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A personal struggle

Should it stay or should it go?

By π‘πŒ π’π­π¨πœπ€π­π¨π§Published about a year ago β€’ Updated about a year ago β€’ 3 min read

I begin many stories, poems, and other pieces . . . but I submit few. There are a variety of reasons I delete drafts. Often, I find the effort is not inspired, I lose my enthusiasm, or I determine that I simply lack the time to invest in the endeavor. Still other pieces I delete because they grow too dark.

Good or bad, my writing has been influenced by the work of authors of dark macabre tales, such as Poe and Lovecraft.

I was first introduced to Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" when I was in my early teens, and I was fascinated with his power to use words and other literary techniques to draw the reader into his dark world. I was a voracious reader, and I delved into other tales and poems of horror. I was hooked. At 15, I penned my own dark tale, which was subsequently published. My intrigue with the macabre also bled over into my music writing.

I was also heavily influenced by the Bible and by my Christian beliefs, however, and it almost felt like a spiritual battle taking place within me.

From a very young age, I had been stalked by evil in frightful dreams, and, through prayer, those nightmares were largely vanquished. However, as I pursued dark fiction, my nightmares returned.

The very nightmares that haunted my sleep also provided inspiration for my own writing, creating a bit of a quagmire. I dreaded the nightmares, but I craved the inspiration.

Most of the dark tales I have penned over the years I have deleted without another soul ever reading, not for fear of being judged, but because it represented a dance with death I sought to suppress. Last year, I submitted a macabre short story here for a challenge, breaking my tradition of deleting my dark tales.

Do you find that as you craft a tale, you surrender a part of yourself to your art, escaping into the world designed by the story? I suppose that is typical. To a lesser degree, the same happens when you read a good book, but when you are the architect, does it feel like you are submerged even deeper into that world?

Some of my favorite authors in the horror genre were, arguably, deeply troubled, and I wonder how much that was connected to their writing. Did they write tales of horror because they had dark corners of their minds? Did they enhance that darkness by writing horror? Or was there no connection?

In an effort to tether myself to a safer reality, I have recently tried balancing my darker writing with more cheerful, wholesome efforts, alternating between the universes. Still, I find myself deleting my darker pieces. One of my recent creations was a jailhouse murder confession that grew darker than I had originally intended. I finished it, then quickly deleted it.

Presently, I am simultaneously working on three poems, one of which is a dark piece about a serial killer's descent into madness. At the outset, I did not intend for it to be so dark, but I have allowed the story to develop organically within its own world. It is not a gruesome tale, but I am torn about whether to finish and submit the poem.

Here is a sample of a small portion of that draft:

. . .

Mindful of my rightful prize, this path was of my own demise, a painful course for me that was predestined,

β€œI’m one with darkness”, I soliloquized, surrendering to my soulless guide, and I felt on me the scornful eyes of heaven,

I traveled to the depths of hell, and there the devil did foretell, of dark and heinous acts of my desire,

That deep within my black heart dwell, an evil and accurs-ed spell, forged upon my soul by hellish fire

. . .

I have excluded some of the more disturbing stanzas, but this offers a small glimpse into what the poem is about. I've not yet decided whether I will post or delete the complete poem.

Do you struggle with similar thoughts? I would love to know your thoughts, and how you deal with these issues.



About the Creator

π‘πŒ π’π­π¨πœπ€π­π¨π§

Λœβ€*Β°β€’.Λœβ€*Β°β€’ Time is our most valuable asset. Thank you for spending some of your time with me! β€’Β°*β€Λœ.β€’Β°*β€Λœ

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Comments (8)

  • Mack D. Ames20 days ago

    Dear RM, I can relate well to your struggle. I wish I'd read this sooner than I did. Regardless, I came looking for you because I miss you, brother. I prayerfully hope that you are safe and sound, and that your absence is because you've too much going on to be here. Please, Lord, let that be the case. I need my brother here. Return when you can, RM. Yours in Christ, Mack

  • Clever&WTF10 months ago

    I definitely struggled starting out with a fear of writing things that were too dark...or I think it would be more aptly put to say I had a fear of publishing dark stories. The Hex Signs, which I've posted on Vocal and made Top Story last month, was my first story that I truly let myself go as deep and dark as the story would take me. I was shocked to find out was one of my best received stories, both here and on our blog. Since then I've written more horror. Amber, aka WTF in our sister writing duo, had always been incredible at writing dark stories. I know a number of her's were inspired by fears and nightmares. So I guess my advice is to share those stories. Being a Christian myself, I think we can absolutely spread good messages through dark stories. Sometimes the morals stick better that way.

  • Dana Crandell11 months ago

    1) I am very late in catching up on reading your excellent work. Apologies. 2) I can relate, although there are only a couple of stagnant drafts in my dashboard. I have several unfinished in my Word documents that haven't made it to the Drafts. 3) Complete that poem, please.

  • Donna Reneeabout a year ago

    I understand this. I have quite a few dark poems that have lived in my drafts for months, I just can’t decide what to do with them either πŸ€·πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ

  • Thavien Yliasterabout a year ago

    Explore your inner darkness in your writing. As authors we're not going to like what we write all the time. Sometimes, that's what makes good writing. Stories, plots, narratives have crucial needs and sometimes as the author we might fear our own creations as Victor Frankenstein did. There are a lot of animals that have some form of inherent sadism to them. Cats are the easiest examples. So cute but so murderous. Orcas are extremely compassionate, but brutal in killing techniques. Hell, they'll even play with their prey and let it go just to play again at a later date. They've done it before with baby seals. If You have a natural darkness, explore it and learn to control it. Suppressing it might do more harm than finding a proper way to channel it. Reading this article of Yours, I'm fairly certain You've encountered Charles Jungian psychology. Now, spiritual warfare, been there felt that, fought back, screamed "FUCK THAT!" Is it comfortable going through it? No. It's absolutely terrifying. Especially when they touch You. The experiences are horrifying, and if they inspire You to write, write about them, but not to give them power, but to strip them of the power that You believe they're holding over You, if any. As they say, man's original sin was eating from the tree of knowledge. If that's the case, then why is knowledge equivalent with power? You face the future, with the weapons You've made in the present. Are You mentally disturbed? I'd say, "Pft. Nahhhhhhhh!" Everybody has dark thoughts from time to time. I remember one time I had a dark thought of slapping a lady who gave the best hugs ever just since she was talking to me. She wasn't annoying it just popped in my head. Did I slap her? No. Did I acknowledge the thought? Yes. Heck, even Mother Teresa hated her life at the end of it. Guess she felt a lot of the people that were suffering were also choosing beggars sometimes and that they weren't grateful. Trust me, if You ever donated to charity whether it's Your time, energy, and/or money, You learn to set up boundaries with that really quickly. Give because You want to, not out of guilt or fear. "The more You give, the more they'll take. The more they'll take, the more You'll hate." Doing nice things can make a person angry, especially if it's expected and demanded of oneself. In turn, it feels like it becomes a parasite like relationship. Write what You want to and need to. At the end of the day, there's going to be nobody else walking in Your shoes. They may follow the footprints, but they'll probably never be in Your soles. Peace.

  • Omg Robert! Please don't delete them! I love dark stuff. The darker, the gorier, the better! I would read it! Please publish it!

  • Heather Hollandabout a year ago

    I, too, struggle with getting stuck on certain topics. For me it is more melancholy or morose things - not necessarily dark. I encourage you not to delete your stories. I am always available to beta read if you need feedback before publishing a piece. I also would love to have you as a guest poet on my other site if you are ever interested. Thank you for sharing your feelings, doubts, and concerns. You are not alone!

  • This comment has been deleted

  • Real Poeticabout a year ago

    Ooo! I love a good dark poem! I think you should embrace your dark side because it inspires such masterpieces. Thanks for sharing!

π‘πŒ π’π­π¨πœπ€π­π¨π§Written by π‘πŒ π’π­π¨πœπ€π­π¨π§

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