You start off on the straight edge, taking prescription reports assigned by your high school English teacher. It’s some rhetorical analysis, non habit forming. But the feeling of injecting lines of text into your word processor begins taking a hold of you. Visions of fiction start to appear in your dreams.
You start of by just imagining the feeling. You’ve got characters, scenarios, but you would never roll them up in a plot, blow them up into the smoke of a story.
Your friend shows you some of his poetry. Crazy stuff, way out there. You try some yourself, but it’s a trip you’re not ready for. Seeing syllables line up like in some sort of pattern isn’t your thing, but you’ve already entered the gateway.
Prose isn’t that bad in comparison, right? You lay down some short stories here and there, but it never feels like enough. You could have so much more if you just expand on those characters, letting their rising actions taking them to climaxes in the plot-line.
You start feeling the need to shut yourself off, stashing your notebooks, lined paper, hiding the evidence. The composition book sitting on the shelf at the mini-mart stares back at you, even though you only have enough money for the gas you need to get home. You feel like taking it, but you know your parents raised you better. But you need that fix.
Friends start to come to you. Yo man, give me some of that historical fiction. You’re passing out novellas so they can get their fix. They come back for more, but you’re dry with writer’s block. Just get me like a page, they say, even double-spaced is fine.
There comes a point when you have to come out. There’s no longer a way you can hide it, bear to hide it. Mom, Dad. I’m a writer.
“It’s because you read him all those stories before bed.” You mom would say, accusing your dad.
“You ordered that collection of encyclopedias too. I saw him sitting with the second half of the E section, you know.”
It’s too late though. You’ve got publishers breathing down your neck. They want their stuff, but your parents took your keyboard away to try and ‘help’ you. You’re scribbling with pencil nubs on the tags on your clothes, trying just to pull out one more chapter.
Writing. Not even once.