“Through joy and through sorrow, I wrote. Through hunger and through thirst, I wrote. Through good report and through ill report, I wrote. Through sunshine and through moonshine, I wrote. What I wrote it is unnecessary to say.” --Edgar A. Poe
When I’ve experienced writer’s block in the past, I’ve just ridden it out, knowing that a time would arrive when writing would be both possible and necessary. But this time, as cliché as it sounds, I feel like I’ve started a new chapter in life. Hell, maybe I’ve started a new book. It’s not that I’m so near-sighted that I believe life will be hunky dory from now on. I know there will be pain and heartache and challenges and trials. I just don’t plan on bringing all of that shit on myself and on those I love anymore. Being happy and peaceful is the best high I’ve experienced. Life is hard enough without me making drama and discord.
So here is where I stand as far as writing: do I set it aside and only return to it as a crutch when life does get difficult or do I somehow find a way to channel these feelings into words?
I can barely remember a time in my life when I didn’t write. As soon as I learned to put letters together and form words, I was scribbling songs and stories. And while I don’t consider myself to have any kind of remarkable talent, writing is my only ability for which I have even an ounce of pride. It is a gift passed on to me by my father. What right do I have to just pretend it no longer exists?
No, I can’t just stop writing.
But on the other hand, I don't know if I can write just for the sake of writing. I have to feel it. Anything significant or meaningful that I’ve ever produced—anything I’ve composed that spoke to even one person—poured out of me. Writing is liberating for me, my sidewalk back to sanity. It’s how I deal with darkness and doubt. Whether I am raging or drowning, writing saves me. It’s a way of talking to myself without feeling like I’m losing touch with reality I am thankful that I have the ability to write when I need to write, when it is crucial for me to stay grounded through words. But why, when I am at peace, is the rope on my creative bucket too short to reach the water in the writing well? Why, when I so desperately want to write, am I unable to do so? The emotions I’m feeling right now—the joy and fulfillment and serenity—are just as powerful as what I’ve felt in darker days. I’ve longed to experience these emotions, to feel this alive. My heart feels like it’s going to explode sometimes. Why can’t I channel this into my writing?
I’ve always written selfishly, drawing from whatever is going on in my life in an effort to get through it. It’s never my intention to produce something that speaks to someone else, though I feel blessed when another person connects with my words. Maybe my writing needs another purpose, one that isn’t so damned self-centered. Maybe I have something to say, something to share.
I just don’t know where to begin.