I wrote this a few years ago. I found it today and I just felt like it needed more light. I hope you enjoy some of my freewriting. – C
I am in a funk. I know why, I dislike why, and still I am there.
I wrote a book, a memoire. I finished it last week. I kept it all to myself and I sat there and stared at it for a few days. I walked away. I tried to ignore it. I tried to reason with myself before I pushed the delete button.
I even tried to have a rational conversation with myself and tried to talk myself out of it… but the truth was evident. I had done what I set out to do… and now my need to do it was gone.
The thing is, I have meant to write it for many years. I had a purpose for writing it and I felt as if I actually NEEDED to write it. So I did. I wrote it out, every single word that I felt like I wanted to say. I didn’t edit, I didn’t read it as I was writing. I just got it out of my skull and let it go. Then, hollow from gutting out this need that I have carried around, I sank into my funk. It won’t last long. I can feel it close to the edge.
I wore my remembrances around for the last few months like a thick heavy blanket. I needed to feel the weight of it while I was expunging the moments of my past from the dark hollows of my memories. I wanted to keep pushing through so that I would finish, exhaustion from digging up old bones made me hungry for an ending.
I suppose I could have went back and did the edits, read what I wrote, tried to find some value in it. But, I didn’t. I felt as if the reason for writing it was to release it out into the Universe. I don’t feel like arguing with anyone about what I wrote or how I made anyone feel about how I described moments of my life. It wasn’t for them that I wrote it. I needed to explore how I really felt about things that I didn’t dare to consider before. I needed to sit and cry and get over my feelings and anger about the bullshit that I had little control over.
I thought about stopping often throughout the process. I actually got up a few times and had to sit outside, breathing deeply and try to convince myself to push through the feeling to scrap it all before the end because it was just too hard. I didn’t want to actually think about the truth that only now as an adult I can see, where I couldn’t come close to understanding the reality of things that were happening all around me as a child. Maybe I should have stopped there, never finish, stop wasting time on something that eventually would mean nothing to anyone else except me. In the end, nobody would see it or even know what an effort it was to actually write it all down.
But I made a promise that I would write a novel this year. I would do something big. I did.
Now I am sitting here feeling as if I should feel something more about what I did… about deleting months’ worth of work and tears. But oddly I don’t really feel anything other than confused and worried about my own state of mind for not actually feeling anything about throwing away something that was supposed to mean something.
I suppose I do feel something, I mean I am not a heartless shrew. But it isn’t remorse for asking for time away from my duties in life, or reason for closing the door and asking that everyone leave me alone for a few hours so I could write my soon to be famous novel. I did need to write. I needed to rip out of my soul this cancer that had spread throughout my lifetime of existence, this darkness that hid inside me that harbored the images of my youth that I and only I knew about. I needed to feel better, to be done with the needing to cleanse myself so that I can get back to being the person I was meant to be.
I know now that not one person will sit in coffee shops and read the intimate story of my life printed in hardcover with the picture of a lost child on the cover or some other moving icon representing the whole of my life meant to gather those readers like myself who actually judge a book by the cover.
They will not hear of my first childhood friend, the one who ate the dog food until I am ready for them to do so. They will not sip a latte and visualize a 9 year old girl sitting alone in a barn contemplating suicide, or why she would feel so dark and lonely that this would even be a thought for someone her age until I write her story for her, later. Not now.
I will not have to change the names of people in my book to protect the innocent or to prevent the guilty from coming forth on some silly talkshow claiming that I am exploiting the details of my life in order to sell a copy of a paperback for a buck.
And you, you know who you are. You will not have the joy of reading a single word about yourself and giving yourself one more reason to feel sorry for the terrible way I turned out. This was not for you… but you are indeed part of the reason that I was possessed by the idea that I needed purge the haunting bedtime story I told myself night after night that lulled me into nightmares and sending me seeking out the comfort of a soft couch and dimly lit room of a therapist’s office.
You are indeed one of the reasons that I have mentally separated my adult self from my childhood, so completely that revisiting the stories I wished to tell felt more like taking dictation about the life of someone else rather than being the storyteller of my existence. And you are the reason that once my words were set free, out of my soul, out of my head, that I deleted them away. Far.. far away.
Writing was good. Really good. It felt amazing to build the bonfire with layers and layers of things I needed to get off my chest. I tossed in things that might have meant nothing to anyone, but suddenly mean something powerful to me. The flames licked high and spread heat throughout my days. There were moments I felt so good about writing that it gave me energy throughout the rest of my day. And there were moments where I felt so low about what I had just relived that I just wanted to linger under the surface of my bath water, knowing that even though I had tried I couldn’t scrub off the foulness of those memories. The bonfire of my words threatened to explode from the captivity of my memoir and singe the living moments of my current life.
That was when I knew it was time to be done.
Now it is over and I sit here wondering if I will ever feel like this again and do I want to? Will I ever have the courage to finish another story and let it go freely into the hands of actual readers? It doesn’t matter… for I am a writer and I will keep writing because I do not write because I can, because I have the talent to do so.
I write because I must or else the story will demand so loudly to be written that it will silence everything else. So it is that I know that I will write because I simply must.