I’m writing again. I had been writing, prompted by the annual NaNoWriMo event, what I had thought would be book three in my “Broken Road” series. I even had a photo picked out, a photo found somewhere, to potentially serve as a cover image for the book. Then at 24,000 words, the whole thing came crashing down. Why? What was going on within me to result in the crash. I knew it couldn’t be the book. What was different this time in comparison with the previous two books? And so I look for answers.
The other two books had been based on so many attempts over a period of fifteen years. Each failed attempt had one thing in common, the fact that primary actors were still alive. Of course I am speaking of either my father or mother. I had no objective distance. The third book finds me still within the story that has actors that surround me in my day-to-day life. I realise that I really can’t write this book, perhaps will never be able to write book three.
The decision made, I found myself picking myself up and dusting myself off. The past has taught me that the urge to write will not be silenced, so I just had to find a better way to tell the story waiting inside me. I needed to find a way to protect my face-to-face world self and the people so precious to me in this face-to-face world. Thoughts of abandoning the writing and shifting to something “safer” had me think that perhaps I would write another novel, perhaps with the protagonists of the last novel. It would satisfy the urge to write and hopefully silence the shadows that wanted to escape and cause damage, collateral damage. I was seriously tempted to use a sleight-of-hand tactic to silence the shadows. Of course, anyone who understands how we work as humans knows that this never works well. As soon as we delude ourselves that we have built secure barriers to keep the hungry shadows at bay, they find other ways to escape. We effectively blind ourselves to the shadows.
Finally, I reached a compromise. I will do both at once. By writing a novel and not a biography, I will be able to build a bit of objective distance. Making sure that no one character copies a real person in my life, I am able to have my characters reveal the stories. For example, I am in the story, obviously. But who am I in the story? I am everyone in the story. And of the others that belong in my story? They are there in bits in pieces in various characters. This is where Jungian psychology, Archetypal psychology comes into play.
Each of us is host to many archetypes which we find in our dreams, archetypes that reveal their presence in our moods and our reactive responses to the world and the people around us. I am the fool, the wise man, the saint, the sinner, and even the warrior. And, I am more than that for there is a feminine side of my psyche – my soul. I usually connect with her through dreams, both daydreams and night dreams, even at times in nightmares. And so, I find a path through imaginary figures to tell my truths, universal truths, and perhaps my lies as well. After all, like everyone else, there is a demon within me waiting for my ego to self-destruct. I could, like you, become a monster who destroys more than he creates.