The beautiful thing about writers is not that their world is sunset kisses and romance in the crashing waves, touches light as a feather on quivering skin and passion to make the gods envious. The beautiful thing about writers is that when they find themselves living in a world void of such things, they can create one that is not.
They can weave a tapestry of words that will take shape like a painting on a wall, breathing with personalities that love and betray and surrender to passion and embrace death with a bravery we wish we had.
They can make you believe it’s real.
That somewhere out there, this exists.
When really, it exists only in stories created to bring hope out of its dark little corner. To inspire another this has happened to someone out there. To give hope to those who look at their world and hate it with as much passion as they wish to love.
They’re excellent liars, these writers. Conjuring the perfect lover, the most dastardly villain, the inevitable one you love to hate. Seething schemes existing only on the stage of the mind. Using words to hypnotize the unsuspecting, the eager, the naïve, into a world they just nearly recognize – a world they believe lurks just around the corner. If only they hold on, look harder, search tirelessly.
Most writers I know write more for themselves than for anyone else. Audience is an illusion. We don’t perform in front of anyone. We don’t stand on stage and scream with music playing behind us, we don’t pirouette to the lilting flute and hear gasps of wonder. No one sees us work. There is no applause. There is no laughter at all the right spots.
All we have is the voice in our head. Chiding, patting us on the bottom if we’re lucky, on occasion telling us “damn good job man, now let’s get drunk.” The stadium is empty. The only applause, in our own heads. Or in the worlds we create.
I have such worlds in my head. So many stories, so many snippets of other realities just waiting in the dark earth to be shined upon and watered til it flowers again.
So many stories.
The actors, waiting on stages long since abandoned to the dusk of inactivity.
The candles that used to flicker by the doorway now covered in a thick blanket of dust.
The passion in the actors’ eyes waning as they stand around the stage or pacing its length. Bored. Frustrated.
The next act hasn’t come.
The lines are all blank.
They look to the sky, to the door, to the writer’s room for any movement. For that spark and ignition of the candle once more to light their way.
They’ve been waiting for 7 winters now. Waiting for me to hand them another act. To tell them the show will go on and here’s how it really ends.
What if I die tomorrow? What happens to my players, my dear actors? Do they linger, unaware their muse has expired? Do they haunt others in search of another storyteller?
Or do their voices die with me, in the cold, in the dark.
The beautiful thing about writers is that you can always re-light that candle, call to the actors, dust off the stage and start again.
It’s time to start again.
Don’t let your music die with you. Don’t let the voices be silenced in the dark, in the cold. Give them breath.