How You’re Murdering Your Imagination

by jonnahzkennedy

Before I begin: all you hippies who can’t handle a little crude language and some ‘nasty’ ideas, well you can leave now because that’s whats ahead. For all of you writers who want to learn something new, who want to be a writer and open up, proceed: I welcome you to my dark and twisted mind (which doubles as a sex dungeon on the weekends for a fee of ten bucks. What can I say, I’m a cheap buy *shrugs*)

That’s right! You’re murdering your imagination! Do you want to know how? I’m sure you’re not aware of it at all. 

Let me preface. A couple of weeks ago I had the most disgusting idea I think I’ve ever come up with. It may as well be Japanese octopus porn really (you can already see where this is going can’t you?). I happened to be thinking about Carrie for whatever reason, and I started to think about the iconic opening sequence in which Carrie has her period in the shower, all the girls screaming at her to plug it up (they still echo in my head, those girls in the shower room, oh how they screamed and pointed, their fantastic bosoms bounc-Oh, wait, let me stop before I get too deep). And without warning, a story appeared in my head: a girl is having her period for the first time and when she tries to stop it, to plug it up herself, bad things occur: three tentacles emerge from her who-ha and kill her; the monster climbs from her and goes for her sister who’s having sex with a guy with the initials STD. Get the metaphor?

But, while the idea will not leave my head, I have yet to act on it. I know the beginning, middle, and end of the story; almost in every blood-filled detail to tell you the truth. But why haven’t I acted on it? Well, if you are like many of the few people I’ve told about the idea then you cringed and kind of shook your head a little. I smile about it, but still I have not acted on it. And this is because I’m censoring myself. I have a good feeling that until I get that story out of me, in one form or another whether it be as a short screenplay or a short story (or a novel that centers around the vagina monster slowly taking over the world and then wallowing because it has no friends), I’m not going to be able to move on really. I’ve had a couple of good ideas in the weeks sense, I think: killer grass and an abortion monster (only the latter is a metaphor, the killer grass is just something that I’ve always wanted to do for one reason or another); a mirror monster and possibly a food monster, all the classic stuff. 

But, to go on, you see, there is another factor in play, the reason why I have only started planning the story about the killer grass (if you’re wondering). It’s because I’m censoring myself. I’ll be honest: while I have a library somewhere in the mid-200s full of books, I don’t read as often as I’d like. Not because I don’t have the time, boy do you bet I have the time (and the money to buy more; books that is, not time, I can’t buy time unfortunetly…though that would make a fantastic little story now wouldn’t it?) but I’m a teenage boy who is easily distracted by the smallest glimmer in the distance, even if it turns out to just be aluminum foil…though I think we may know a couple of things about aluminium foil (); anyhow because of my less than acceptable pace at which I read (I’m still sitting on a book that I started in March, and it’s barely 200 pages :/) one comes to wonder if this contributes to my less than ‘original’ series of ideas and my fear of even attempting to write some of the strange monster stories that I want. I’ve always wanted to write a collection of monster stories akin to the movies of the 50s where werewolves and vampires were still scary, where a monster form he toilet had you peeing in a bottle and you went out hunting for the thing in the creek. 

My first horror story (a terrible thing, I’ll tell you that much) was called the Creature from Under the Bleachers and it was my attempt at trying to replicate Lovecraft’s Cthulhu in a Stephen King setting. It did not go over well, at the same time it was a story that I really wanted to write. I wanted to write a story where two teens learn that it wasn’t a good idea to follow strange children through a dark parking lot. Yet, I’ve slowly evolved from my ‘glory days’ of spitting out random ideas about this monster and that monster from another dimension, to a more ‘sophisticated’ form of writing. But, to some degree, I believe that it has almost been detrimental to my writing. Suddenly, I’m afraid to write about the things that I think are pretty damn awesome (vagina monster martini anyone?) and I only want to write things that are going to present a certain image about my writing; suddenly I’m only writing stuff that will have at least marginal literary merit, bloated with metaphors and figurative language so grandiose and stuffy that the judges on any panel would jerk off to it and scream at the top of their bloody lungs, “HOLY FUCK-HOLY FUCK-HOLY FUCK IN A HAILMARY!” and my less professional side (the one that aspires to write a story about a monster made of abortion babies; my friend called that idea a ‘Sharknado’ idea XD) has slowly been suppressed. And do you want to know what the result has been? I don’t think I’ve been as happy writing anymore. Suddenly, there is a feeling within me that says, “No-no don’t write that, do you want people to think your some mad pervert who likes to dismember people?” and I would switch to something that was more appropriate. 

My English teacher- who has helped me greatly, don’t get me wrong- has multiple times told me to tone down my writing, telling me that the judges on a panel will be expecting some gore filled, psychotic story written by a horny teenager with acne and little pieces of hair hugging his face (mind you, my acne is not as bad as my friend who literally is pale as paper, but his face is of such a red-radiance that I wouldn’t be surprised if we could use him as a lamp) and that I should try and prove them wrong. 

So now I ask, why can’t I write a story about a vagina monster or killer centipedes from space (that fight giant cockroaches and mushroom people) and still prove the judges wrong? Yes, we all want to tell our friends how many times we watched some stuffy incomprehensible film, but we all know we want to talk about how Godzilla crushed that city, how Rambo killed all those people, how those dragons fought all those armies in New York (this is actually a movie I remember from my childhood, and what started my addiction to action films); who says I can’t be the best at writing the incredibly grotesque? Can’t a slasher be literary, a monster story philosophical, and a story about a killer erection smart (Dammit, I’m actually considering this one now)? 

My basic point in this post, true ladies and gentlemen (or sickos like myself) who have made it this far, is that you cannot limit yourself. Sure, one day you want to win the Pulitzer, but why not have fun on the way there, huh? Why not write a story about killer grass or a pen that has a killer grip, or-or the killer erection? Why not? Everything you write is an exercise, everything you write is a test, so why not see how far you can push the test, how fast can you go in your new sports car before the cops finally pull you over? We all have some ‘bad’ story within us, a story that we believe no one wants to read, but how will we know that if we never write it? Our greatest enemy is ourselves. You cannot keep a canary in its cage forever and expect it to sing a beautiful song if it’s never been out and heard one; a mockingbird cannot repeat a melody if he has never heard one; your imagination cannot sing to you if you do not let it sing. Let it go free, allow the inner child in you to write that monster story, and you know what? Make it the best damn monster story there has ever been and ever will be. Believe that never in time has there been a better monster story! Hey, you could be this generations Mary Shelly, your monster could be the next Monster of Frankenstein, the next big mistake, the next story that you’ll remember forever when you’re sitting on your three fat Master’s Degrees and you’ve finally solved the puzzle put together by James Joyce in Finnegan’s Wake. You can look back and say, “Man, that was a good story,” and reminisce on the nightmares you had and all the ways you retold the story to your friends, all the nights you spent up finishing this bloody, bloody book but you just couldn’t put it down because it fascinated you that much. Let people say, “God, that’s just a load of trash,” and move on. Are you happy? Then keep on writing my friend, and never look back, don’t stop until the clock stops, until your heart gives way to the pounds of coffee and chips that you devoured between stories; until your brain explodes from an attempted ejaculation of ideas. 

Be grotesque, be ugly, be crude: if you like it, if you enjoy it, then someone will too (despite what you might believe!). Do not censor yourself, even to the ‘dumbest’ ideas; for all you know you could have a cult following just waiting to pounce on you, you could be sitting on the next Song of Ice and Fire and not even know it. It is your job as a writer to be a hiker and an archaeologist: of your own mind that is. Your mind is like a great vast woodland, and inside there are a million things from a world ago: there are spaceships, time machines, UFOs, dead bodies, and murderous vaginae: so go out and find them, and don’t be afraid of what you might uncover under a rock. One day you might find a worm, but on another you might find a killer centipede from space. You’ve just got to keep looking. 

Stay strong and fly high my ravens!