So here I sit, still trying to decide what I want to write. I spent a few hours last night working on a piece I started a year ago, about a women strapped to a toilet chair in a basement. But then, here comes that businesswoman, asking me, “will this sell? What genre is it, thriller, horror, what, what? Is there a market for this if I spend the time to write a whole novel? That’s a big investment, what will the returns be?”
I stop. I start perusing horror sites, reading stories, comparing, evaluating, thinking, “Ok, yeah! That scene is just as scary or more so than some of the stuff I’ve run across.” I get excited, remembering all the old horror movies I loved so much when I was a really young kid, The Hand, The Blob, Straight Jacket, Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte, Psycho, then along came the Omen, Amytiville Horror, The Exorcist, and how I used to devour Dean Koontz and Stephen King novels the minute they hit the shelves. I thought about how all the most memorable scary movies had a character who was unforgettably crazy or a monster, like Frankenstein, Count Dracula, The Mummy, then along came the modern day monsters, Freddy Krueger, Jason, Leatherface, Michael Myers.
That businesswoman was planted firmly on my shoulder, shouting, “create a character of your own, one that will be a huge hit! She reminds me of all the stories I have written over the last three years that aren’t published yet. “Several of them,” she says, “with some tweaking could definitely fit the horror genre.” Suddenly they feel like inventory I need to move before I restock.
Then that mantra I hear over and over comes back to me, “just write, don’t worry about anything else, just start writing” I can’t seem to do that, I have a compulsive need to know, or at least have a good idea, what the future of what I write is going to be. I hear so many writers say they can’t “not write” but I can “not write” if it means that my time will be wasted. “Time is money” that businesswoman whispers.
But then I think about Maddy, my middle reader, and how I really did just sit down and write the story. What pure joy that was. And right behind that thought comes another one. “I wish I could hurry up and get this published so I could market it! I’m great at marketing, I need Maddy on the shelves!” Although, I will admit, the businesswoman has been influenced by the writer to a large degree, because the writer adds softly, “I really can’t wait for kids to read this, I think they will love it.”
Oh innocent, doe-eyed muse, please return! Gods of creative writing, scary stories, horror novels, would you put a muzzle on this businesswoman and let me write in peace?