The Writing Beast is Angry

Sometimes I feel like I have multiple personalities. The me that hangs out with my friends is jolly, easygoing and happy to compromise and ignore details.  I accept that I don’t know very much about things in the world and probably never will. I say “that’s fine” a lot and I mean it. I’m pretty much a consummate Hufflepuff or happy Buddha.

But within me lurks a beast.

The Writing Beast.

It is judgmental, nitpicky, egomaniacal and downright vampiric. It likes to nom on my friends’ heads and suck out their ideas and then use them for its own twisted amusement. I try to keep it in check but there is a problem.

I actually really like the things it writes.

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t nom on anyone’s head to write The Elves of LleuGarnock, and it’s OK, I guess. But it isn’t brilliant.

When I write Dragon’s Fall it is brilliant. It’s full of the scrumptious juices the Writing Beast has sucked out of William’s head. I am getting thirsty just thinking about it.

Because the Writing Beast is me, just as much as the social “me” is me. They are both representations of what I wish to give to the world. As a friend I try to be the best friend I can be, and I like to think the world is a little better because of that. But the Writing Beast wants just as much to spread its exquisite word nuggets so that people can enjoy them as much as I do.

Where the problem comes in is that the Writing Beast is a manipulative bitch.

When I’m dealing with non-friends, I will pick apart your fiction, chew it up to release the juices, and spit out the fibrous husk. I will steal your precious life force. I have no boundaries.

But the Writing Beast can only truly thrive on fresh blood. I love it when they fight back. When someone fights for their idea, when they explain their intention and why their words and ideas are precious, that adds so much flavor. It gives the work so much more life and depth.

But who will allow me to suck out their precious head juices? Only my friends.

I used to have only one of these two personalities dominant at one time. The Writing Beast took the lead every time when I first met William. There was no conflict because to me he was only a source of ideas. And, hey, he stuck around, so maybe that wasn’t so bad. But then one day I found he had been sucked dry.

The Writing Beast struggled with this. It fought, and screamed, and threw things. But eventually, without sustenance, it went to sleep.

The Hufflepuff in me woke up gradually over approximately the same period. Without an ulterior motive for spending time with them, I learned to appreciate my friends as people. I learned to stop living in my brain and start living in my heart. After a few years, I began to believe that I had simply become the Hufflepuff.

So when William invited me to be part of Dragon’s Fall again, I thought I could handle it. As an artist I could keep the Writing Beast from waking up fully. But then the Writing Beast’s dream ended. I was done writing The Elves of LleuGarnock. It needed something else to occupy it.

I asked William several times if he was sure. I knew by then that the Writing Beast was lurking, and if I gave it another taste of Dragon’s Fall it would try to take over again. But he said I could be a writer on the project again.

It’s fully awake now, and as manipulative as ever. The only real defense the Hufflepuff has against it is that the Hufflepuff claims to be able to keep the Writing Beast from sucking the resource dry.

So they coexist, but very unhappily. They argue constantly over the wording of my emails. The Writing Beast sabotages and manipulates the Hufflepuff, and the Hufflepuff tries to put the Writing Beast back to sleep.

This is a very confusing time for me.

At least I still have the Hufflepuff as the dominant personality when I’m not writing. Writing Beast doesn’t actually do anything except write. Hufflepuff seems to be a relatively competent human being. So when I’m busy dealing with life and friends, Writing Beast has no defense against Hufflepuff at all. I like to think that’s a sign that Hufflepuff is stronger. She’s much happier, all around.

But there’s nothing like the feeling when the wind blows across the tower where the Writing Beast dwells and whistles in the chinks between the stones and everything comes into harmony. Everything sings.


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