A lot of the things I write aren’t things that have happened to me, a lot of the characters I write are a bit foreign to me, but the things they feel – those typically come from me.
I just finished writing a chapter that focuses heavily on despair. Despair is different from depression, although they can be related. I’m not given to depression, and have limited experience with it (not counting the last few months). Despair is an in the moment emotion, not a long, draining process. It’s something I do have experience with. Those moments, and usually they are only moments for me, when I lose the ability to move forward.
Right now, as I type this, I’m working through one of those moments. The reason doesn’t really matter (at least to those who aren’t me) but the emotion does. I feel like giving up, like surrendering to the feeling and collapsing into it.
Of course I won’t, it’s not what I do… and I know that in fifteen minutes, or two hours, or tomorrow, I won’t be in that place anymore. In those moments, when the world is closing in and and it feels like all the options are equally shit, it’s hard to keep going.
For me, writing lets me externalize those moments, place them in a story instead of in my heart – it help me to overcome them. Now, that doesn’t mean they are just gone, but somehow that process helps – a lot.
I once wrote a terribly pretentious poem about bleeding ink onto paper, because I’m often terribly pretentious. The sentiment though, the idea that I’m taking this internal pain and externalizing it, that remains true.
Anyway, that’s one of the main reasons I write. It’s probably also one of the main reasons I get very sensitive about letting other people read what I have written… it’s a truer part of me than most of what I show the world.