There is no better feeling in this world.
And this is coming from a girl who used to be 146 pounds and ran every day, chasing that mythical ‘runner’s high’; where everything falls away and there’s nothing but you, the wind in your hair, the music in your ears, and the beach ahead. I used to slice through the wind, and live for no chase but my own.
I really think I was trying to, metaphorically, run away from the Navy.
Everyone’s gotta dream, right?
Since then, I’ve put on weight, taken some of it off, and come out of the Navy with dead nerve endings in my left ear, vertigo, and a healthy case of ‘let’s not run unless it’s absolutely gorgeous outside’. That isn’t to say I don’t like running, there are times that I do, but shin splints are really a bitch. And they don’t go away. Even with nice shoes.
So, I don’t run very often. What occupies my time outside of school and people things, is writing. If you haven’t already guessed.
And there’s something very, very, very special within the writing process. There are times where the paper yawns open and you sink right in; your characters come alive and the damn story practically writes itself without any help from you thankyouverymuch.
And that’s a beautiful thing.
There are other times, though, when there is no writing going on. There are times where you’re stuck and need to hammer things out before you can even begin. World/character/language building is the start of this process. You have something massive in your head and you have to condense it down so your brain doesn’t esplode on impact.
For me, my esplode nearly came because I’m working backward. I had it in my head that I wanted to go to war, and that everything I’m writing is connected in some way. There were challenges from point A to point B and I’m re-reading Persian Fire to better understand just how people went to war way back when Sparta was the greatest social experiment ever to be undertaken and Democracy involved exiling people for ten years.
Fantastic book. It’s by Tom Holland. Best book I’ve ever read that encompasses the entirety of the War of the West; from Darius to Xerxes, from Sparta and Athens’ beginnings to their end, from Marathon to Thermopylae, and beyond. Give it a go, if you’re a history buff. You won’t be disappointed. It’s a bit dated, published back in 2005, but still very much relevant.
My re-reading and re-watching of movies has one purpose: research. I have to understand how people went to war (dramatizations or not), before I can write war myself. But, that’s not the entirety of it. I have to connect characters, to make plots make sense, and to release books on an individual basis. The books are neither sequels, nor are they really ‘prequels’ to anything. They are stories that can be read in any order and have the events still be understood before the actual trilogy comes out.
Ladies and gentlemen, fellow writers, we need to install a global ‘Writing Partner Appreciation Day’, because without mine, I wouldn’t have found my high.
The writer’s high comes from understanding the individual parts to a story. It is the thing that happens when all of the puzzle pieces suddenly click together. It is that one. simple. thing that makes the story absolutely, 100% work.
It is the best feeling in the world.
It’s a sudden rush of adrenaline, endorphins, and all those other chemicals that make you happy, racing through your bloodstream into your brain where they explode into an audible
OH MY FUCKING GOD! THAT’S IT! THAT’S IT! THAT’S IT!
It makes you flap your wrists in the car; gets you weird looks from other drivers, and makes you scream into a car cab with population: you.
It’s a puppy on Christmas and every good thing you can possibly imagine. A high without a drug, pure unadulterated pleasure.
And then, just as quick as it comes, it’s gone again. After that, the work begins.