On Writing

Last night, just after midnight, I was lying awake in bed, thinking. I had some great ideas. There were words floating around in my head that I very much wanted to get up and write down somewhere. In another time,I might have done just that; but not last night. Instead I rationalized that I needed my sleep, and that I still hadn’t recovered from moving the clocks ahead. I thought about how I had to get up at 6:30 and face a long day at work, and any vague motivation I might have had to sit down and write just drifted away. I felt a touch of sadness, knowing that by morning I would have forgotten everything I wanted to write about, but I didn’t let myself regret it.

Well, not too much… but a little bit of regret seems a necessary part of what makes me human.

At one point I wrote daily, and extensively. I had a paper journal from 1995 on. I had an online livejournal starting in May of 2000. There were always things I wanted to put down on paper; to make something real, to clear my head, to give something substance, and to try and understand myself better. Whether it was poetry or stories or endless rambling about my life in general, I felt the need to write. I was pretty unhappy in those days.

The happier I became, the less I needed to write. There isn’t much need for catharsis when there is nothing to purge. These days, I’m pretty happy with my life. I wonder sometimes if that makes me less interesting – maybe it does. Then again, the people who found me interesting when I was miserable might well have been looking for something else from me. It seems somehow more satisfying if people find me interesting when I’m happy.

So I write less, although the urge to write comes back often. Now I want to write things that are beautiful and peaceful. I want words to flow like water, gently trickling downstream, maybe creating a slow, subtle change to the landscape that surrounds it.

I’m not full of rage anymore… and that’s all right by me.

1 Comment

  • haveyaseenlucky

    March 16, 2007 at 2:18 pm

    This happened to me a couple nights ago. I too went to sleep rather than jump to the writing. The next morning (14th) I tried to reconstruct what I was thinking in a live journal post. It came out kind of ‘jarbled’ and sophomoric. Everyone who read it thought I was sad and I got all these comments about how things will get better soon, even though I said right there in the friggin’ post that I wasn’t sad.

    But yes, livejournal loves misery more than hearing about how productive or happy you are. No one likes a show off I guess.