Welcome to the web site for Mystical Bear! It’s been a long time coming as I first had this idea several years ago. There was one half-hearted attempt then to bring it into being but it got nowhere. Now, however, I’ve had a major attitude shift and I’ve been working more frequently to get things up and running.
I won’t say this hasn’t been done anywhere else – I don’t have that much free time that I can go out there and read every writing blog there is. However, I think you’ll find that if there are other similar sites, they are just a tiny percentage of all the writing sites available. Most people want to cover up the flaws, the misfires. I guess I’m not in that camp. This site will do just the opposite – and it will do so on purpose.
Hear me out.
Years ago I read the Stephen King novel, Misery – the one about the author that has a car crash and ends up hostage to his biggest fan. This wouldn’t have been bad, except he had just killed off her favorite character. Ruh roh. She forces him to write another book, just for her, with her heroine alive once more. And to guarantee that he complies, she does all kinds of nasty things to him. I won’t go into any of the details but you get the idea.
At the time, I had mixed feelings about the book. I’ve always been a fan of his more supernatural stuff and this story had none of that. Plus it was written in a weird sort of way: for a while, you’d see all the stuff happening with the author, then the book would switch to the text of this new book he was writing.
Initially, I didn’t care about this second part and started off skimming it whenever it occurred. After all, I really didn’t care about some historical romance shi-, I mean, stuff. But then I got to paying attention and my eyes were opened to what was going on. He was showing how writer’s work: the author in Misery was using what was happening around him to inform the work he was creating.
This was kinda cool, but didn’t really make much of a difference in my life until years later when I was reviewing some of my own writer’s journals. I noticed that I was doing the same thing with my story – when things happened to me, something similar would happen to my characters. It seemed like I was attempting to find a way to process difficult events by having them happen to someone else. There, it was much easier to say, “Oh, you should do this.” When it’s yourself, it’s a different story – you come up with all kinds of excuses as to why you can’t do this, or why things have to be this way.
Anyway, as I’ve covered elsewhere (mainly in the Who I Am section), I’ve struggled with some pretty strong depression and anxiety most of my life. Complex PTSD was formally diagnosed about 6 years ago. (I guess it’s a relatively recent concept.) Family life through adulthood was pretty fucked up. Yeah, most of us think that, but when I start talking about the things that went on in mine, people usually turn quiet and start giving me strange looks.
I’m using this site to do two main things:
- To help me write a story that’s been haunting me for years.
- To help me deal with the events of my past by fictionalizing them.
And I’m going to do all the major legwork here. This may prove to be a foolish decision. We’ll see, won’t we? At the start I’ll be doing this anonymously but the further I get, the more I’m going to have to come out. Hopefully, this will help others who have gone or are going through similar circumstances.
I plan on being pretty active with this, writing several posts a week to start out with. This will probably diminish as the actual writing begins and I get in a groove. Some categories will start out strong and then dissipate as the work continues. Others will grow faster over time. I’ll warn you right now there will be plenty of false steps to begin with – since I’ve never found a process that has worked for me, I’m just going to start experimenting. Hopefully, things will start to gel and the missteps will decrease.
So, once more, welcome. I hope you find something meaningful here. And if not, I hope you at least enjoy the show. After all, as Hemingway is quoted saying, “There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.” (For more on this quote, read here.)
Photo by Larry Teo on Unsplash