Writing Your Soul…or…Why You Don’t Want to be a Writer

When I began writing, I struggled to keep the deepest, darkest portions of my soul out of the story. The obvious reason was self-preservation.

Who wants to tell the world every damn secret they have? Almost nobody. Narcissists. But they’d tell you they have no secrets or demons. That’s what therapists are for. Not for narcissists, per say, but for our secrets. They give us that outlet that we all need.

As an artist, you walk a tightrope between creating heartfelt art but trying to keep the deepest reaches of your private being hidden. Writers are not privy to such frivolities, however. I learned this the hard way.

As I said, when I started writing, I kept much out of my stories. In return for my efforts, my stories ran flat. They came with no oomph, no gumption, no virility.

You see, to write anything worth writing, one must walk around with a giant sign on their backs (hell, even their fronts) that lays out the litany of their innermost secrets, their deepest thoughts, the unspeakables that we all carry among ourselves.

Mind reading instruments will never be invented. Do you want to know how I know this to be true? Because, no thinking creature, no matter how entrepreneurial, will want to claim they’ve created such a device. To do so would mean they’d have to prove it’s validity by hooking themselves up to it.

Then again, writers who write scribblings worth reading already do this. This is probably the real reason most writers kill themselves or have horrible drug addictions. It’s not because of the demons hold up in their brains. No! There are NO demons in there! All the demons were let out of their cages when that author first put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). No. Writers struggle with the fact that you already know everything about them.

It’s as if you walked into a party for which you knew nobody in the room, and blurted out rather nonchalantly, “I’ve had sex with someone not my husband. When I said my vows on our wedding day, I thought briefly of the third time my father raped me and got a little aroused. When I was 12, I stole Skittles from a nun and blamed it on my dog, which she promptly beat to death. I still feel no remorse for it. Last night, when my husband asked what I was thinking, I lied and told him I was thinking about him. In the mornings I always brush the top teeth first because I’m afraid my bottom ones are not really there.”

Try living with that hanging over your head. Try existing in this world and tell me…Do you really want to be a writer?

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