I have heard two different sides to the story of a writer. Many people groan that too many claim to be writers and neglect to write everyday, thereby revoking the title of an actual writer. The other side of the story disposes of the idea of a romanticized writer and acknowledges that each must come to his own in a way fit for himself. Be it writing everyday, or only when the words seem to spill over, anything goes. I have not decided which side I stand on, but I know I do not write everyday. Sometimes months go by without a cohesive thing being produced. However, I carry a small red journal. It goes nearly everywhere with me. Often I have words that pop into my head, strings of sentences, inspiring thoughts. The voice inside me does not quiet until it is written. Sometimes, when I allow myself to think them freely, they will go on for hours at a maddening pace. I’m beginning to feel comfortable in this uncomfortable state, deeming it creative madness. The author Kay Redfield Jameson, author of An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness and Touched By Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and Artistic Temperament writes beautiful novels that evoke something similar (both great reads).
I got to thinking about how proud I would be if I began collecting these thoughts in a space I could share with others. The place for them may be this blog itself and whatever purpose it serves to me and my readers. Today an article by The New Yorker (posted by Twitter user @sharongracepjs) inspired me. The article is called “Reading Your Friends’ Novels.” After reading the article, which focused mainly on interests pertinent to those in the publishing arena, I added to an idea brought up by Brad Leithauser. My thought on the success of creative writing is this:
We either lament the catastrophes of our characters, or do everything we can to protect them from harm, because each and every one is really a piece of ourselves, broken off and shared bit by bit with the world, but, as in finding success in real life, success in creative writing will come from walking to the edge that causes such fear, such uneasiness, and then triumphing it on our own way.
I’ve posted it on my Facebook status but I have an inkling that it may be slightly under-appreciated on that forum, and besides, if I want to look back and recount snippets of thoughts, you won’t find me perusing old status posts, you’ll find my nose buried in my blog, and piecing the past together with a nostalgic reminiscence.