‘This is hell. You bought a candle to burn?’
I’ve been thinking about my own morality a lot lately. I’ve had a pretty frustrating case of writers block and whenever I do I start to contemplate the space in time I’ll occupy between birth and death. I get caught up in a mindset of frustration and start thinking about the choices I’ve made, opportunities I’ve missed, and how I will spend the moments I’m still yet to experience. To be frank, I hate when I get like this. I’m fucking petrified of growing older and knowing that I’ll one day kick the bucket causes my anxiety levels to skyrocket until my heart is hammering in my chest and I become short of breath.
I guess a large part of the anxiety I experience comes from the fact that I feel as though I still have so much I want to accomplish in my life. I am forever working against my biological clock to achieve my goals before death wraps his talons around my heart and squeezes until it becomes still. I want to be successful writer and make a career out of what I do. I want to see the world. I want to be loved, loathed and revered. And I want to know that when I’m a rickety old man with a busted hip, gruff tone and permanent scowl, that I’ve lived a good life and made a positive impact on those that I leave behind.
I’m trying to leave a legacy of words. Through my writing I want to create something worthwhile that allows me to reach out and connect with people. In reality I’m a pretty emotionally stunted individual. I keep even my closest friends at a safe distance, and while I’ll protect those that I care about till the bitter end, I rarely feel the need to reach out for their help. But through writing I can be vulnerable and I can be beautiful. In a weird kind of way I’m liberated in my madness through writing. Even my closest friends tell me that they read this site on the regular as a way of understanding me.
So I’m frightened of death. It’s occupying my thoughts and stressing me out. I’m suffering from writers block and stuck in a hellish state of frustration. So what can a writer do when they’re in hell? Bring a candle to burn. Turn up the heat ever so slightly and make the inferno their own.
Yep, after a brief hiatus from the world of my character Jason Dark, I’ve started penning my way through a follow up to Midas. It’s a tale that will undoubtedly focus on the idea of death. Ruin and woe are central themes that I’m trying to explore quite heavily in the four book story-arch and having the ability to do so allows me to further immerse myself into a mindset that both troubles and inspires me. I’m afraid of dying. It’s my hell. So why not create a story that gives me the ability to really engage with the concept and overcome the hell within me?
The way I see it is this: I’m pretty lucky. Every single person on this earth has some form of fear or phobia that has the ability to leave them crippled with anxiety or worse. The fact that I fear growing old and failing to carve my name into the sands of this earth seem to fail on comparison to the afflictions of others. I have a unique opportunity to use my fear to create not only wonderful art, but a beautiful life. I can use my fear to propel myself towards success.
Fear is hell. But fear is also easily overcome; you’ve just got to be prepared to embrace it. If you’re stuck in hell make sure you’ve got a candle to burn. Take ownership of the very place designed to break you and make your hell a place you can thrive in.
If you’re afraid of death; explore it.
If you’re afraid of change; embrace it.
And if you’re afraid of fire; light and candle and learn to control the fear that binds you.
If you do that you can set yourself free. For me right now that freedom comes from my newfound lease on life and from shaking off this frigging writers block and get back to what I do best: writing. I have the ability to create hell through my literature and I take solace in knowing that my protagonist is arrogant enough to embrace it, light a candle and turn up the heat ever so slightly. And if a product of my imagination can be so brazen, surely I can too.
If you spend your whole life fearing death, you may as well already be dead. Step into the inferno you fear and set it alight. Set yourself free.