I used to say I write to bleed the pain out of me, which, albeit angst-y, was true and certainly appropriate.
I did need an outlet for those tears and fears. Everything that I felt used to flow out of me into my writing. The words just seemed to come. Every time I cut into something, its blood was my words. They weren’t always sophisticated, but they were true and they were inspired and they meant something to me. They worked. At least in the way that I needed them to. I felt connected to my work when I was writing. As I was continuously cutting the cord of my emotions and feelings by creating histories and characters and lives on pages that exemplified them, I was leaving things behind. I was disconnecting from the burden and pain of my emotions, but at the same time, I was connected to my stories because I was them. Fiction or not, everything on the page was bleeding out of me with such Truth, I couldn’t hide their honesty.
Now, it’s not that way so much anymore.
When I try to write now, things get stuck. When I force them out and read them later, I feel little connection. I can tell the words are empty. I’m a little bit afraid, to be honest, that all this meditation and self-growth and letting go isn’t clearing the channels in my mind for my creativity to run wild, but draining me of my inspirations. I’m much less of a tortured soul now and that’s great for me day to day, but part of me feels like my art is suffering. Basically, it feels like I lost the knack, the edge. It feels like when I try to dig down to the nitty, gritty, there’s not a lot of grit left.
As for my blog, I used some gumption behind my posts. I had something that I wanted to say and I believed in it and I believed I was qualified to say it.
Now, I feel like the more I know, the more I realize how little I know and how under-qualified I am to speak on pretty much anything. (This is actually a thing, check out the Dunning-Kruger Effect).
I know that my gurus and some psychologists and probably a lot of my friends and maybe my mother would tell me there’s a lot of grit left. And I know Elizabeth Gilbert would tell me that the “tortured artist” paradigm is a gimmick and I can create “big magic” even with a whole heart.
But for now it seems, the more I am confident in who I am and my place in the world, the less I have faith in my art. The more I make sense to myself, the less need I have to write. That scares the shit out of me. If I’m not here to write, then what am I supposed to do? If I’m not writing, then what will be interesting about me? If I am not in pain anymore, how will I write a book that’s in anyway Truth? I miss needing to write, I miss that cathartic rat-tat-tat on the keys and the endless train-flow of thought on the page.
Interestingly enough, it’s flowing well enough right now.
*Note, after I finished the first draft of this post I immediately came across this post by Jason Silva, one of my favorite speakers.