The Writer upon Death’s Door (A Note to Myself)
Just sit down and write. Don’t you know you are going to die? You only have so much time and yet you have so much inside of you that’s been kept a secret. It will go to the grave with you if you do not write it. You will die a man with a convoluted brain, riddled by mental discontent and dissatisfaction far more than any boring old cancer or tumor. You will be a dead man with a song in his heart. Write it out. Write it right now. Sit your ass in that junky office chair and type away at that keyboard until your fingers grow numb. Poor out all those little discontents of your mind. Don’t stop until your soul seems ejected from your body, hanging in the air like a strange, haunting vapor. Time constitutes the entropy of our existence. Don’t you know the juice of life is being bled from your being at this very moment? You’re a writer, for Christ’s sake, and you’ve only so much time. What are you waiting for? To hell even with being a writer. Just be writing!
To Be a Writer
A writer with a desire to write feels an aching in his heart, a heavy load on his mind. If he’s trapped by a conventional influence, such as a day-job, a social obligation, bad traffic, the aching will continue and likely grow stronger. He feels as if he were in a prison. When he finally does discover his way to solitude, to the pen and paper, the keyboard and word document, he is bound to pour out his soul in the fashion of a butterfly being let loose from a mason jar. As the writer writes, he flies away in total freedom. The shackles have been undone. The tyranny of the world is dramatically reversed into the tyranny of the writer, whom molds and controls worlds of his own making. The whip of society has been handed down to the creative, whom whips the muse and smiles. This is the joy of creation, to see beauty whipped into form.
To be a writer is not always convenient. In fact, to be a writer is often not only inconvenient, but a disadvantage. A functioning member of society may not be able to write at any given moment, as a writer desires to do. To be among a crowd, among family and friends, among the throng of civilization for too long a time, can build up that aching to a climactic point wherein one may feel he will explode or disappear altogether if he cannot write what has been crawling, breeding, festering around in his loaded mind like a pound of rattling dice.
Make no mistake. It isn’t just important for a writer to write, it is absolutely necessary. If a writer were somehow determined not to write, his mental existence would shrink to the pin-point of obscurity. Expanding this hypothesis, if all would-be writers never wrote a single word, then the world would not have its brilliant minds – no Plato, Aristotle, Shakespeare, Nietzsche, Twain, Whitman. No bibles, manuals, legislation, scientific theses, or even a basic cook book. The world would be empty of ideas, devoid of historical records, our grand stories and traditions. The life of humankind would never have grown past the pre-literate nomadism of ancient times. We would be barbarians of the jungle, the pre-literate remaining pre-literate, the epitome of unfulfilled potential.