Tuesday, October 8, 2013

On Why A Blog

For the past several months I have been dabbling in writing creepypastas and microhorror stories. I'd be lying if I tried to deny that I enjoy it, immensely. There is something cathartic about corralling my inner fears and trapping then within a short story.

I guess, writing has always been a form of freedom for me, really. In person I can be very quiet and subdued, a distillation of things mundane and ordinary. Only when writing can I molt my mundanity. Only when writing can I really be myself.

Perhaps the allure of horror is that "being myself" means that I can access the inner depravity that we are socialized to suppress. However, I suspect that horror writing is freeing because I live with fear.

I have anxiety, occasional bouts of ocd, and a host of phobias.  Tiny terrors are among the most powerful in my experience. Even simple thoughts can be incapacitating; striking with bolts of doubt and loathing. Creepypastas are lightning rods, harmlessly deflecting my inner fears.

I have posted at the Sogwiki, the Creepypasta wiki, The Creepypasta Index, NoSleep, and others. I don't always participate in the communities directly or full-time, but I have found these places to be helpful in general. Still, I wouldn't mind a place of my own.

I am creating this blog for several reasons. I would like a place to post drafts and works in progress. Most decent writing sites frown on or ban this practice, and I fully agree with their reasoning. Still, I would like a site that lets me tinker constantly without needing to have a fully formed idea. The last few things I have posts on the wikis have felt a bit underdone. Posting here first, and only migrating what I am comfortable with, is a way to help enact quality control on the other sites.

Also, putting all of my stuff in one place gives allows me to craft an identity as a writer. There are people who use several of the sites I frequent, and they might recognize me across them. But, writing stories that are scattered across various wikis doesn't really help people recognize you.

I decided to challenge myself by writing a micro story a day, and having a personal space to post it would be helpful. It would allow me to complete the challenge without having to worry about site stability. And, really it's a personal challenge to myself. I guess I just feel more comfortable doing it in a personal space.

Lastly, I don't like the idea of being entirely reliant on other sites. What I write is subject to other peoples' definition of concepts such as creepy, scary, and thrilling. Constructive criticism is fine. Knowing why a story does not work is key to writing a better one. I don't find being told "Ordinary and common things are not scary" to be helpful.

In this instance I am quoting a mod who took one of my stories off of a sub on reddit. When asked what the violation was I was informed the story was not scary. When I asked for a definition of "scary", that is that I was told. Despite that definition not being posted, it was being enforced.  A personal preference or definition was being substituted for community standard without the mod seeming to be aware of the difference.

I write for myself. I do not write to suit anyone's particular definition of anything. You are free to dislike what I write. You are free to not find it scary, on a personal level. Everyone reacts differently to a story. But, don't tell me what "scary" is in universal terms. And, don't tell me what "scary" should be for me.

I have always been terrified of the mundane. Earthly concerns wear at me; eroding my confidence and sense of self. I enjoy a bit of the supernatural, but I am just not as scared by cryptids, ghosts, and superpowered killers. I apologize, but I'm not much of a believer.

In any case, welcome to my blog.

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