I’ve done a lot of different creative shit in my life up to this point.
And writing, so far, is the only one that’s really spoken to me. Writing, throughout the past few years, has provided me with an incredibly fluid outlet to express myself through; and my relationship with writing fluctuates a lot. Some months, I’ll be able to free write or journal every day and compose several poems and essays in the span of weeks. But other months, I feel as though I’ll vomit if I see so much as my favorite type of pen. The way I currently understand it is that writing hates me, but I love it so so much. Some months, I just start to hate it back a little.
In the manner of explaining how and why I write, my instinct is to say “who the fuck knows”? Who honestly ever knows why they do anything other than nothing? But I write for a lot of the same reasons a lot of other people do: to get that shit out. of. my. head. And hopefully, to create something out of it that will resonate with, primarily myself, but also with other people. One of my teachers in high school, a man that dominantly fostered my interest and freedom of expression in writing, told me that “writing is about voice…finding out what it is that is dying to come out of us.” And I think some rather beautiful and tortured shit comes out of us when we write.
Really, I’ve found that why I write depends on the month, and sometimes it actually depends on the day. Sometimes it’s assignment deadlines or a compulsion to write about that thing I saw in the park or sometimes it just needs to get out. In Spring of 2017, in the middle of creating a chapbook, I wrote a statement I constantly find to be true about my everyday life. “I wish that I could vomit this out. Not onto paper through writing, but onto the pavement somewhere far away so I could forget about it.” Unfortunately, I can’t throw up my thoughts into one of the streets of the next town over, so, for now, I make do with writing.
I'll leave you with this. Mary Oliver, in A Poetry Handbook, writes the following at the end of her book’s introduction, but I think it applies more largely to the writing process as a whole and where I, if not most of us, stand as writers. “I have used the following phrases interchangeably: the student, the beginning writer, the writer.” As writers of any kind, we are all three at once – always the student, always a beginning writer, and always a writer.
"You are not broken...you are a rare and powerful voice in a really weird world."