|Majestic: Issue #12
||Sunday, September 22, 2002
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By Chrispian H. Burks
That was fast, wasn't it? Nemesis went live and the feedback has been wonderful. Even some old
friends popped out of the woodwork to tell me how much they liked the new look. Thanks! A lot
of hard work and thought went into the new design and it is my hope that everyone enjoys it
as much as I do. But I'm not done, not by a long shot. I've got a new user control panel
that's almost ready which will let you edit your profile, add your stories, edit stories
and even remove them. You'll be able to check your stats, read private messages and so much
You may notice that this issue of Majestic has a central theme. Why do writers write? Is there
some basic need they feel? Is it something much deeper? Are writers just people who need
an audience? Or are the stories so strong that they must be told? This issue offers the
perspective of three very different writers. You get a peak into why they write and maybe
it'll get you thinking, why do you write? Discuss this
issue in the forums! Want to write for Majestic?
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By Beckett Grey
There's no concise, neat little way to say this. I can't fit my addiction into a
convenient package, or split it into seventeen simple steps any more than I can
section off my personality or my lifestyle. Writing is...well, it's a thing.
People do it for a million different reasons.
Okay. Maybe not a million. But a lot.
Well...yeah. There are a few big ones. Many people write for one of two major reasons,
and their writing usually reflects which of the two they've chosen. Either: 1) To make money, or 2)
To tell stories. Nevermind art and conveying messages, nevermind fancy-shmansy allegories for the
human condition, to tell anything even generally resembling a readable tale, you must first have a
story to tell. Simple as that. And when you get down to it, that's why I write. I like to
I've got it all- okay, most of it- in my head already, sketched out in key moments and resonating
scenes. I know what happens. I know why. It's a matter of organizing it, getting it down, and
making it make sense- that's all. Worlds upon worlds exist just beyond the dubious fabric of reality,
waiting for me to tell their stories, put them down on paper- and don't get me wrong, I don't view
these places as worlds I've made up, these are very real people to me. I am merely a witness
to their lives, and it is my task to record what happens. The problem comes in when I try to record.
You see, I am not a great writer. I'm not even a good writer, I'm just okay. This means I write stories
that are...well...okay. But okay isn't good enough, dammit! I am not doing justice to these worlds,
these stories! I have never been happy with something I've written- it's never been good enough for me.
I write every day, as much as I can, and I put everything I have into that writing- because (in the words
of Richard Ames) it hurts less to write than to NOT write.
Writing is an addiction. Once you start- I mean really start- you can't stop. If I
were unable to write for a week straight, I'd probably explode. The worlds in my head are growing
by the minute- nay, by the second!- and every moment I spend not telling their stories is another
I'm afraid that's all there is to it, really. I write because I can't not write, and that is all
I care to know.
And in the end, what else really matters?
By Surachet Suvilaisunthorn
With a little imagination, a lot of practice, and the strength to persevere,
it is believed that one can turn his dreams into goals, and his goals into reality.
I was never a believer of this idea, until recently. In fact, until now, I never
really knew what I wanted. I went through four years of college thinking that the
only goals that were attainable in life were the ones we acquired through education,
ability, and connections. Of course these characteristics of life are absolutely
essential in achieving our goals, but I was leaving out something of great importance.
It is imagination that makes us feel alive. Art, music, and all things beautiful are
created through imagination and dreams. Of course I always thought that to create these
things, you had to be someone special, someone that I wasn't.
I've spent most of my life feeling empty because I have always told myself that
imagination would get me nowhere without the proper talent or skills. I always
considered myself average and ordinary; therefore I felt that I lacked the ability
to create anything special. Artists, creators, now these were people who were truly
gifted, and I was definitely not one of them. Although I knew this, I never stopped
dreaming. The fact that I was always dreaming and at the same time telling myself
I had to try to live life like everyone else was tearing me apart. I was trapped
halfway in between the world of fantasy, and the truthful melancholy reality. I was
often depressed due to the lack of motivation and inspiration to live in the real
world. It was as if I built myself an invisible wall to shelter myself before even
taking the first steps to the outside. Now I can truthfully and honestly say that I
was wrong to think this way. Life should never be about limitations and knowing
where we fit into the scheme of society. But instead, it should be about breaking
these limitations, and climbing up over our own invisible walls. So the question is,
how do we break or climb these walls?
When I was a child, I used to dream of great things. I dreamt of stories, people,
and things that were precious to my mind but impossible in the real world. I guess
you could say I was an imaginative child. It frightened me that as I grew older,
these dreams did not go away. I began to wonder if this was a normal habit for a
rational adult. Not that I knew what this term meant. Perhaps I still don't. But
what I failed to realize was that maybe this term was as make believe as the heroes
and villains in my fantasies. I've recently come to believe that not everyone needs
to live according to the same standards as others. I mean if people were so rational,
why is there so much pain and terror happening in the world? Why are current events
that have been happening within the past year only about death and suffering? Shouldn't
the right to live seem to be common sense to a rational adult? With this notion, I have
concluded that nothing is perfect, and that there is no such thing as the normal scheme of
things. Therefore I had no reason to be afraid of who I was anymore. In that sense I broke
my own invisible walls and took the first step to turning my fantasies into goals. Why not
embrace in dreams and at least give them the chance to flourish?
With that revelation, I have decided not to fear the uncertain, and to give my dreams
and imagination the chance they deserve. So I said to myself "I want to be a writer".
Of course this was easier said than done. I didn't know the first thing about being a
writer. I didn't know where to start, what to write about, or about specific grammatical
rules and standards. But what I knew was that I had a strong desire to express my thoughts,
my dreams, and ultimately my soul. And I figured that was a good start. I began writing
into a notebook everyday. I wrote songs, poetry, and basically about anything I was feeling
at the moment. I must admit that it wasn't an easy task to start. I still struggle with it
everyday. But what drove me to continue was the fact that every time I picked up that pen,
writing got easier. Soon it got to the point where if I picked up a pen, I could just write.
It would just flow naturally. Soon my dreams became clearer and started to transform and
manifest into goals. Of course having a goal doesn't mean that you will achieve it. That is
a completely different story. I've tried submitting my work to a few online magazines, but
to no triumph. In one case, I got a rather nice rejection letter about how my writing wasn't
stylistically what the magazine was looking for at the time, and that I shouldn't be
discouraged to submit more. I'm glad at least, that they have someone on the payroll who
handles those kinds of situations in a nice manner. I'm pretty sure that they sent the same
rejection letters to everyone, but at least it made me feel better in a sense that someone
was acknowledging my writing. That was about 2 months ago. I am giving myself more time to
practice my skills before I start submitting anything again. Hopefully by that time, things
will start looking up.
I still wait for the day when this goal will become a reality. I don't know if I will ever
get there. And if I do, I don't know how long it will take. But at least I started something
that I never had the courage to do before; I took the first step. This in itself is an
accomplishment. I'm sure that there are many steps along the way, but sometimes the first
ones are always the hardest. This might seem silly to some of you. And to some, it might be
inspiring. Regardless of what this essay means to you, I urge you to do this. Think about
what your dreams are. Think of the desire deep within yourself that was once locked away because
someone said it couldn't be done. Perhaps it is not to late to unlock this desire and set new
goals for yourself. I know that personally, even if I don't make it as a writer, I still would
have learned a valuable lesson. It is better to try something and fail than to live your whole
life knowing that you didn't give yourself the chance to be happy. As cliché as those words may
sound, I believe there is some truth to it. So go ahead, pick up that key, and unlock yourself.
About The Author|
Surachet is a recent graduate of Binghamton University, NY. He is currently doing social work,
but plans to continue with his studies next year. He is aiming for a Masters degree, or perhaps
even a PHD in Sociology. Writing is a newly founded love for him, and he hopes to be able to get
published one day. email: email@example.com
By Rogan X
If you were the last person alive, what would you say? Would you write about everyone else (now gone)
or would you put your own story down on paper? Just how selfish are you? Are the people who write about
themselves villians or heroes? I guess that decision is up to you, as the reader ..
In order to understand why I write, you gotta have a bit of background first. So, here goes...
I grew up without a television to distract me and turn my mind to porridge. When I say "grew up",
I'm referring to the most formative years of my life; between the ages of 8 and 16. Granted, I have
a TV now, but I hardly watch anything but movies -- which is beside the point. Rather than glue
myself to the glass teat like any other suckling, I would read. I grabbed any book which was
nearby and just begin to read it, absorbing every line with gusto. I trained myself to speedread
before I was 9, and was reading up to 4 books at a time. I found the multitasking to be quite
delicious, as it afforded me an objective view of all the books I was reading, not just one at a time.
When I was in junior high, I began to take my first clumsy steps as a writer. Haiku flooded out
of me at breakneck pace. I set a goal for myself; to become as comfortable with Haiku as I was
with exploring the dungeons in my imagination. It worked, I admit... In grade 8, I was known as
a geek and a loser because I spent my time alone, thinking up the next five syllables.
The crux of fictional writing, as I have observed it, is to display enticing information to the
reader so as to suck them into the plot. Great writers do this with such an economy of words that it
hardly seems like an effort. Personally, I struggle with words because I know so many. It is truly
hard to choose the right ones! I have always aimed to convey a unique perspective to the reader.
Something you won't find anywhere else, if I dare to be bold and say it aloud! I feel that I have
accomplished this to a small degree with my poetry, and with my rants on a larger scale. I am so
endeared to the word "rant", as I feel it applies wholly to my style (if you'd like to call it that).
I jump from topic to topic, never standing still long enough to make total sense.
Perspective... It is hard, living in the 21st century, to be unique. Most of the writing has already
been done, leaving to us the spoils. The advantage that we have, however, is that we can draw upon a
massive body of previous works for inspiration. To reflect upon a classic novel or poem is calming,
and helps me to focus my own disorderly thoughts.
If I had to refine my muse into a single sentence so you could better understand my motivation, it
would be thus:
"I write because I am, I am because I write."
Sounds sketchy? Well think about it for a second! Humans have long relied on their creativity to
advance themselves. It stands to reason that if a person is driven to write merely by their
experiences in life, that is what makes them a writer -- their experiences, I mean. I have had
my share of captivating moments, from the balconies of the Alhambra in Spain to the murky moors
of Scotland. These moments mix together and become my medium, fueling my desire to share and
combine the words, the images and their meanings.
Granted, most of the material I have written focuses on my anger; at the world, at the people
in it, at myself... This can only take me so far, and I know it. The next step is to refine the
raw materials into something comprehensible to folks of all ages. I sincerely hope that I can
accomplish this before I die and publish at least one book that someday will be read by an
eager mind and fan the spark of creativity within.
There are some lucid pieces I've had a chance to write, one of which stands out (in my mind,
anyway -- you probably haven't read it). "Incendiary Soul" is the title -- it is about a
young man who creates a woman to be his companion, and eventually loses her to madness.
That's how I feel about a lot of things... They are made with the best of intentions, and
eventually decay. Thus, I try to squeeze out my own thoughts onto paper before they degrade
into useless slag. It is only by your words, committed to bits and bytes or rendered in ink
that you will be known after your passing. Allow me to leave you with one last point:
Writers don't do it for the money or the fame. Writers don't do it to point the finger of
blame. Writers do it because .. Well .. Somebody has to!
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