I want to be short. This is my deadline for the week and I'm exhausted without even putting my fingers to the keys. Writing something this personal should not be left just to my Wednesday afternoon in front of the screen. You deserve more if you decide to get into my head.
With that being said, a LitReactor column by British writer Karina Wilson caught my attention today. Wilson took an interesting stab at the big question, "Why Write?" Not meant as an answer but with a powerful sentence in her introduction, I think she hit the nail on the head when she said, "Writing is the worst kind of addiction, a terrible, eviscerating experience — but not writing can be even worse."
I'd talk myself blue in the face to explore my own reasons for writing and the challenge will still remain. It is me trying to figure out myself in front of everyone else. And I think that's a bit of what writing is all about for everyone. We express ourselves to make sure we exist.
Wilson goes even deeper to crack the practice open, quoting Joan Didion (on the heels of George Orwell's ideas):
"...but there’s no getting around the fact that setting words on paper is the tactic of a secret bully, an invasion, an imposition of the writer’s sensibility on the reader’s most private space."
The real quandary is if it matters more to get a response than to simply be heard. Is knowing a text message or e-mail is read enough? Can we tell a story at a party and hope one person is paying enough attention? Invading another person's mind is only thrilling if there is a spark. Ideas are colliding, as we speak (and as we type). We're meant to infect. We're meant to morph one another. Everything colors your path.
Branching out from a digital debate about the power of a rape joke, I volunteered to learn more about the female perspective by reading the recommended Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power & A World Without Rape. Fair enough, I went into reading it with my mind set, ready to carve out flimsy arguments I could use to guard my thoughts and theories. And, truth be told, I'm still secure in what my side of the debate was about. The difference is I'm learning. The collection of essays that Yes Means Yes highlights is a brutally honest and sometimes painful window to the other sides of sexuality the normal person might not explore. "How Do You Fuck a Fat Woman?" by Kate Harding was a particularly intriguing look inside the self-esteem and social shaming of fat people. If that title made you cringe a bit, you might be just as interested as I was to read it.
You can't be in your own head all the time. You're not that right, you can't be. It might be the best reason we have for why we need one another. With all the experiences we gather, communicating them is paramount. If we're all writers, we're all invading the others' spaces. There is progress in collision. Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to go furrow my brow as I read this book, beat myself up equally in jiu-jitsu class and for not writing enough, and remind myself that there is beauty in everything.
Until next time...
I explode into space.