I’ve got to stop talking about writing and actually write–stop reading, reading, reading and actually write something others will want to read.
I don’t know why the doing of writing is so insanely hard and painful and borderline masochistic.
Yeah, yeah—I’m writing about mental illness, you remind me, a memoir about bipolar disorder. That’s got to be tough. But truly, writing about anything pains me these days.
In fact, writing makes me sick—almost!
No, not hugging-the-porcelain-goddess sick, but truly, gut-wrenchingly, nauseatingly ill-at-ease. And that’s on a good day.
So why, in the name of all things good and sane and true, do I do this to myself? Why the compulsion—the agonizing dread of it and the inevitable making myself sit with pen and paper and wrench the words from some place deeply pained inside of me?
Sometimes I try to tell myself that I’m not a writer—not a real one, anyway. Don’t real writers like to write? Don’t they do it because it feels good?
I rarely “feel good” when I write. I don’t do it for fun or sport.
I do it because to not write is even more painful—less true to who I am, what I want, and what I believe in.
Why is art so often about pain? Why the sense of loss, the sadness, the melancholy undercurrent-riptide of misery, doubt, regret?
I said it best in a poem I wrote some time ago:in search of blue magnolias we walk the narrow cobblestone, eyes closed sharing a common pain frost-bitten fingertips touching blindly the rough edge of knowing an unspoken surface.
(This is a recent color pencil drawing. Click image to enlarge.)