Friday, July 3, 2015

Reasons to Write: Meet the Madam

Psssst. C'mere. Yes. You. The one watering your glass of whiskey with bitter why-you-shouldn't-write tears. (Last week's installment.) Put down the glass and step away from questions of half full versus half empty. I want to show you something. We may be the Word-Whores, and you know some things about each of us, but have you ever met our madam? Here she is. In the library. Beautiful, isn't she? Warm leather. Velvet brocade. Silk and soft perfume. Incredibly seductive. She's brilliant. The most skilled courtesan. Succumb to her and you'll never know what hit you. You'll also never regret it. Okay. You will. Often. But you'll keep coming back for more of her razor and barbed wire smile.

Oh yes. Now we pour you a fresh glass of whiskey because you've realized that our madam is writing and she's crooking a come-hither finger at you. Let me explain why you should slam that whiskey and go for whatever ride she has in mind.

  1. The voices - just beneath the surface of the critical voices telling you that you can't write are other voices. These are the ones that haunt you when you go still - in the dark just as you're sinking to sleep, in the predawn when something wakes you before your alarm. They aren't monsters under the bed or aliens in the walls or voices from the realm on the other side of your mirror. Those are characters wanting life. You can give it to them. You have that power. And because you do, you should.
  2. Revenge - within the confines of story it is possible to say all of the things you should have said but didn't. You know what I'm talking about. Every bully, snippy teacher, patronizing coworker, cheating love interest. It is also possible within the confines of story to award each of those individuals a protracted, painful and/or messy death. So long as only you know who they are. . . not that I, personally, have done this. Nor any of my fellow Word-Whores. We - er - have simply heard tell of the practice. At whore conventions.
  3. You are a special snowflake - I know this phrase is used in contempt, but I say this in all sincerity. Anyone who picks up an implement and writes is a special snowflake because of a thing called Voice. You may not know what it is, but you have it, and it is utterly unique. It derives from the sum of your experiences, your upbringing, and from the way you see and process the world. I have a hypothesis - Voice is as unique as DNA. Not that there's any way to prove that until someone works out a way to sequence Voice the way we do DNA. My point is that while you may fear you have nothing new or interesting to say, that isn't actually what anyone is looking for. It is the filter through which you view your stories that draws us in, that hooks us, and addicts us. We need your perspective. Another theory: humans require the same story served up spiced by a multitude of different voices - it's part of how we round out our experience of that story and come to feel that we're a part of the human family. We belong. All because you're take on a story makes you a special snowflake. You owe it to yourself and to everyone else to contribute.
  4. Living a millions lives from within your one - once the madam has you in her clutches, you will find that some part of you becomes your characters. You will, for the duration of your drafting process, try on the mannerisms, thought processes, clothes, professions and relationship dramas of your characters. It may last only so long as you put pen to paper or fingers to keys - but it will happen. You will lose yourself and, for that brief time, morph into someone other. You accumulate experience - all without paying their bills or taking their beatings. You can also do things within story that might not be physically possible in this reality. Nothing like defying physical laws. We leave the moral laws to your discretion.
  5. Fun - No need to blush. We're adults here. If it weren't fun, no one would do it, would they? Story would die out. There would be no more books birthed into the world. But there are. Why shouldn't yours be one of them? Why shouldn't you cast aside whatever holds you back? Even on the days when the madam is surly and bent on punishing you for slights you never knew you'd committed, you'll still be having more fun than you do with nearly anything else in your life. Admit it. You love our madam. She has you enthralled. Every terrible, nasty, wonderful thing she demands of you  makes your soul sing. It's okay. You'll get used to the pleasure/pain. It only stings a little.
What do you say? Will you go where the madam wants to take you? If so, just sign here. Take this pin. No. That isn't a misspelling. Pin. These kinds of contracts are only writ in blood. Why do you think we ply you with whiskey?


  1. she's totally my domme and me her willing sub :-) great post!

  2. "But you'll keep coming back for more of her razor and barbed wire smile." Yup. I'm addicted.

    Superb post!

  3. Great post. I'm writing...I'm writing. I slammed tequila though, not whiskey...she doesn't seem too picky about her alcohol.