By: F.P. Dorchak
How do you “get” it?
Do you need to attain it?
Why keep writing?
I don’t know that it’s something to so much as shoot for…as it’s more something you just…fall into. I’m not quite sixty, and have been writing for some fifty-one years. I’ve written ten full manuscripts (at about two-to-three years per manuscript), but have only released five novels and one anthology. I’ve lost track of how many short stories I’ve written. The better of them are in my anthology, Do the Dead Dream? An Anthology of the Weird and the Peculiar, which won the 2017 Best Book Award for Fiction: Short Stories. The anthology came out October 1, 2017, but only sixteen of those have been individually published. And though I’ve been writing fifty-one years, you’ve never heard of me. Or my work. Or my newest abovementioned effort.
Yet still I write.
I think we can get too caught up in the accolades and tropes of society. Like “longevity.” What should be the ameliorated focus is appreciating the voyage…not being praised for, nor identified as having attained, some loftily defined or heralded conclusion. Though it is nice.
Let’s talk more about the voyage.
Enjoy each moment.
Enjoy the beauty of writing and the imagination.
Enjoy creating mental images from your generated words. From stringing together characters into words into phrases into sentences into paragraphs, pages, and books.
How you’ve created a notional construct…translated it through your physical form…your arms, your hands, your fingers…through use of a material instrument—a pencil, pen, a keyboard—into physical reality for others to read. Interpret. Create their own notional constructs. How you are also influencing the emotions and thoughts and perceptions of other people.
Fear. Anger. Love. Enthusiasm. Astonishment!
Marvel at the volume and diversity of what you’re conceiving!
All of the different stories that are being created from some weird place that you simply cannot touch. Yet directs your focus. Your beliefs. Your…living.
That is both there and not there.
The origin and generation of which scientists and philosophers cannot even begin to agree upon.
And from that medium…you’ve created tales.
They just keep coming and you keep writing.
You start submitting to publications. Some get in…most do not. You’re disappointed.
But you keep writing.
You feel like a sweating, barely containable firehose in full-on operation! You can’t get your stories out fast enough! As Time marches on you find that you’re getting better…more efficient at linking words into organized arrangements…and doing it quicker. In fact…you’re using fewer words to get the job done. You’re discovering less vulgar…more refined…ways at hammering home your concepts…and they’re hitting harder than ever. Where it used to take you a paragraph…you’re now employing sentences…sometimes only two or three…and at times…as many words.
You find—much to your utter amusement—that as you submit your romances, your mysteries, your horrors, you have created…a body of work.
You’ve become more confident about your words and your ability to wield them. You’re less bothered by rejection, or what others think…and move on to the next one…the next publication. You write just to write. It’s what you do. Who you are. You know that rejections are not about you—they’re about them. That your work isn’t right for them…philosophically or practically. You know you’ll eventually find your audience…large or small. It is your audience.
Besides…you’ve got work to do.
You keep writing.
That dulls…erases…the disease of rejection.
You feel good again!
Just keep issuing forth.
You translate them!
String words together in ways that astound you, and you wonder how that happens. From where do your ideas and methods originate?
Some will get what you’ve done…some will not. It doesn’t matter. You have stories for everyone.
And you keep writing.
Then…somewhere down the line…before you know it…you’re looking down upon your body.
Freed…like never before.
Your corporeal existence laid out before you like a crystal-clear and multi-dimensional Venn diagram.
A life well-lived!
But it was your life.
And you have even more ideas.
So you…reach out…in ways…unimaginable…until now—
And, yes, you’re just itchin’ to tell these tales….
@ F.P. Dorchak
F. P. (Frank) Dorchak writes gritty, realistic speculative fiction. Frank is published in the U.S., Canada, and the Czech Republic with short stories, non-fiction articles, and his five novels, Sleepwalkers, The Uninvited, ERO, Psychic, and Voice. His first anthology, Do The Dead Dream? won the 2017 Best Book Award for Fiction: Short Stories.