Painting by Michael Dumontier and Neil Farber
I guess I'm so obsessed with learning how to write well, how to write so that my books will be read by millions, is because I want to tell my story, the story I couldn't tell as a child and was told to keep quiet as an adult. The story that almost made me take my life. The story I want others to know, so we can all stop it. So those who won't speak out of fear will perhaps speak up. If we all stopped hiding behind our fears, perhaps we could change this world.
But I'm not there yet. I'm just not good enough yet. I've only been writing for four years, and it's nothing. I'm often terrified of dying before I get enough writing under my belt to get that good. It's a real fear. It's eating me. It's driving me to hardly sleep or eat, and to work and work and work like mad. Learn, learn, learn. I don't know what else I can do to speed up this process. The urgency is palpable.
I know that unless I learn how to dramatize my pain and turn it into a novel, where at a distance people can recognize themselves, I don't stand a chance. Nobody cares for personal pain: we simply don't see each other in each other's eyes. It's too difficult. It's not a mirror. But it's a mirror when it's removed from us some distance: the farther, the better. It's a mirror when it's a metaphor that makes us recognize what we failed to see in ourselves before. It's the power of comparison with the known that makes us understand the unknown. It's deeply rooted in our survival instincts: we're looking for patterns. When we recognize patterns, we become alert. And when we see a new pattern enter our life, we pay attention. That's what dramatizing is, creating a new pattern out of an old issue. It's difficult to do. Everything under the sun has been already said. How do I say it again?