My Demons are My Muses

I’ve been having some interesting conversations, and reading books and watching movies and taking part in classes about the subject of stories. The stories we are living. The stories we are telling. The stories we are believing. And it’s brought up some interesting things for me, as a writer, a storyteller, and creator of fictional worlds.

I am aware that the stories we tell and that we believe, create the world we live in. When we repeat the same refrain over and over, about who we are, and what we are and are not capable of – it becomes our reality. It becomes our truth, and we will tell it to whoever will listen.

We create our pain, our struggle, our drama – all by what we say. Out loud and in our minds.

I know, that I have all the tools I need to slay all of my demons and create a harmonious, abundant, joyful life. But I don’t use the tools, I don’t put things into practice, I don’t slay my demons and create that life. Why?

Because my demons are my muses.

My darkest moments have created the most powerful scenes in my books. My lowest points have yielded my best poetry. My expression of the depths of my despair have reached people, connected with people, resonated with people, who are in that very same place. And in those connections, those people have realised something crucial.

They are not alone.

There is hope.

If the character can experience the same pain, the same struggle, the same pitch dark night of the soul – and survive it – then those people can too.

I know that I don’t need to experience something to write about it. There is much I have written about that I have not yet experienced, and perhaps never will. But I do know that when I have experienced something, and when I write even in the moment I am still experiencing it, those words are what connect with people in the deepest possible way.

And so, my demons are my muses.

Of course, being aware of this means that I don’t have to dwell in those dark spaces. I don’t have to give my demons any more airtime than necessary. Instead, I can live with them. And isn’t that what it’s all about? Becoming friends with our shadows? Accepting every part of our selves – the good and the bad, the light and the dark? If I were to slay my demons, and live purely in the light, I may as well be on the other side in heaven, and not a human on this planet.

The point of being human is not to slay the demons, but to understand them. To listen to them. And to let them help you to help others.

So tell your stories. Live your stories. Believe your stories. But know that you have the power to change the story whenever you choose. You are creating your experience, your life, with your story, and by understanding and befriending your demons, you can create an even more powerful story, that could help others.

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Still in Need of Motivation

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Back on the 6th of January, I wrote a post about keeping the fires burning, and how I was going to use Seinfeld’s method to write every day. Now that the month is over, I thought I would post a photo showing my progress, and in all honesty, I find it a little depressing. I mean, I’m a writer, yet I only managed to write on 6 days out of the month. (The red crosses mean writing, the green crosses mean exercise)

So does this mean this method doesn’t work for me? Well, not necessarily. I think perhaps if I managed to get a few more crosses in a row I would be less likely to want to break the chain. But it does feel like my usual methods to motivate myself to write aren’t working anymore.

Now you may be reading this and thinking – ‘Well perhaps you shouldn’t be a writer then’, and I wouldn’t blame you, to be honest. I have questioned my choice to write books many times, even though deep down, I have always known that it wasn’t really a choice. I am a writer. There is no way out of it. But that doesn’t mean that it’s always easy.

I will continue to cross off the days that I write (and exercise), because it is good to have a visual reminder of what I have achieved each month. And I hope that by the end of February, I will have created a longer chain. I will post a photo in 27 days!

And if I find any other methods for motivating myself that work, I will let you know what they are.

(Just to clarify, the only writing I am counting as part of my chain-making is writing my new novel. I don’t count any other writing towards this goal.)

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In need of inspiration…

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Having got so far behind on my wordcount in the last week, I have hidden myself away in a beautiful location, courtesy of some lovely friends of mine, who have very kindly opened their home to me. It’s hard to … Continue reading