Creative writing, in any form, be that short stories, flash/micro-fiction, poetry, lyrics, novels or novellas, can be an harrowingly lonely process. Any writer worth their salt (and even some that aren’t) will tell you that spending your days staring at a lecture pad or computer screen can feel incredibly isolating. Sometimes it feels as though the world is passing you by while you stare in mild confusion at your own creation, wondering just how the fuck you managed to digress so far from your original thought process that you can’t even fathom what plot line or stanza comes next.
So why do we do it? Why do writers withdraw from a world filled with so much wondrous beauty and choose to spend their days attempting to take a crisp white page and fill it with little black letters? While every single writer will have a different answer to this question, there are a few general pigeon holes that most writers’ catalysts can be crammed into. But almost every writer (aspiring, published, or otherwise) across the globe will tell you that we do what we do because we have stories to tell; stories that we want to share with the world.
My reasoning for writing is simple: I’m a fucking terrible photographer. As much as I would like to tell myself otherwise, the truth is that when I’m handed a camera I just can’t manage to do justice to the incredible people, places or things I am trying to capture. So, rather than fail miserably at capturing moments in time that will allow the world to see itself through my eyes, I write. I create a linguistic reimagining of everything that I see, everything that I imagine, and everything that I dream of, and arrange it all into a string of tiny black letters printed across a crisp white page. I truly believe that this world is a wonderful, frightening, beautiful and hideous place all rolled into one, and if I can’t manage to capture its strength and fragility through the lens of a camera, I will create my own.
Since my last blog, which was in fact my first, I feel as though I have continued to grow as a writer. I gained an incredible amount of confidence that I never would have achieved had I not dared to post online. And although it has taken a long time to follow up on that initial post, I’ve learnt something very important; at times writing can feel as though it is an incredibly lonely process, but it also gives you the opportunity to reach out and connect with people in ways that you never imagined possible. Good writing, and by good writing I mean well structured, coherent writing (as opposed to the woefully bad shit you see clogging up newsfeeds on social media sites every day) is an art form, and really must be treated as such. There is something inherently beautiful about a piece of literature that has the power to make someone, somewhere, feel something. And as a writer constantly working towards creating something of value, that will more often than not be lost amongst the abundance of artworks created by other aspiring artists, it is such a humbling experience to have someone tell you that what you have created has touched them in some small way.
My first blog was a very personal reflection of myself and the unfortunate circumstances that would take me to the depths of depression, and leave a tarnished, battered effect on my linguistic camera’s lens. Yet in my evolutionary path of creating little black letters, this depression was an entirely necessary component of my journey towards becoming a better writer. Alan Moore once wrote that as a writer you need to immerse yourself in the least desirable element and swim. For me personally, my least desirable element was admitting my depression to the world and standing tall while it judged me for my grievances. But when I did so, when I immersed myself so completely in an element that could have swallowed me whole, I found that the positive words of my family and friends gave me the strength and courage to swim harder than I ever had before. And when I emerged from that hellacious swim, the tarnished battered effect that had skewed my linguistic camera’s lens was washed away, so that now the world resembles what it truly is: a wondrously hideous, beautifully monstrous place.
Any writer worth his salt will tell you that the process of writing can be harrowingly lonely, but they will also tell you that writing can bring you closer to your family and friends than you ever thought possible.