“All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives lies a mystery. Writing a book is a long, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” - George Orwell
Writing is therapeutic.
At least for me, it’s a way to let go of demons and feelings that haunt me. It forces me to analyze a situation and find somewhat of a conclusion to what I currently face. It’s a form of release, letting go, articulating what I feel and just moving on.
Other times, it’s a form of showing appreciation towards someone meaningful. It’s my way of letting them know that they’ve made such an impact in my life, I was actually inspired to create a piece of literature.
Writing is then a liberating, violent, passionate, beautiful activity.
But, what happens when after going through the whirlwind of emotions that usually precede a piece of writing – the tears, the cigarettes, the bottles of whiskey, the glasses of cheap wine that helped you dig deep into yourself, looking for words to describe your Utopia, the cloud you’re currently living on (or the absolute hell your burning yourself in) — you can’t share in any way what you’ve written?
When you can’t make it publicly available on your blog?
When you can’t even share it privately with whomever inspired you to write it in the first place? (Because you KNOW they won’t understand the complexities of your writer mind, the need to put feelings into words, the desire to make a few moments often considered mundane, perennial. Because, perhaps they won’t understand why there are any feelings at all).
What happens then?
I guess you wait for the right time. You open another bottle of cheap, organic wine and you wait. You switch from wine to whiskey and soda. You light up a cigarette, even though it does no good to you, even though you’ll probably end up inconveniencing them with an asthma attack tomorrow. You go back to the bottle of whiskey. This time you omit the soda and just hit it on the rocks.
You wait for that time when publishing perhaps the most honest and passionate piece of writing you’ve ever created will not affect either one of the parties involved. You actually care more about the other person’s interests than you do about your own. You’ve already bared yourself on a piece of paper. You already lay there naked, so what difference does it make for you?
This is not about fear, but about protecting the non-writer in your life. You’re waiting for the right time – that precise moment when publishing your story won’t affect the other party involved. When the circumstances that hold you back from making it public today are no longer relevant.
Because us writers have immunity in this crazy, hard to understand literary world. But the civilians we share our lives with don’t.
P.S. I have no patience. I’ll open another bottle of wine and wait because I still respect you. Tomorrow, I’ll turn to whiskey. And to your utter disappointment, there will be cigarettes every night until the day I’m able to publish our story.