Fear and Inspiration
It’s Hallowe’en at the end of the week. So I’ve been thinking about Hallowe’en stuff; how to make the scariest mask, the scariest costume, the scariest decorations, etc. I’ve been thinking about fear, too.
Why is fear necessary? Because I’ve came to the conclusion that it is necessary, and being a nice type of person, I thought I’d share my conclusion on here.
Fear drives creativity. When our ancestors lived in caves, they feared the unknown (as all humans have always done); in this instance the unknown was everything that lurked in the dark. So they harnessed fire. They had to control fire for light, but they discovered the benefits of heat for warmth and cooking.
Throughout time there has been thousands of instances of this: people find something they are scared of, and in an attempt to conquer this fear, they invent something new. Sometimes this can be a great invention (like harnessed fire), a great procrastination aid (was Facebook invented by someone scared of physical interaction?), and sometimes it’s the kind of thing that brings with it more fear (nuclear bombs).
In the modern world there is little to fear, and thus little inspiration for creativity. That is where writers come in. People need fear, they need the darkness in life or they can’t see the light. Without fear, it isn’t just inspiration that we lose, it’s hope, too.
Write a little darkness into your work. Give your readers something to fear. They need it.
Chris Kelly is the author of Matilda Raleigh: Invictus (http://www.smashwords.com/