Writing is weird. I mean, all these conglomerations of random symbols and scrawling’s which amalgamate into the conveying of a particular message. At least that’s what we as writers attempt to do. But what is a writer? Someone who simply writes? Or is there more to it than that?
You are that which you repeatedly do. But… if you constantly find yourself questioning pedantic and often remedial concepts of reality, are you a philosopher, or an idiot? How thick does the line between genius and madness truly run?
Most authors and writers will tell you that their main goal in writing is to relate to their audience. Of course, the primary goal is entertainment and making a living, but that becomes secondary if a piece of literature can resonate on a deeper level within a person. It’s one thing to write a story, but writing a story which people remember? That’s truly profound. It is the holy grail of most writers, to be able to formulate the thoughts and expressions which others lack the ability to say. The process is addictive, almost maddeningly so sometimes. We do not choose to write, it is a compulsion which we cannot ever satiate.
Do you think Da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa simply to entertain lavish aristocrats? Did Johan Sebastien Bach conduct the Brandenburg Concertos simply to make a quick buck? Did Shakespeare write Hamlet just to be popular amongst the royal parliament? These pieces are timeless and represent the greatest artistic endeavors of their respective times. To be mortal, is to fear one’s inevitable death. We stave off this ultimate doom for as long as we can, while simultaneously attempting to create that which forever outlasts us. The goal was never to simply to survive, the goal was to become immortalized.
We humans have these pesky emotions within us. Happiness, anger, sadness, anxiety. These feelings of course can be activated by an innumerable amount of outside stimuli, or sometimes for no discernible reason at all. Music, poetry, literature can all alter moods, changing a bad day to a hopeful one or vice versa. We seek recognition in things which activate these emotions when we are experiencing them. It is why we listen to sad songs when we are down, or blast heavy metal when we are at the gym. These mediums channel our emotions into something palpable, and real. We resonate with them because we feel as though we are not alone in our experience.
Numerous studies have been conducted in an attempt to better understand the effects of emotion on human physiology. Findings have concluded that emotions are of course able to be measured in terms of compounds within the body. Individuals with mental illness such as depression have been shown to have brain deficiencies related to producing serotonin resulting in more negative emotional regularity. Emotional response essentially comes down to chemical reaction, but it gets much stranger than that.
Consider the effects of placebo drugs, which have proven effective in some instances of tricking the brain into eliciting the desired response so long as the brain believes it. A depressed mind, can suddenly begin to level production and circulation of dopamine on little more than an imposter pill made of sucrose. Kinda gives new perspective on the whole ‘it’s all in your head’ argument huh? But make no mistake, I understand mental illness and instability is a serious issue, and this approach does not work for everyone.
So why do we seek things to reevaluate our feelings? Comfort of course. We seek validity from that which seeks us, and the law of attraction dictates that we will find it. The more positive vibes you bestow upon the world, the more likely a chance it will be reciprocated. The opposite is also true, as the downward spiral can multiply exponentially. You become depressed, and drink to quell it. Your drinking problem eventually leads to problems at work as you become dependent on the substance. Termination of employment soon follows which further compels you to drink and become more depressed. Several confrontations with your wife or husband later, and subsequent divorce leads you even further down the path of self-destruction. Thus, increasing depression and isolation ad infinitum as the effect snowballs into an avalanche.
It’s a troubling notion, yet not all is gloom and doom. Most investors will tell you that the first million is the hardest, and after which doors begin to fly open in all avenues as others recognize you for your potential. All of this beginning with simple emotions, and how you yourself choose to regulate them. Thoughts become words, words become actions, and actions become life. Emotion becomes reality.
But this is just some new-age spiritual mumbo-jumbo right? There is no way that we can think ourselves into success after all, or can we? If we can think ourselves into oblivion, then surely a positive state of mind could achieve the opposite. Sure, there are dozens of variables at play and no guarantee of success, but the only thing we can truly maintain is that which we feel ourselves.
Amazing the way it all works isn’t it? You feel happy, and listen to happy music, watch happy movies and soon go on to seek happiness in your life. The same is true for misery albeit subconsciously. Mind over matter, as mind becomes matter. But what about another emotion? Could this principal be applied universally? Or does it fall short? What about fear?
We all experience fear in one capacity or another, and either grow to be defined by it, or compelled to it. Some of us are drawn to fear, like a shark to the scent of blood. We spend hours scouring the web in search of that deep guttural feeling of dread, and watch movies which creep into the back of our minds. We anticipate the nightmares, and welcome the darkness. But why? Because that which we seek, also seeks us.
As fear becomes our primary motive, we see it everywhere, and the limitless potential it brings. It’s like when you buy a new model of car, and suddenly begin to notice that same model everywhere you go. Your eyes are opened to the things once hidden in plain sight. The words which you read on paper becoming an admittedly small, but undeniably present portion of you. Maybe the words will do nothing for you, but maybe they will make you think. Think about the dark corners of the world, and monsters in uncharted places. The specters and ghosts which dance about in unseen performances of the phantasmal plane. But of course, those things aren’t real, unless you believe they are. Careful with the way you think.
So, can you feel it? That sudden tinge of unwarranted dread seep within you. That small tingle creeping down your spine like a frosted tarantula? Those goosebumps popping up on your skin, and skin crawling feeling like centipedes scurrying across your lap. Did it just get cold in here or is that just me? Maybe you should grab a blanket, perhaps even a hoodie.
Did you hear that? Sounded like a noise coming from outside your room. It’ll be dark soon, then what will you do? It’s probably nothing, just the sounds of the house settling or an animal rummaging outside. But then why can’t you ignore it? It sounds like footsteps now and it sounds like it’s getting closer.
It’s outside your door now, but don’t worry your safe, because you don’t believe in any of this. You are not some irrational person spooked by random internet ghost stories. You are a sound mind, and a rational human being, which is what makes you the perfect target for my game. There is nothing so sweet as the fracturing of a stable mind and slow descent into frenzied madness. And while you were distracted reading this, I managed to get inside your head. I am not real to them, but I am to you.
No, I’m not going to disembowel you and summon a demon with your shredded corpse, that would be way too messy. My work is a bit more… subtle than that. I will watch, and wait, always by your side, nagging at you and twisting your mind. I am the figure in the corner of your eye, the thing that goes bump in the night. You and I are friends now, because you let me in. Thank you, we are going to have so much fun.
You should probably stop reading this now, and think about something else. We wouldn’t want to break you too quickly, now would we?