a job. It must be something I embody, something that I must gain pleasure from even if my fingers and head aches. It must be to the point of near-sexual or drug-fuelled ecstasy. That's going to require conditioning. Major conditioning.

Huh. Funny how I tend to describe Writing as my Wife and my Book as my Daughter. Tee hee.

Anyway, I'll have a month to figure it out. On the extreme, if this 'Masochism' project works out, I could be looking at anywhere between 90,000 words written at least to, say, 120,000 to 150,000 words. More than enough to finish my short stories collection with room to edit or work on a third book.

Good thing I've been playing around with the concept of a demon character amongst other possible things to write about. She'd serve as something of a shrine to this idea.

Well, time to take out the knives, flogs and clamps! I'll have to draw a pentagram and lie down on it too! Fun times!

Hehe, just kidding! Or am I? 😈

No comments:

Post a Comment