I enjoy writing the same way you might enjoy vomiting. The sheer bliss of ditching the nausea in your guts makes the mucus, the retching and the bad taste in the mouth feel worth it. Vomiting is after all an act showing disagreeable stuff the door before they become regrettable. Happens at night clubs all the time I’m told.
Thankfully writing isn’t as physical uncomfortable but the metaphor feels accurate. My experience of writing is a process of tossing out the tsunami of chattering words that keep coming out of the void. It makes this blog is a container of my mental vomiting. An unappetising yet ruthlessly honest (and obvious) picture.
Vomiting has admitedly its fleeting pleasures. Anyone who has had food poisoning knows the sleepy post orgasmic bliss of getting the nausea out of the system. With writing or painting the relief is less visceral. Maybe due to the sub conscious realisation that the chatter, the compulsion to put down words, and shapes will return. But the relief how ever brief feels so bloody good.
Talking about this “situation” is slippery. Doesn’t the last three paragraphs sound like the fake angst of a pretentious “tormented artist” act? Never-mind if it does.
Another hurdle is that the physical consequences my metaphorical “vomiting” is mistaken as “art” or evidence of “creativity”. Most dangerously it is viewed as an indicator of “talent”. Particularly among <my parents> and relatives.
I see writing is a symptomatic response that avoids tackling the cause of the ailment. Namely the “source” of metal chatter that strangle the consciousness. An intangible, incompressible and distributed thing. It would be easier to pin point the source of wind, rain or the internet.
I have tried to snuff out the chattering mind with meditation. A catastrophic failure whose only benefit was to discoverer first hand what a frenzied cage of chattering monkeys it truly is. Behind closed eyelids it jumps from thought to thought to thought to thought to thought. Chain reactions crescendoing into other chain reactions.The thought flashes are uninspiring and uninsightful mental shrapnel. Possessing many of the qualities of vomit. A few times there were flickers amine like images. Curious since I’m not “into” that genre. I’m tempted to use the depth charge sequences in Das Boot as a simily but that would be overly theatrical no? Calming the mind in these conditions makes lighting a candle in a hurricane seem feasible. Clearly my attempts have failed
Once the words sprout tentacles of sentences it’s a race against the clock to get it out. The longer you let it sit it grows in details and insistence. Clouding out concentration and mindfulness. Which leads to a steady decent into absent mindedness, thoughtlessness, clumsiness and acts of bewildering stupidity. Putting the words to paper that will be buried in a dark drawer won’t do. The only relief is to puke the words into the blogshere. As I’m doing right now. Excuse the mess.
It is tempting to sum it up and say that I blog because I have to. Then go on to paint the easy picture of addiction and mental illness. This is more complicated than that. A wiser response is to work on making peace with the urge to write. Without resorting to alcoholic, phamersutical, or surgical options. Key to that is developing a “non negative” approach to the whole thing (note I’m not using the word “objective”). The process involves considering the
- compulsion to write outside the vocabulary of illness
- hypothesis that I might have some trainable ablitiy when it comes to writing.
- possibility of writing about “useful” topics.
- Research of exacty what “useful” topics might be.
None of this is about giving up the day job. The existance of “potential ability” is meaningless unless it is developed and applied consistantly. Ultimately it is my responsibility to discover and develop what ever potential I might have. All of which requires a sustained focused commitment of time and energy in a crowded life. An uphill climb awaits. The hill has started to look like a cliff all of a sudden.
The impressive part of all this is that managed to find the time to post this.