Monday, February 6, 2012
Thursday, February 2, 2012
I write because I hear voices in my head.
I haven't checked, but I'm probably not alone in this. I'm pretty sure all writers are writing what they are told by voices in their heads. In fact, I am sure that musicians make music because they hear things, and that artists draw and sculptors sculpt because they see things. In short, we are all crazy together. Blessedly, magnificently crazy.
It is a gift. Not a burden. We, and we alone, are chosen by these voices, these visions. They come to us, and to no one else. No other writers hears the voices I do, and no one who isn't a writer even understands what I mean. And they come for a purpose. They come because we can do for them what no one else can. We can give them what they need. The Greeks were wrong: there are not three Muses. There are infinity.
Give us life, they whisper. Make us real. Give us form that we might be born into the world and the minds of men.
And we do. Because we love them. I don't know what I'd do without them. Why, if I didn't have these voices in my head, I might go crazy.
I lost the voices once.
It was after I'd finished my first novel length project. I put it that way because it was a fanfiction – I have since mostly abandoned that field, but at the time I'd forgotten my passion as a writer, and writing that fanfiction novel woke me up again, and taught me some good lessons besides. I don't regret it. But the point is, it was my first novel that I completed, and it took me two years. Two years of a novel's worth of voices in my head. For two years, the cacophony in my cranium exceeded any I'd had before. It was wonderful. I loved it.
And then I finished it. I sat back in my chair, expecting to be satisfied, thrilled, ecstatic.
The voices were gone. I was scared.
I'd fulfilled my mission: I'd given them life, a form in which they could live in the world. And so, now, they no longer lived in my head. They didn't need me anymore. For the first time, I experienced a mass exodus of voices. My head was empty. The void frightened me. For several days, I honestly thought I might lose my mind from it. How could I live without those voices? I didn't I could.
But of course it was temporary. I'd been laying the groundwork for my novel for the past year, and with the cast of Fate/Spiral Time gone, those fledgling voices began to grow to fill the gap. It wasn't the same, not nearly, but I no longer feared for my sanity.
Some time passed. There was a false start: I thought I was ready and discovered that I hadn't nearly fleshed out the setting and characters enough. Then I was busy with school and trying to produce my first e-book, an anthology of my short stories – I made progress, but slowly. But then finally came midwinter break, and my anthology e-book was out and I had the time to finish preparing at last. Two weeks ago, I began to write again. This time, it was different. This time was right. And so, this time, the voices began to rise...
Soon, those dark empty rooms will be full again. Full of voices and dreams. I'm so glad.
I've missed them so much. Those voices.
Author Bio: Z. N. Singer probably owes his career first and foremost to his parents' callous act at the tender age of seven – specifically, they threw away the television. It never returned to the family, and he was forced to find other entertainment. He found books. Because writing makes a satisfying career but an uncertain source of income, he finds time to write in-between coursework at the Cleveland Institute of Art, where he studies Interior Design (not decorating – think interior architecture). You can find more examples of his writing, as well as extensive and ever expanding documentation on the world in which his eventual fantasy series will be set, at www.thewordpile.com . Free samples of (fantasy) fiction writing and occasional short stories available as well. There's a chatbox and comments are open to all, so no matter what your reason, even just to hang around, be sure to stop by. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter .