Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Self Reflection

Writing is opening up my mind

One of the biggest things that's really starting to happen to me now that I'm writing so much is that I'm beginning to wonder where I'm getting all of these ideas and concepts.  I'm not just talking about the story ideas; but the beliefs, visual concepts, desires and actions that the characters take.

I find myself wondering where I get the idea to have a character turn left instead of right.  Why does the character kill the person in front of them?  Is it possible that I'm fascinated by death somehow?  I see suffering in the imaginary worlds that is more easily confronted than the suffering in our own.

There is light, happiness and love in my imagination as well.  Nobility exists where individuals give of themselves with honor and compassion, yet much of that is lacking in the day to day machinations of people I pass on the street.

I find myself contemplating all these things with each chapter I write, especially when I get into my weird stories like the Demented Children series.

Who am I really?

I now begin to wonder who I am that I have these thoughts in my head.  I'm not a hero or villain.  Where does my understanding of the concepts of villainy and heroism stem from?  Where do I stand in this philosophy?  Am I the simple villager who watches everyone else take bold actions for good or evil?

I have stepped forward to help those in need, but not always.  I have felt shame at not having done more here and there.  It's never been anything momentous, but what would I do if it was?  What would I do if I saw the chance to save someone's life at the cost of my own?

What am I going to do with my life?  I am raising children and doing a fair job of it.  I'm a good husband and a good worker.  At the moment I'm trying to become a successful writer, but what will be my fate in the long run?  What in the world am I doing?

Where do all these thoughts come from?

I've never killed anyone (at least not in this lifetime) yet I can graphically describe death from all angles.  I don't know what true pain or hunger feel like, yet the descriptions in my stories describe them explicitly.  How did these dark things find my mind?  What has happened in my past lives and existence that I can relate to concepts so foreign to me in this life?

Actions make a person and I know that my actions have been that of a decent man.  But what if the standards and laws of society were torn in a new, devastating world war?  What if our lives changed so drastically that hunting and fighting for my next meal became more important that agonizing over my daughter's melodramatic facebook postings about some guy?

What kind of person would I become in a raw, terrible world?

I used to want to save the world.

When I was younger, I daydreamed about how I would become a powerful man who took humanity into space while reducing world hunger and ending all wars.  As I grew older, I realized it was an unrealistic dream; an effort that would require all the people in the world to honestly work towards in unison.  In time, I became resigned to that fact and decided to quietly live my life while doing tiny bits of good here and there.

Now that I'm writing these stories where people are in danger, wars ravage kingdoms and suffering exists everywhere; I'm also sending out my characters to change the imaginary world and make it a better place.  Doing so has brought up my original purpose of helping humanity to overcome its darkness and despair again.

In many ways, the noble, foolish young man was a better version of me than I am now.  I am more practical, but less noble in my actions.  It is hard to reconcile these feelings.

How do I know the things I know?  Am I just guessing?

I personally believe in past lives, though I ask no one to accept my opinion on this, nor do I begrudge anyone else their beliefs.  That said; perhaps I knew these things in those lives.  Then again, perhaps my imagination is really just a wonderful thing capable of defining these concepts.

All of this writing is drawing out emotions in me that I can't explain.  I physically hurt when I write about homeless people looking at the main character with despair in their eyes.  Why can made up stories and scenes draw these reactions out of me?

Self Reflection

I don't like self reflection   I'm not thrilled with anything resembling emotions. *grin*  But the fact of the matter is that the more I write, the deeper I go into these thoughts.  There are more levels beyond that can be explored as well and quite honestly, I'm afraid of them.

The writing is going to continue.  I don't think I can help it at this point.  It's as though I've opened a dam and let a flood of ideas through.  They all fascinate me and I can't seem to write fast enough.  I just wish I could write and not get distracted by wondering how I really feel about everything.


AL Fetherlin said...

You are stronger than you think, John. If the world went the way of "The Road" or "Alas, Babylon," I imagine you would embody the characteristics you admire and imbue into your characters. I believe this of you, because of the strength of the world you have created.
As for having emotions, J you don't need to grow concerned… put them onto the paper and let them thrive there. Never fear the emotions, they make your writing realistic in a world of fantasy.
Good post. Very good.

John H. Carroll said...

Thank you Amy. :) I like to believe I would do the best in situations good or bad. Delving into these feeling is rather fascinating in a sense.

in life I'm more like Spock than human, so the emotions are harder for me to deal with. I'm not used to them. I think the writing is making them more powerful within myself and I'm honestly in completely new territory with it.