Writing

If You’re A Writer, Stop…

Asking for permission. I don’t care how young you are or how much experience you have. You don’t need to ask for permission to create. You don’t need my permission. You don’t need your mom’s permission. And most importantly, you don’t need the world’s permission.

Pleasing other people. The only person you need to please is yourself. And that’s hard enough as it is. Do what you want to do. Create something you genuinely want to create. If someone isn’t pleased about it, that’s their problem. Guess what? Unlike your plot holes, you don’t have to fix it.

Wishing and wondering. Do you wish and wonder and dream and daydream all the time? There’s nothing more I can say. Are you working and doing? Now we’re talking. I know it’s difficult. I know you’re busy. I know real life sucks more often than not. Why do you think I escape to fictional worlds and never want to leave them?

If you’re really a writer, you’ll stop reading this blog post and start working. Remember Big Brother’s watching.

Personal Reflection

Thanking People Who Didn’t Believe In Me

Thank you for not believing in me. For doubting me.

Thanks for bringing me down, so I can build myself back up. 

Thank you for laughing behind my back or in front of my face. For stabbing me here, there, everywhere. 

Thanks for teaching me to let my work speak for itself. For making me realize that I don’t have to open my mouth to get the last word. 

Thank you to the people who I didn’t please. Who I will never please. Thanks for teaching me that I couldn’t please everyone. But I could please myself. And that’s what I’ll continue to do. 

Writing

Write The Story You Want To Tell

Writing a story you want to tell is ten times easier than writing a story to please someone else.

So write for yourself. 

I’ve been giving advice since 1997. I don’t plan to stop now. Even if the advice is common sense. Common sense isn’t common enough, I think. 

But on a similar note, blog for yourself. It’s more enjoyable when you’re not worrying about numbers. Come on, how can you not love words? 

Creative Writing

Do It, Please

Do it, please.

Ingrained in his memory like a tattoo were those three words. No matter how hard Marcus tried to forget the past, those words kept resurfacing. Questions plagued him ever since that dreadful day he went to friend’s house. Even worse, his heart ached at the answers he received.

A shiver went down his spine. In spite of the suffocating heat, he closed the bedroom window. The tree leaves caught his attention. They danced in the breeze from side to side almost mockingly. Even a part of nature had the power to remind him of the day his world came crashing down, crushing him with its weight.

Stepping out for the first time in nearly a month, Marcus realized he missed the outdoors. His eyes immediately fixed upon a patch of grass near the oak tree. To an average person, the slight discrepancy in the grass was unnoticeable. However, Marcus—of all people—noticed the difference. After all, he disturbed the tiny area.

Like Marcus had three weeks before, he knelt down and dug. Dirt and grass coated his fingernails when he finished. That was the least of his worries. Inside the hole, a few feet in the ground, was an unloaded gun.

***

The phone call made him drop the gaming controller and bolt outside. After driving eight miles, he parked his dad’s truck on her driveway. Normally Megan came out to greet him.

She hadn’t locked the front door, giving him an open invitation to step inside.

“Meg?” he called out. “Where are you?”

The house remained silent for so long that Marcus had a sinking feeling in his stomach. Just as he was about to turn around to go back the way he came from, she finally spoke.

“I’m upstairs.”

Taking the steps two at a time, Marcus reached her bedroom in record timing.

Once again, he didn’t knock.

“Hey, are you OK?”

Megan shook her head. She bowed her head as if to collect her thoughts. “Mark, I want you to do something for me.”

Crossing the room in two quick strides, he stood within arm’s reach of his best friend.

“Sure, anything.”

Her right arm twitched. Until now, Marcus hadn’t noticed her hands were behind her back. He stepped forward with his arms stretched out like he wanted to embrace her.

Swiftly, she brandished the object from behind her.

He froze in place. “Why are you holding a gun?” He hated that his voice seemed to have gone up an octave.

“It’s my dad’s.” She offered a slight smile, which looked more like a smirk. “He’s a gun enthusiast.”

“Right. You told me that once. But you haven’t answered my question. I asked why you have a gun, not who it belongs to or where you got it from.”

“My dad doesn’t know.”

His eyebrows knitted together. “Doesn’t know what?”

“Many things.” She tossed the gun in the air as if testing its weight. “That I stole the gun from his cabinet downstairs. That I hate him. That I want to die.”

For once, Marcus was rendered speechless.

“It’s okay Mark.” Meg lowered her head, her brown hair falling to cover part of her face. “I only want you to help me.”

He swallowed.

She raised her left arm, brushing his cheek with a finger. “I’ll miss looking into your green eyes.” Meg extended her right arm, the one holding the gun. “Do it. Help kill me.”

Mark shook his head. “Are you crazy? I’m not going to kill you, Meg. This is stupid.”

She closed her eyes. “If you’re my friend, you would do this. For me.”

He snorted. “Some friend you are. Do you want to send me to prison for—”

“No one will find out,” she interjected, opening her eyes. “Tell the police I killed myself.”

“Then why don’t you?” He nearly screamed the last word.

Judging by her reaction, Marcus realized he hit a nerve.

“I’m too scared,” she muttered. “I’m a coward. I’ve been waiting for six years to find the courage to end my life. To kill myself. But I’ve never been able to.”

Meg fell to her knees, just as the tears started trickling down her face. “Do it. Put me out of my misery.”

He knelt down, grabbing her free hand and squeezing it. “Meg, you can get help. Things will get better, I promise.”

Before he could blink, she pointed the muzzle of the gun at his forehead. “If you don’t kill me, I’ll kill you. And then I’ll kill myself.” Pausing, she added, “I have nothing to lose.”

Biting down on his bottom lip, he drew blood. “You wouldn’t do it. You wouldn’t kill me. I’m your best friend.” Marcus desperately wanted to believe his own words even though they sounded forced.

“Try me.” There were no more tears in her eyes. The tears were replaced by a cold, blank emptiness. He felt like he was staring into a black abyss.

“I’m going to count to five. If you don’t take the gun out of my hand, point it at me, and press the trigger before I finish, I’ll pull the trigger.”

His whole body trembled at the thought of taking somebody’s life. Worse, this somebody wasn’t a stranger but his best friend.

“One.”

“I love you.”

“Two.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Three.”

He grabbed the gun out of her hand, pointed it at Meg’s head, and slowly stood up.

She remained on the ground, kneeling in front of him.

His arm visibly shook. “Do you have any final words?”

Her dark eyes met his. “Do it, please.”

He pressed the trigger. The shot vibrated against the walls of her bedroom. Marcus couldn’t bear to watch the life leave Meg’s body. Marcus turned to face the wall and pointed the pistol at himself. Without hesitating, he pressed the trigger again. But this time nothing happened. He dismantled the gun and found she had only loaded it with one bullet.

Writing

What I Learned About Writers Today

Writers are perhaps the hardest people to please.