Saturday, April 11, 2015

Don't Call it a Comeback

I used to write. A lot. Like, a lot a lot. Liiiiiiiiike, a whole lot. Now, not so much. In fact, the last thing I wrote was two years ago. It was about the Boston Marathon bombing, and I wrote about how much I love the city of Boston, and how wounded I was by the awfulness that occurred there. Writing, for me, is the first step of self-healing. When I updated this blog weekly, it was so that I could write about the things that troubled me. Processing childhood trauma, organizing my feelings about myself, sifting through the unhappinesses of living.

I wrote because I was lonely, I wrote because I was frustrated, I wrote because I was I was told I was a good writer. On the whole, I think I probably even am a good writer. I can't particularly say that I like the act of writing, though. While the process of chosing the correct word for what I mean to convey is fun, setting and codifying those words is an anxious process. Worse yet, I really only tend to write about the stuff that triggers my unhappiness, which leads to more unhappiness, which I'm trying to avoid. Like, for instance, right now. I don't really like doing this. But I need to figure out for myself what about it about writing that makes me miserable, and it's been eating at me all day, so here we are.

The fact that I so rarely write anymore is probably a good sign. It means that my brain is full of stuff other than my own unhappiness. I rarely feel the need to drain the metaphorical pus from the wound, because I so rarely find myself deeply wounded. There was a point, about a year before I stopped regularly updating this blog, when I realized that I had written about every single unhappy moment I had up through my mid-20's. I was out of misery to process, but I decided to keep writing. I didn't have any more traumas that I wanted to exhume and examine, so I started writing about other stuff. It wasn't very good. Most of it was actually quite bad. But I kept writing.

I wrote not for myself, but because I felt duty-bound. I don't really know to what or to whom, but I was compelled to keep writing, even though everything I wrote felt dull. It came from me, but it wasn't personal. I'm not sure if the lack of personal ownership led to shittier and shittier writing, or if my shitty writing caused me to want to distance myself from it emotionally. Either way, it felt as though I was jogging in someone else's shoes.

Part of my perceived obligation was the literary journal I led. Writing, Writer, Writest is something I was really proud of, and produced a lot of terrific writing from a lot of falented people. Eventually, like all monsters, it grew to consume its creator. You know what's really overwhelming? Running a literary journal. Despite help from my friends Meg and Katie, I couldn't handle writing AND collating AND editing AND ego juggling AND being alive AND eating food AND being happy, so eventually I had to duck out. I made a few more stabs at writing after that, but nothing stuck. I was unhappy, and I was done.

Writing is the first step in the process self-healing. Cleaning and dressing the wound. But for a wound to fully heal, you need to let the body hew the flesh back together on its own; no amount of prodding or picking will speed up the process. But writing about something that isn't personal, that isn't causing me anguish, is an empty gesture. To extend the writing-as-biological-funtion metaphor, it's like when your liver keeps trying to process toxins well after you're sober and you get a hangover. The only reason I'm writing this is that I've been unhappy lately about the idea of writing, and once it's finally on the page I hope to have purged that feeling. The incident is the wound. The writing is the healing. The finished essay is the scar. Always there for me to go back to, to run my fingers over, to remember how I felt when I was hurt, and when I was healing. Some scars have interesting or funny stories, but they all have a painful provenance.

I am, for the first time in as long as I can remember, happy. I no longer need to write. It no longer serves me. So, I'm done. Goodbye.

Also, I can't write an ending to save my life.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I clicked the More Blog button, and it miraculously diverted me into this page. You write well, Sir/Ma'am. You are filled with points that I made me think.

abo-bder said...





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