The most terrible thing about the writing process is that oftentimes, it’s most difficult when you need it the most. The moments you need nothing more than to empty your mind are also those where you sit endlessly, staring blankly at a page that refuses to fill itself. You want to take your anguish, the politics, and countless rejections and splatter them across the page, but as you sit to do so, you’re hindered by a sinking fear that it might not be as therapeutic as you think. As if writing these things will make them more difficult, increasing your frustrations because you’re not only thinking these things but seeing them written out in front of you. No, these thoughts aren’t just piled up in your mind anymore, now they’re heavy with the weight of reality. You’d hoped after putting the words to page they would lift from your chest, but instead they’ve been etched in, pinning you down.
It’s terribly and beautifully ironic that the words that need to be said are those that are most difficult to say. Or write. Or read. Sometimes you aren’t even sure what those words are, and sometimes you aren’t sure if you want to attempt to find them. Would it be better to stare at the unfilled lines on the page, or fill them with words you aren’t even certain that you mean? What if you mean them today and tomorrow you’ve changed?
Why do we write? To truly feel the weight of our words or to lift them from ourselves? To become surer of our place in this world, or to embrace the difficult existence of the unknown? Do we share our stories for the benefit of others or ourselves?
I’m not sure. But I don’t think I need to be sure, because that’s one of the great things about writing- very few things are certain. Most likely our answers to any of those questions depends more on the time and the words and who we are that day, than on any fixed certainty. All I know is that it’s not easy. It’s not easy to sit down and bleed every day. But it’s necessary. It’s necessary to share your experiences, your love, your pain, your thoughts, and your feelings. That’s how we know we’re not so alone. That we might not be the only one who thinks such lovely and dismal thoughts, or laughs at the same bad jokes, or who doesn’t agree with the way things are going. Through writing we find solidarity, and through that solidarity we find strength. And some days it takes all the strength we can muster to find beauty in this crazy world around us.