It takes a serious dose of self-inflicted wallowing to be a literary writer. To write, you have to dwell, inspect, analyze and maybe even obsess a little.
It is admittedly a little self-indulgent… all this introspection and reflection. We all do it to varying degrees, but for writers it’s a state of being – a state of sensitivity and receptivity.
The best writing comes from the highest highs (literally, like the Romantic movement’s Opium inspired gems) to the lowest lows, where the most beautiful poetry comes from gutwrenching depression (shout out to the king of gut-wrench, Edgar Allen Poe).
For me, perhaps due to a subtle (self-diagnosed) neurosis where I’m a tad shut off from day-to-day, a burst of emotion feels like a tide of clarity, declaring “this is how you feel, right here, right now, and there’s no avoiding it” and it feels so good… as good as melancholy can feel to a person. As mentioned in a previous blog, I’m pretty sure writers are masochists .
Wallowing acts as a muse. From a depth of emotion, we’re able to create our greatest masterpieces. The trick lies in learning how to ride it without it destroying us. It’s true that some of the worlds best artists – musical, visual, literary – destroy themselves in the creative process. Elizabeth Gilbert alludes in her Ted talk “Your elusive creative genius” that creativity and suffering are inherently linked and how creatives can learn to toe the line.
I’m addicted to that muse. I walk around in a general state of abstraction, so when I’m hit with an unmistakable emotion, it’s so welcomed. I’m not naturally decisive; I hover between worlds in a constant state of flux – the forever traveller, dreamer, the non-commiter. So when it hits. Man, I ride it for all I got. And right now, I got that feeling. Like deep deep within me.
I want to commit to this feeling. Feel it fully. To my finger tips, down my spine, till it hits my eyeballs as a well of tears. Oh to be human. And then to write. Feel it, then write.