Creativity/Therapy

Writing can be difficult.

I don’t say that to garner accolades from anyone about the fact I am a writer; I’m sure the same holds true for other disciplines. Sometimes a pianist finds playing piano difficult. Sometimes an athlete isn’t as good at their chosen sports as they are at other times. Even birds fly into windows sometimes (Hell, I just saw a young lady trip over her own feet while walking today, and she’s probably been walking for years). The problem with writing for me, as it is with anyone with a real passion for anything, is that I have to do it. I don’t have a choice, really.

Which drive me to say: It sure can be a pain in the ass being creative.

I’ve been going through a time of non-productive writing. Just to be clear: I do not suffer from “writers’ block”… ever! I refuse to acknowledge that such a heinous condition could possibly exist. I do, however, have the occasional time when I feel like I can’t find the proper words. I write anyway because I believe putting crap down on paper (well, pixels, really) is better than being literarily (is that a new word I just created? Spellcheck says so) constipated. If I can’t find any words at all, I edit. If I can’t do that, I smack my head firmly against the closest hard object until I lose consciousness, that way I don’t have to put up with the frustration. It’s at times like these I realize how much the rest of my life is tied into my creative endeavours. When my writing is not going well, work suffers, I become irritable and I’m not the easiest guy to be around (ask my wife, my children, my co-workers if you don’t believe me).

The funny thing is, it doesn’t work the other way. If work isn’t going well, it doesn’t typically affect my writing. There’s never been a time something gave me an excuse to be irritable and that kept me from going to my computer to find out what messes my characters have managed to get themselves into. It seems that, if I’ve got something to write, I write. At those times, writing is my therapy. It makes me happy, reduces stress, puts things in perspective. For all the time I spend ranting about publishing and what I need to do, I’d still write even if there was no chance anyone would ever read it.

Having said that, I’d really like people to read what I write.

There are times — like over the past weeks — when I think life might actually be easier without the creative urge, but then I think “can I really afford a therapist?”

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