Inspiration is Pain

Wait, wait, it’s really not supposed to be that dramatic…

So this morning, when I woke up, I realized that my brain had become a warzone.

I get migraines of the occasion. Usually they are associated with stress, times of the month, general changes in air temperature, etc. Sometimes, I can get them handled and under control before anything crazy happens. Sometimes, though, especially if they sneak in like invaders in the night, they hit with the ferocity of a summer thunderstorm. There is sound, there is fury, and it signifies my life is ending.

I got up. I got medicine. I went downstairs. I immediately went back upstairs. No light, no sound, nothing. The pain was like my skull had been cracked like an egg. The floor was offensive. The air was offensive. The settling of the house was offensive. I eventually just passed out again from the pain.

And there was one thing on my mind, in those swirling moments of agony: George R.R. Martin is a damn genius.


Because of this guy:


This is Gregor Clegane, aka The Mountain, aka Card-Carrying Member of the Old Boys Club of Suck. We know him. We hate him.

But a little reference from the Song of Ice and Fire series is that he suffers from chronic headaches. He’s always taking milk of the poppy to ease it off, but it’s a pretty constant thing that causes him suffering.

After I read that, there was just this moment, this teeny second, that I stopped and went, “That explains so much.” It doesn’t justify it or make anything he does less horrifying and awful, but for just a moment, I could see why it was happening. It wasn’t some deep thing like, “His parents didn’t love him” or “He was just a product of society” or whatever. There was an actual physical torment that was there, like a creaky board in the stairs, gnawing away at him until he snapped. Not to say he didn’t choose to embrace that, but still — this rocked my world as a writer.

It’s easy to make a monster. But making a monster that can be related to, even on a superficial scale, is something to aspire to.


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