I Am a God

I Am a God.

I create and destroy worlds. I make people bend to my will and if they won’t, I make them disappear or retrospectively ensure they never existed. I can make people suffer and die in agony or experience extreme happiness. I can bend the universe to my will and there is nothing anyone or anything can do to stop me. I control everything. I am all powerful.

On reflection, that may sounds a little bit conceited, so I’ll start again.

I am a writer.

I create and destroy worlds. I make people bend to my will and if they won’t, I make them disappear or retrospectively ensure they never existed. I can make people suffer and die in agony or experience extreme happiness. I can bend the universe to my will and there is nothing anyone or anything can do to stop me. I control everything. I am all powerful.

Much better. No wonder writing appeals to people.

Of course, that’s all bullshit. I am no more in control of my writing than I am of most other things in my life. The character I am about to subject to a gruesome death will do something nice and make me reconsider, or sweet-talk me into building his role. The planet I am about to destroy will surrender and ruin my epic interstellar war sequence. I’ll feel sorry for the woman I created who never finds happiness and make her happy. My hero will do something awful and become the villain. My brilliant plot will go off in another direction and defy every effort to bring it back on track. My characters will laugh in my face when I order them to do something and then do something completely different, presumably out of spite.

The truth is, I’m powerless. All my plans are reduced to ruins, my plots shredded, my genres twisted and my characters always seem to undergo personality changes as soon as I commit them to the page. Nothing ever develops the way I intend.

It all sounds very frustrating and probably makes you wonder why I subject myself to such suffering.

But the thing is, this process is wonderful and comforting. It means something – a creative spark, my Writing Entity, perhaps – is looking after me, saying, in effect, “This is crap!. Let’s do it this way!” I will resist sometimes, but invariably, the Writing Entity will gets its way and literally have the last word.

Despite our constant disagreements, I like and believe in my Writing Entity. It constantly surprises me with plot twists and character developments I could never have come up with myself. On many occasions I will watch my hands skim across the keyboard in slow motion (my usual writing speed) then look up to the screen and be completely surprised and delighted by the words on the page. Don’t tell anyone, but sometimes I think they didn’t come from me.

And so, alas, it appears I am not a God at all. Maybe I’m not even a writer. Perhaps I’m merely a typist happily taking dictation…