The title of my book has been changed to “Supermax Prison: controlling the most dangerous criminals,” which is due to be released in mid-June. I decided to share some of my thoughts before writing this book.
Writing is a journey of twists and turns laced with uncertainty. Gone are the predictable warm summer nights in southern Illinois, or the haunting call of a whip-poor-will. Perhaps I have a general idea of where the story might lead, but I never know how it will end. That would not be investigative journalism. No, that’s back-ass storytelling.
I have logged in countless hours of psycho-therapy and written about troubled minds with difficult pasts. Things are not as they appear. Perceived reality is a combination of our genetic makeup and life experiences, and opens the door for misguided decisions. An individual’s perception of right and wrong oftentimes differs from mine. False judgements and bias are not permitted. Knowing this, allows me to experience empathy, understanding, and a host of emotions. Only then, can I find the “sweet part” of the story where creativity is unleashed.
It has been said that artists perform their best work when under the influence of drugs. One could argue that a gentle high might unleash a degree of creativity, but when you are trashed, the work has a manic flow. I admit to the occasional glass of wine to prime the pump, but I’ve found a better way. Look to the free spirit of childhood and envision the swish and sway, the pirouette and tour en l’air of a child dancing to the beat and lyrics of a simple song; the free flow of unrestrictive creativity; an emotional rush that trumps the steady pull from your favorite weed or a glass of wine.
While emotion and creativity are the staples of powerful writing, it must be harnessed with a loose bridle, allowing a degree of freedom. Writing requires the use of the right and left side of the brain at the same time. If I can harness my creativity, writing skills, a nonjudgemental mind, the strength of a lion sprinkled with a dose of love, I can wallow in the writer’s high.