By Brian Butler
How many times have you sat down to write with that blank receptacle before you and yet nothing to plug into it? A common occurrence for many of us, I am sure, yet the passion to write continues to lure us. The void stares back at you, emotionless and cold, but still begging for input, silently crying for existence. And you possess the power to grant it, to create something out of nothing. Much like mad scientists, we as writers are drawn by the ability to conceive our own Frankensteins, giving birth through our fingertips.
When words are put to the page, the creature begins to take on unique characteristics, traits only this monster owns. As days pass and it is fed more and more words, it begins to stand on its own. It grows from its barren space to a starving infant craving nourishment and attention. It feeds relentlessly. Spawned from the depths of our brain, it becomes one of our offspring, developing a distinct personality blended from our experiences and imagination. We start to care for this…thing.
The monster continues to grow and becomes its own entity, gorging on our time. Its greedy voice speaks to us on an unconscious level as it evolves. We respond with all the love such a child needs to develop into a healthy adult. But soon, it becomes too large to contain.
To retain command, we assign schedules and ration its intake to keep the beast from spinning out of control.
The creature rebels.
It is used to over-indulging, taking all we can give. It has had no set of laws to follow to this point. With a life of its own, the progeny stops communicating, punishment for the application of rules. Alone, we slump into a state of apathy. The roles have reversed, and now instead of us being the care-giver, we look to our creation to fulfill our needs. We look for it to give in return.
But it doesn’t. It won’t. It can’t.
It is up to us to continue the relationship, to reconnect and finish what we started. Without us, creations such as these will never reach maturity. They will sit dormant in drawers and in closets and in dead computer memories. They will become abandoned orphans whose creators were too cruel to put them out of their misery.
Be a good parent. Stay in touch with your brood. Feed them incessantly at birth to bring them to a healthy life. Then mold them with subtle refinements. Yes, rules are necessary, but do not let them confine you or condemn your offspring. Instead use them as guidelines to bring your creations to success, where they can survive on their own, and be introduced to the world, not as a monster, but as a beautiful work of art for all to adore.