As much as I can, I do this. I have had some weird, messed up things and sometimes even earth-shattering events happen in my life, as most people do as they get older. I have been known to be a cheap bastard so going to sit on a couch for an hour at upwards of $175 a pop, seems like a rip off to me. Especially, since you have to do that for four or more visits until your “therapist” feels they know you well enough to start helping you. Over the years, when I would come at my many therapists with the question, “Why do I have to pay for you to not talk to me?” the answer was always the same; It’s important to just get it out and talk about it.
Most people don’t realize that just talking about the things they are going through, out loud is very powerful. It’s why people pray. Hearing your problems out loud is a great way to deal with them. Something happens to us when we sit with those festering feelings and never talk about them. You would be surprised to find out how many people have crap they are holding onto that they have never even talked about out loud by themselves. I’m not a doctor or anything, but I have heard that some people think that that could be one of the causes for cancer!
So what does this have to do with writing? I’m so freaking glad you asked that (I really hope you asked that). Writing it down is good too. I think speaking it out is helpful but when writing it down through fiction it gives you a way to deal with the problems your facing, even create solutions that you wouldn’t be able to.
Some of you now might be saying, “I’m not gonna air my dirty laundry for the world to see!” and that’s great because you don’t have to. If you read my blog post about Dreams Vs Reality Or Combining the Two, which can be read HERE, I talked about two ways in which I create is to over exaggerate on reality in my life, or under exaggerate on my dreams, or by just combining the two. So today, we are going to focus on writing in the reality part of life.
One of the more recent exapmles of this is my short story The Killing of P3. Let me add the description of the book from amazon…
“Meet C6. C6 has a mission that no one can know about during his mission that is already top secret. On top of that, C6 has his own mission during these two missions. Can C6 do it in time? The Killing of P3 is a tale of espionage, intrigue, suspense and scheduled executions. Dive into this world of rank, lunacy, nudity, secret reports, murder, double agents, triple agents, the Chinese and sexbots!”
Now, that can’t be real, can it? Of course it can. It is a true story. Completely true. I just changed the names of those involved and I changed the meaning of some words. No biggie.
I was really pissed about a situation and thought that I was losing my touch. I thought that I should give up. But, C6 had so many “missions” going on, he couldn’t quit, so neither could I. There were people I was really mad at, but in order to continue life with some normalcy, I would have to get over my hurt feelings really freaking quick. Writing P3 helped me do that. Without it, I don’t know what I would be doing.
Same can be said with some of the tales in Anxious Anxiety. Yes, I fear of my legs falling asleep while I’m on the toilet and then me standing up and breaking my ankle. Yes, I used to have severe agoraphobia and was completely paranoid while doing simple things like dropping books off at a library. Yes, when attractive women would hit on me and come on very strong, there had to be something wrong with them including, but not limited to, being the shell of a tentacle monster that wanted to devour my soul.
Now, are those things real? Yes (the jury is technically still out on women who want to sleep with me) but they are irrational fears. Fears that i didn’t realize how irrational they were until I wrote them out and was able to see exactly what I was doing to myself.
So yes most of the stories in Anxious Anxiety are true to a certain extent. In fact let me say it like this; the stories are true but the circumstances may vary. The Drop happened. The Contract happened. One Night in Zanzibar happened. Numb happened. Entering Las Vegas happened (HARD might I add).
Scrotum and Troubled also happened but those aren’t about me. Those are about when I finally hit rock bottom and had to go on county health care. In fact, if you ever don’t have material to write about, go sit in the waiting room at a free clinic for a few hours. You will have TONS to write about after that.
The Black Star Vortex and The Master, The Android and the Gorlows were two anxiety filled short stories I wrote while not in the right frame of mind if you get my drift.
Stillness is mostly feelings. Poetry. Prose. But it is me on the real. I still can’t read Stillness without crying.
Anyway, the point is, is that those stories helped me in ways that I can put a price tag on. I had such horrible anxiety that it crippled me. I lost out on a lot of things because of it. Tours with the band, film festivals, things I could have done to make my daughter smile. But, I don’t have those same problems anymore.
Once I fixed them in the book, they seemed to be fixed.
If you ever listen to my podcast, CreepersinCast, you heard me tell this story. I was always afraid I was going to shit my pants if I got stuck in traffic. I live in LA so there is always traffic. If I was going somewhere I didn’t know, I would worry myself to death about shitting my pants. I would bite my knuckles until they bled to take my mind off the crippling cramps that would come as soon as I had to stand in line at a grocery store. I would punch and slap myself to try to take the focus away from “bad belly”. Then I would leave wherever I was in a rush, make it home and then not have to go to the bathroom. It was madness!
So one day, I was about to freak out in the car and then I said out loud, “Okay, I am giving myself permission to shit my pants right here in this car, stuck in the 5 freeway for who knows how long. It will be gross and it will smell. It will be a mess. I’m sure people will see me when I walk from my car to my front door but I don’t care anymore, I’m tired of having my lower intestine rule my life!”
Odd thing. I didn’t have to go to the bathroom. See how strong “speaking” is?
I hear all the time when wives kill their husbands and no one knew there was ever any problems because they always put on the good happy face and never told anyone their problems. i wonder how many people wouldn’t be on death row if they just allowed themselves to shit their pants, just once.
So this brings me to my final example of this. Blood Lust Romance. After my daughter was born. I went from a cool guy in a band, to a guy that had to protect his family. This terrified me. Not because I couldn’t do it, but because “who would protect them while I’m at work?” I feared that there would be a home-invasion type robbery thing or something that would happen the second I left the house. That was completely irrational but I couldn’t shake it. I’m pretty sure my agoraphobia started with that thought.
So, I wrote a book (it actually started out as a script) about these total degenerate psychopaths that would break into a certain home and do some truly horrible shit. It was all the things I feared. Why do I do that? I had to get out what all my fears were. Once I did, I know what had to happen next…
I had to be way more fucked up then the psychopaths.
So I wrote that into the story and I felt way better. I was eventually able to leave my house. I was able to leave my daughter with my mom. I was able to enjoy myself while I was out. All because, I knew what I did to those people in my book.
Blood Lust Romance and Blood Lust Revenge (part 2) will be out some time within the next two weeks. I’m releasing them both at the same time in hopes of making Romance permafree and getting people into the series and then hopefully by August people will have had the time to read them both so they could get the conclusion, Blood Lust Retribution when it comes out then.
There have been some bad edits of both those books floating around since 2005 or 2006 but trust me, wait a couple weeks, it will be worth it. In fact, here is a little bonus for you, here are the covers for the first two books. never before seen! Zoe Humphries did a great job on them.
In the future I will write the blog post that I have been destined to write since my journey with Blood Lust Romance started back in 2001. It will probably be called something like The Responsibility You Take On When Creating Worlds and it will be very meta and crap so watch out for it.
Until next time, write, write, write, write and talk even if its just to yourself.
Keep it creepy!