Thursday, April 18, 2013

Let's talk about writing...

So this morning, while taking a quick look through my Facebook news feed for anything of interest, I came across this quote posted by The Writer's Circle.

"Writers aren't exactly people...they're a whole bunch of people trying to be one person." - F. Scott Fitzgerald

I'm sure plently of my fellow writers found themselves crying out the same thing I did: "Someone does understand me!" Thank you F. Scott Fitzgerald for giving me the words to explain why my brain is so crazy all the time.

However, I also felt a pang of guilt after reading Fitzgerald's words. I felt guilty because, while I constantly feel like I am too many people shoved into one brainspace, it has been a long time since I checked in on any of my brainmates.

I could make the typical excuses: I've been working a lot, whenever I have time to write I'm too tired, I have writer's block, blah blah blah. The list is endless. And while these excuses have some truth to them, they don't excuse my neglect of pencil and paper (or computer; just depends on how I'm feeling).

As I worked to justify my avoidance of the art I've spent most of my life honing, I was reminded of another quote.

"Writing is easy. You just sit at a typewriter and bleed." - Ernest Hemingway

This is a good time to mention I minored in Zoology in college. I bring this up because I'm about to drop some basic biology on Mr. Hemingway's head. Bleeding tends to be a bad thing. You kind of want your blood to stay in your veins and arteries. It helps us do that thing, oh, what is it...? Oh, yeah. Live! It helps us live.

While I understand and agree with Hemingway's statement, I also have to disagree with it to an extent. Writing is hard. It can be easy, but usually it is hard. It is hard to bleed. When you run out of blood you die. I don't care who you ask, I bet everyone, even if they don't admit it, is scared of dying. When you bleed in front of people, you present them with a choice: to help you or not. Learning what choice they would make might be scarier than dieing. 

Alright, things are getting a little heavy and a little muddled (my brain is very full, as you know). But I'll wrap things up with this.

Writing is easy and writing is hard. Writing can create feelings of intense intimacy and extreme isolation. Writing demands you to put your whole self into it and will leave you with nothing. Writing is something you cannot deny yourself. Even if you try to resist it, it will break you.

As scared as these things might make current and potential writers, making the choice not to write, or being denied the ability to do so is a far worse fate than bleeding out.

Wow. Sorry this post got a bit morbid. I promise the next one will be more upbeat! But thank you for letting me get all this out. I think I needed it. I hope, for any of you writers reading, it helped you a bit and gave you a little solidarity. 

I leave you with one last quote. This one was said directly to me and I've carried it with me since.

"Just write." Aby Kaupang



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