The Universe I Create

Between the hemispheres of my brain, within the confines of my skull, a million words are flying. They’re soaring across an intricate web of thought. They build a world, letter by letter, a place only I can see when I close my eyes.

I am sane.
I am an adult.
I know it is all in my head.
But it’s real to me.
In my head, there’s a place only I can hide. In my brain, there’s a world I constructed from dust. In my mind lives a man with a villain to fight. It is all fantasy that only I can experience, places only I can know, people only I can love.
It’s just me and the universe I create with letters and words and precise punctuation that alters meaning and shatters perception.
Just me.
Until the day I pick up a pen, scrape it across paper. Until that moment I tenderly tap keys. Until the world I’ve built writhes and churns and the words overflow. They cascade from my ears and trickle to my palms. I hold them, just for a second, just until they start to drip from the spaces between my fingers. Then I release them, uncup my hands and splash them into the world.
I write them. I write them all, so that this place might become real…so that these people might be loved. They aren’t just characters, concrete and simple. They carry a message and tell a story and mean something more than just what they are. They’re a product of my passion and the fruit of my talent and the result of emotion firing and misfiring in my cortex.
“Stop playing pretend and be an adult.”
These characters are apart of me, imprints behind my eyes. I will be 108 before I put down a pen and give up my passion.
“Characters aren’t real. Don’t waste your time developing them.”
They’re real to me, and they carry a message of love and resilience and acceptance and hope that so many of us in this world need. Character development is vital to the success of a story. They don’t deserve to be blurry.
“You’ll never get published, save yourself the time and disappointment.”
57 rejections. 4 manuscript requests. Two writer’s conferences. Three agent cards, two almost-had-its, a new writer’s laptop, a custom logo, a website, and another four cold queries. Not a single instant have I felt like I’ve wasted even a nanosecond of my time. I look wonderful failure in the face and analyze how I can use that to get better. If that isn’t #adulting, I am not sure what is. Failure is not disappointment. Failure is glorious opportunity.
Someday, the world will read these words and feel these emotions and meet these characters. They will live forever, permanently stamped on paper to outlive my body and change the world long after I’m gone.
And I will smile every step of the way, because I’m killing it.
We’re killing it.

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