“Was it hard writing Broken?”
This question comes up often. Most just assume it was and state, “That must have been hard.” But, occasionally, some one asks, “Was it?”
The answer is less straight forward than one expects.
Writing Broken was hard… and easy. It felt great, and horrific. It was mind-numbing, and emotionally stimulating. I passed between shock and severe shaking. I smoked a lot of kreteks and drank a lot of Guinness. The words flowed. That was consistent. The words came sudden and fast and I was terrified I would forget something important. The more I wrote, the more I remembered. The more I stirred up memories and details I had forgotten. The more I blocked out the world and thought of very little as I let my past encompass me.
It felt like, everything I ever wanted to say was suddenly there. And I was Elizabeth—and I was William—and I was saying everything I ever ached to say. Until Broken, I had one wish, to be heard by someone, anyone. Writing Broken felt like someone was hearing me… finally… even if it was just William. Each character in Broken represents something. But that is for another post.
Broken wasn’t hard to write. It was hard to remember. It was hard to confront the pain and the abuse. It was hard to remember the screams and all the death. It was hard mentally reliving each and every moment all over again all within a two week period.
It was emotionally charging, and was so stimulating, that my mind went numb and I shut down. 100,000 words in two weeks. 35 years recalled and relived in two weeks. Writing Broken was a very real nightmare I finally was able to escape from.