This story is not a fun one. Straight up, it’s not. I was challenged a while ago to write what made me uncomfortable… what made me afraid. I didn’t know why at the time this challenge seemed too daunting of a task to undertake until it hit me. I was living the uncomfortableness that I was afraid to write.
Things have been going on with me that aren’t exactly thrilling, but I’m constantly fighting to make my life better. To fight my inner demons, or however the saying goes. Writing became something I couldn’t handle, so I needed to take a break from it for a while. I needed to find my way back to where writing was fun for me again. Where anything was fun for me again. And I’m nearly there. Through the love and support from my partners in crime and my stubbornness to never back down, I’m getting stronger.
This is a parody on being a writer with depression/anxiety. And it was hard for me to write. It won’t be mind-blowing, but I do hope it offers some insight on what it’s like to be in my head for all of five minutes. It’s the battle I’m fighting and it’s the war that I will conquer.
Names were based off of this Bible verse:
Ruth 1:20 “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter.”
Naomi means “pleasant.”
Mara means “bitterness.”
The Witch’s Curse
Once upon a time, there was a girl that forgot how to write. Her name was Naomi and it was her dream to share her stories with the world.
It wasn’t as if she’d forgotten the words, and it wasn’t as though all her grammar lessons had amounted to nothing. It was that her body and mind were placed under a spell, preventing her limbs and synapses from sitting down, picking up a pen or opening up a laptop, and creating something beautiful.
The witch at blame went by the name Mara. She was invisible, but had her eyes set on Naomi since she was a little girl. The witch had cursed her family with depression throughout the ages, making sure that no matter what hopes and dreams they had, they would never be accomplished. Or, if they did accomplish them, they would never be allowed to see the greatness they had achieved.
The curse hit Naomi earlier than most of her ancestral counterparts. Instead of waiting until she had something to achieve, it began when she found something she loved. Writing. Words. The power of a single sentence that could make a reader feel something deeper than anything else the shallow world currently provided. Crafting such magic became her passion; it soon became her burden.
Filled with plots and imaginations, Naomi wrote story after story, each one polishing her craft and allowing her to fall madly in love with just the art of writing. It wasn’t until the thought crossed her mind that these stories deserved more than just sitting in an old journal or on a laptop that the curse really took effect. Ever since she sat down with the goal to weave out a story that would enhance the world with its presence, words abandoned her. What had once been so easy became harder than learning to speak Japanese.
But still, Naomi pushed on. She shot out word after word, trying to see the wonderfulness of it all behind her blotchy sentences and poorly quilted scenes. In the end, she was left with eighty-thousand words of what might be salvaged into a story. Might.
Mara could tell that Naomi was stubborn. With a wicked scream, she sent one of her dragons to stop the girl from writing. He was gifted with the powers of anxiety, a force that was just as terrifying as the curse already plaguing Naomi and her ancestors.
Soon, writing became impossible for Naomi. Anytime her fingers touched the keyboard, she began to fret. Had she spell checked everything on the page at least a dozen times? Did her words flow or were they brittle? Were the characters and pictures in her mind coming in clearly on the pages? Not good enough.
Not good enough.
Never good enough.
And so, Naomi fell heavily under the spells of the witch and her dragon. She couldn’t even look at anything writing related without being washed over with negativity. She avoided it like a cat getting out of taking a bath. And, in the rare moments when she tried to “get over herself”, anything she wrote was immediately discarded. Guilt would fill her soul anytime she pressed the dreaded “backspace” button on her laptop.
Months and months and even a year later, she decided to give up on her goal to publish. No one wanted to hear what she had to say anyways… it was why she began writing in the first place. It was a written confirmation that although she oftentimes went unheard, her words were still valid. Writing was her confirmation that she was a living, thinking person that could do more with her life than watch it pass by. It wasn’t a simple hobby that she enjoyed. It wasn’t something she planned to use to gain money. She didn’t even care if her book never made it on the New York Times Best Seller list. What mattered was that her stories… mattered. They were the essence of her life that she could not do without. They were the driving motivators in her life that made living worthwhile. Without a story to tell, life would be pointless.
The only thing standing in her way was Mara and her dragon.
Naomi picked up a pen, twirling it in her fingers as she thought. The witch was strong, she doubted she would ever be able to fully get rid of her. But that didn’t mean she was undefeatable… Naomi just needed the right weapons.
She armed herself with inspiration, listening to tales of others who had to overcome their own witches in order to get to where they were today. Her fortress became a living testimony to her goals as she surrounded herself with things that made her feel like she could live forever. Trinkets and books written by her favorite authors acted as her walls, keeping her entertained with the promise that they would be there for her to use when the with returned—to cheer her up or distract her if she needed them.
She began to recruit her army of friends that would make her stronger, discharging any of the soldiers that dared to betray her. To bring her down. Those that convinced her that she was fighting a losing battle were banished right away.
She blocked out Mara in any way she could, standing her ground when the witch tried to intervene. It was easier to ignore the witch when music drowned out her words. She wrote fast, throwing her heart and soul into her words before Mara’s curse began to take hold again. She could feel it bearing down on her shoulders, luring her into a dark numbness that dared to make her feel inadequate. As she fought, she grew stronger. Her arsenal of weapons grew with every new phrase she turned, with every new word she added to her vocabulary.
“You’ll never make it big,” Mara hissed into Naomi’s ear one day as she prepared to send her novels out to agents. Naomi had done the best she could with the words that paraded in her mind. She had spent hours upon hours working on her story, and it was finally ready to breach the surface. But still, Mara’s voice was at the back of Naomi’s mind. “No one wants to read your stories. You don’t even know if they are any good. You shudder at your own work! What makes you think that your stories will ever see the light of day?”
Namoi’s finger lingered over her mouse, the arrow on her computer screen waiting to press send on her query email. “Because if I can fight you, I can write. And if I can write, then I can accomplish something. And I’ll never know what I can do until I try. But I do know that I don’t want to be defeated by you any longer.”
And without a second more to lose, she pressed send.
Good stories are supposed to be fantastic from the first line of your novel to your last. Your prompt is to take this first/last starter/finisher and make it shine.
First: No way!
Last: You still owe me twenty bucks.