I think I can confidently say that writers are emotional beings; in fact, perhaps we're more emotional than the 'normal' non-writing populace. Why? Because we create; we use our words and etch our souls into the causeway of time...leaving behind pieces of ourselves in the works we pen. We become vulnerable by writing, because we allow others to see into our own souls; we open up a part of ourselves that is very special and we share it, because we want to teach, to tell stories...we have this burning desire in us that cannot be quelled by the simple statement, "Ok, just stop." It's not like that. Try telling a writer to stop writing and I guarantee you you'll receive one of those "What-on-earth-did-you-just-say" looks as well as a head-shake and the peppy reply, "Bah, I can't."
I tried. I really honestly did try to stop writing. In fact, when my inspiration left me in November, it was a struggle to write and I thought I'd gotten rid of the bug forever...but then I looked back and realized I never truly did stop. Going through my emails and journals, I see that I simply found another faucet to turn on and let my creativity flow through.
So writers are emotional. And writers cannot stop being writers. Some are just born that way; I'm one of those people. I was born an imaginationist (my own term) and a writer. I thrive off of words and books. To not write or muse would certainly be the death of my spirit.
Being a writer might sound wonderful to you, especially if you're not one. You think, "Oh wow, I wish I felt that way...I wonder what it's like to be a writer, it must be amazing!" Let me tell you this, it is amazing and I'd never want it any other way, yet there is a price.
As a writer, I'm emotionally vulnerable, and I'm guessing (now this wouldn't be for all writers, but if you're a thinker and a writer as I am, then perhaps it is the same) that you too are emotionally vulnerable. This leads us to the statement about shadows. What are shadows? Let's answer this question first.
Shadows are many different things for different people. For me, shadows are those dark thoughts that linger in the back of your mind and draw your attention to them right away, once you're by yourself...alone...unaware that they're lurking there. They entice you into the pit of despair. Of course, they make it all seem like this luxurious valley with trimmed hedges and swimming pools...perhaps a bit of white sand bordering a small lake. However, it's a farce. It's a lie; don't believe it, my friend. The shadows always lie. However, they're so good at deceiving (for they've done it for ages) that time and again I fall for their tricks.
Perhaps the shadows whisper to you in the night, while you're curled up with your favourite blankets and your head is cradled in your soft pillow...and they say,
Come now, you're all alone. Look, no one cares for you. You don't mean anything to anyone. Of course, of course, they're all just saying those nice things to get rid of you. No one understands you. No one sees things from your point of view...you're too different. A freak of nature.
Yes, the shadows are small, sneaky things, but they're powerful. My advice:
Don't Listen To Them
Plug your ears. If that doesn't work, jam your headphones in and crank it up to some peppy music. And if that doesn't work, then let the shadows speak, but fight them with your sword. Words. Write. Write for your life. Write like you've got nothing to lose. And don't let those shadows win. Or pray. Prayer always helps, it cuts into the darkness like a light sabre and tears those shadows up and down until they're mangled strips of their normal selves. Yes, pray. And write.
Sometimes the shadows take a different approach. They fly into your soul on the words that others spear into your heart. Oh now this is painful. Very painful.
As a writer, I know that words are powerful. You can mould them in your mind to take any shape and form; they are highly flexible creatures, words are; used rightly, they can be very beneficial to the human race. Used wrongly and they'll destroy a person in one swipe.
You've probably experienced the pain that comes when someone close to you uses words as a gauntlet, to wrench out your heart from your bosom. Does it ever hurt; they pierce so deeply it's as though you'd actually been stabbed by a sword. I know, because I've felt that pain. In fact, I feel it almost daily. Unlike real swords, you can't really dodge the blow of words, unless you happen to have your ears plugged. Once they've entered your head they begin this macabre dance that thrashes your soul good. Sometimes this beating is well deserved, however other times, you're the victim of verbal abuse (to put it in very lofty terms; however the word "abuse" in this case does not refer to what the government would call "abuse", rather it refers to any stinging, painful remark made by an individual).
So the shadows enter your soul, riding like little imps on the tips of these verbal swords. Once they're in, it's hard to get them out. They swirl around in your homey darkness, often repeating things like:
You're a failure...a failure...failure...fail...
You look horrible...horrible...horrid...ugly...
Oh really? Oh really? Really now? Hahaha....
How do you get those things out? The best advice I can give is to just let Jesus in to sweep them away. I heard He's rigged up an awesome vacuum system that just slurps all those junkies up. *shrug* There really isn't any other way. Of course, if you wear armour (spiritual armour that is) then there's a good chance those word-swords will simply bounce off your chest and send those blasted imps to kingdom-come. However, very few writers remember to put on their armour. Now that leads me to another point.
Always wear your armour.
I can't explain how important this little statement is. As wielders of words, we immediately find ourselves in a vulnerable position, due to our sensitive emotional state. The shadows seem to direct their demons to assault us heavily. Their poisoned barbs can taint our words and spoil our minds, reducing our effectiveness as creative individuals and rotting our inspiration so that we write what is not pleasing to God. However, if we wear our armour, we're protected from the majority of the shadow attacks.
Now there is one last point I must make; the title of this blog post is based on this last point: Shadows Entice. Yes, they truly do. When they realize a writer has been fitted with excellent armour and is turning a deaf ear to their cries, they seek to entice. And let me tell you, some shadows are exceptionally good at enticing people. I won't get into the details, for I haven't time to write all about it, but the sum of the story is this: when shadows entice, they seek to capture the attention of a well-versed warrior by doing something different...by appealing to their creative intrigue or by posing as inspiration itself (remember they are deceivers). Once that warrior lets down their guard, the shadows can sneak into their lives and attack. The weakened warrior has an even harder time fighting back those shadows that if they hadn't been wearing armour at all.
The moral of this is: Always Wear Your Armour; Never Listen to the Shadows; Be Prepared
Have you any thoughts on shadows or the emotional nature of a writer? If so, please share :)
[I intend to write another post concerning the emotional nature of writers; tips/suggestions would be welcome!]
Signed with a smoky cloud,