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  • Writer's pictureMaegan Clearwood

15 - devil

Updated: May 4, 2021

15 - devil

external judgment, inner demons, toxicity, shadow

ritual for slaying your creative vampire

ingredients: a book that stands in the way of your creative spirit (a style guide, how-to manual, textbook, etc -- I chose Strunk and White's Elements of Style for an example, which is full of "rules" for good writing that I have gradually broken free from); pieces of scrap paper and a writing implement; a lighter; a fire-safe bowl; water

1. listen to the above song from [title of show] for an intro lesson on creativity vampires. who is your vampire, that person or book or system that sucks your energy and just will not die? perhaps your eighth grade teacher crushed your dreams of becoming a writer, or you were rejected for an award, or your brilliance was misunderstood for not meeting arbitrary white nonsense standards. get specific with this memory. let the accompanying rage, despair, or shame fuel your vampire slaying.

2. on a scrap piece of paper, write down the negative messages that you internalized from this experience. be as specific as possible, and write in first-person present: "i am a bad writer"; "my poetry is derivative," etc.

3. on another sheet of paper, write down the opposite of one of these messages: "i am a brilliant writer"; "my poetry sparkles with originality," etc. again, the more specific the better, and keep things in first-person present tense.

4. turn this positive message into a sigil -- a personal symbol that holds mystical or magickal meaning (example below):

1. cross out all of the vowels and repeated consonants in your message

2. arrange your list of letters into a shape of your creation -- the end result should be a symbol that is only legible to you

3. make as many drafts as necessary for your sigil to feel just right

5. slay that vampire WITH FIRE! burn the negative message in your fire-proof bowl (be sure to keep some water nearby just in case). let the smoke carry away your lingering insecurities; let the memory turn to ash. if you cannot set things on fire, ripping the paper into teensy pieces or soaking it in salt water also works. you might want to scream [insert title of book or name of eighth grade teacher], i bind you from ever again walking the realm of my living creativity. die, vampire, die!"

6. write your sigil into the cover page of your toxic book. let it be a form of protection between prescriptive, limiting rules and your boundless creativity -- or, to stick with the vampire theme, it is the holy symbol that wards off the undead. you might want to speak your message aloud as your write. alternatively, you could say, "may this sigil protect me from further vampiric harm. live, creativity, live!"

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