When I need to write, and I can’t, I become very irritable. Moody. My feelings all pent up, banging around inside. My words a convict clanking his metal cup on the jail bars of my mind. I can focus on little else but the words swimming around in my mind. But what can I do about it? Life doesn’t stop simply because I’m feeling creative (or cynical, sarcastic, snarky or angry for that matter.) So I bury it down inside myself, hoping that the creativity will not escape, but instead it rots. A lost opportunity. A dying phrase. A once breathtaking, turned putrid, thought.
Like manna, it is only for the here and for the now.
I know why writers tend towards being a tad affected. I know why they hermit for days at a time. How naively readers envision them sitting at a desk, under an open window typing happily along as the birds sing above. How so easily the scene could be replaced by a man, dark circles under his eyes, huddling before a type writer, dragging on cigarette after cigarette as smoke curls upwards, slowly beginning to believe his truths; the truths that apply to no one but him.
They are afraid that the moment they step away, that it will all vanish.
I am afraid that the moment I step away, it will all vanish.
Maybe it’s not true for those not tested and tried by the vexation of writer’s block. (I know that there is no such thing. It’s all in my head. It’s just a myth. And I faithfully tell that to my starkly white sheet of paper.) But a writer stands a very big chance of going mad for fear that if he lets go, even once, spontaneous word or phrase or idea will leave him and never visit again. It might have been the last good thing he ever had to write. And he will be finished forever, powerless to the whim and fancy of the written word.
But I have to take that chance, because I cannot allow myself to think only of my own needs. Indeed, I believe doing so would make me a fantastic writer, but only for a short time. Soon I would have nothing left to write, as what can a person who leads no life really have worth saying?