Writers have the ability to change the world by changing people’s minds. Writers can open minds, as people open their books. In a strange twist of realities, as you turn the pages of a book, a writer turns on your mind. A writer can bring you face to face with your worst fears and walk you to the edge of a cliff and force you to look down. Writers have the power to take you to other worlds and bring you back to reality. Being a good writer isn’t as easy as some would think and there are times that you find yourself wondering what it is all for.
Sometimes, when you are a writer, you find yourself blocked. You feel the need to write, you feel the emotions that you want to write, but you just can’t find the words to put it on paper. Writers are no different than other people in this world. The only thing that separates us is our ability to look at things from many perspectives and summarize situations for other people. A writer can torment and a writer can comfort but who comforts the writer and what are his torments? Is it true that some of the greatest artists and thinkers of our time have suffered great depressions and experienced tormented lives?
As I sit here and stare out the window at palm trees, my heart is yearning to say something … but I don’t know what. My state is melancholy and I feel as though I should write one of my greatest works at this very moment. Yet, when I look inside myself for the words and the feelings, the descriptions and the anecdotes … there’s nothing. Emptiness fills my chest and my mind. It’s black, cold and dark. I’m tired though I’ve done nothing all day.
It’s a holiday and the world is going on around me. I have no desire to participate. Twice today, people have reached out to me and I’ve found ways to avoid them. This is what I’ve done with my life. I’ve avoided people. I’ve avoided family, friends and any essential ties to anyone.
I published my first book this weekend. It’s a work on butch/femme erotica and I felt good about it until someone asked me if anyone threw me a book release party. It occurred to me that there was no one who would have or could have done such a thing for me. I’ve no one that close to me. The people who tried to be close to me, I’ve found ways to hurt, avoid and just quietly slip away from. In the loneliness and gloom that have been my life, the only joys I have found in recent years have been in writing. I delve into other worlds and pretend to be someone else. Fiction takes me outside of my own life and gives me relief from the pains, tragedies and heartaches that are my real life.
I dare say that I am not that different from many creative people out there. We see and experience so much from the world around us that we feel overwhelmed sometimes. Rainy days can make us depressed and a parade can take us back to childhood. A bite from a chocolate chip cookie and I find myself back in my grandmother’s kitchen, keenly aware of the smells, sounds and sensations of actually being in that room again. Everything the world does touches me, but on some level I have grown to not let the world in too deep. I keep that space for myself and only me. Emptiness.