Hey, guys. Rather than my usual "observational" story, I'm going to use this month's blog to give you a glimpse into my writing process.
The following was posted on the FaceBook Introverts page:
"Suicide must be done sober, or else you'll be dismissed as a drunk..."
Hey, guys. I'm Dave. I'm a 46 year old gay man, a lifelong introvert, and a guy who's been seeing William Shatner in the mirror lately. I'm also diagnosed with (dysthymia) depression, general anxiety disorder, (schizotypal) personality disorder, and alcohol abuse. I'm an introvert through and through:)
On paper, I'm a mess. But I'm also freaky-creative. And though my 1st book took 14 years to write, my 2nd is coming uncomfortably quickly - riding waves of sadness & anger in the process. I'm not a writer anyone's heard of; I support myself with retail (bookstore) management. Anyway...
(This is my first-ever post in this room, btw.)
So, guys...I'm terrified -
And I'm not hawking a project, here.
What I want to write about has been dogging my thoughts for months, getting to the point where it's intruded on my dreams - and affected my job. I like being an introvert yes, but my isolation & depression are killing me. And as a bookstore manager who knows what sells, I really want to write a book that explains what that's like. Please forgive me if I sound selfish, but things have sucked for the past 35 years. I want to come to terms with regret before my parents pass. I want all of us to be happy.
This is the first time I'm ever writing things down like this.
So, here's what's on my mind:
I want to write a story that describes my real-life introverts' struggle...against a fictional murder/mystery that grabs/keeps readers' attention.
I also want to thoroughly include/cover my alcoholics' denial system, hatred of AA, and anger towards those who don't understand mental illness.
But I want to write it all in a "readable" Preston/Child way...a way that's filled with pulp, sleaze, and pulpy explosions in sleazy places. I want to combine Jenny Lawson's "Furiously Happy" with gut-wrenchingly-honest descriptions of depression's emotional outbursts/consequences. Think: David Sedaris, "The Gargoyle," and Augusten Burroughs going to see "Cruising." Only on the Lifetime Channel...
Most importantly, I want to be honest in a way I never have before - truthful about the days spent sideways on the couch, the eating/drinking/weight gain/shame, the isolation, loneliness, the scary-ass depression...and the cruising of social apps to find the one who might stop the pain.
I want to SCARE the reader with an "unputdownable" story...salacious & heartbreaking, topical with today's trends...but once they really do put the book down they realize they have a better understanding of mental illness, depression, and addiction. The book will open & close with its main character, standing on the edge of a roof. What happens next will shock you.
Again, I'm really not pitching a book; I'm scary-depressed - not suicidal - and trying not to cry in buckets as I write this. There is no joy in my life. My first book didn't sell, and I've been procrastinating writing the next one for almost three years because of that. But telling the story the way I want is the only way I'll ever break out of my shell...and maybe, find some happiness.
I need some encouragement -
Writing is the only way I can escape depression.
But as an introvert (with all the shit mentioned above), I'm terrified to even bother -
What if no one's listening...?
What if no one wants to read a book like this?
"Suicide must be done sober, or else you'll be dismissed as a drunk; but as drinking was the only way I could turn off the wall of televisions, Type-A hereditary alcoholism was indeed, a double-edged sword."