May 19, 2014

Literary Fortune #3: Writing changes everything

We all have our thing. That one thing that helps us just "let go". The thing that keeps us sane. Grounded. Real.

For you it might be gardening (if it is, I envy you). Or it might be painting, pottery, wood crafts, rebuilding old cars.

Whatever it is, it's the thing that brings you to an alternative place in your mind, shutting out everything that either doesn't matter or that makes you crazy. Maybe it's even a way to process those things, to make decisions, to provide space and time to think about life from outside of it, rather than swimming (or drowning) in the middle.

For me, it's writing.

I don't publish much. From time to time, I go through the requirements and jump through the hoops and find my words tantalizingly on the pages of a book that will find a home on someone else's shelf.  But, mostly, I write for myself. To process, to reflect, to work out problems and come to solutions.

When I don't write, I feel like I'm gagged and blindfolded, unable to engage with the world fully. I get cranky...even lazy.

That's not to say that taking a break from time to time isn't just as necessary. There are times when it is necessary to just take the world in. Put down the camera and live in the picture. Put down the pen and live the story. So that at a later time, there will be a moment to photograph...a story to tell.

I write for me. I write for my sanity. Which, means, ultimately, I write for everyone that I love.

This quote from Joyce Carol Oates points out the necessity of actions like writing. Whatever activity it is that brings you back to life, even when you feel sure you are at your end, you should do it. No matter what. Through the fatigue and the ennui.

This is what makes us human. The fact that we embrace art and creativity as medicine. It heals. It saves souls.

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