I think I’m drowning.

That’s the only way I know to describe it. I’m suffocating. I swear I’m doing my best to swim to the surface, to breathe, but clean, pure air is so out of reach that I can’t see it.

I can’t see anything.

Nothing real, anyway.

I had just emerged from one story. Happy. Content. Full.

And then another story reached out a hand and whispered:

I can save you.

And like a fool, I took that hand. But it didn’t pull me up, didn’t help me.

Its hand clawed at me instead, scratched at me, tore me apart, infected me. And now I can feel that story spreading in me.

Drowning me.

I’m stuck between the story and reality. And I can’t see either clearly, but the story is more vivid, more colorful. It’s more real to me than reality is.

And that terrifies me.

So I’m trying to get it out. I wrote forty-three pages yesterday. I didn’t know I could do that. And I’m scared that that was possible, because of what it did to me, what it’s cost me.

If a story is a writer’s life, then I think that I’ve bled out.

I’m afraid that the story will suck me in deeper and deeper, until there’s no light even indicating a surface. Until I only breathe water, and air is foreign to me.

I’m afraid that I won’t make it all the way back into reality. I’m afraid of being trapped in the story… in my mind.

I thought that my creativity came at the cost of the insanity, but I think I was wrong. The creativity is part of my insanity.

But it’s beautiful. It’s intoxicating. Maybe I’m so drawn to it because I fear it so much. The stories, the worlds, they all take on different hues, different colors. I see stories in colors—the most recent is green. The one about to be published is blue. But this one, this one is red, and I am drowning in the darkness of it, and in the beauty of it.

I’m not sure I want to even come back to reality at all.

But that’s the problem, isn’t it?

And until I choose a world, I’ll continue to drown in the story; needing air, but choking on dark red water.

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