Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Insucure Writer's Support Group: March

I wanted this to be an empowered post.  A "go get 'em", "fly your freak flag high" kind-of post.  But I admit it: I'm insecure.  I guess this is the place, though.

I'm currently going through the single most difficult personal issue I've ever faced in my entire life.  (And no, that's not hyperbole- I've had enough life experience by now to have some pretty dark stuff to choose from and this is the worst.  Though unfortunately I doubt i'll be able to say that on my death bed- but one battle at a time.)  This experience, not surprisingly, is flooding me with so much pain I can barely stay afloat.  And I'm trying, really trying, to access that stuff and use it because of the whole idea that the best art comes from the worst pain.

Here's the problem (and the source of my insecurities): it's some pretty crazy stuff.  I'm letting out raw, unedited psychoses on the page and putting it out there for the world to see and it seems (or i'm concerned) that it's too raw for anyone to connect to.  Of all my crazy analogies and memoir-style entries not a single one of them has gotten a comment.  (Not that I usually get millions of people here at this site but I get a few.)  And honestly, I don't really feel like it's fair to blame anybody for that.

As much as I advocate for the need to be raw and honest and put out there what you need to put out there I do recognize that art needs to be at least somewhat accessible- or understandable.  You can't make up your own language and then be upset when no one understands what you're saying.

And part of me thinks it's just a question of timing- right now, in the thick of it, I can barely even make sense of it so how could anyone else?  People take time to process and figure stuff out and the story takes on texture and an arc and ending- those are the ones that make the biggest bang.  Everyone who's written a memoir has already gone through the thing they wrote the memoir about.  Cheryl Strayed didn't start writing Wild while she was hiking the PCT.  Elizabeth Gilbert didn't start the first draft of Eat, Pray, Love while she was eating, praying and loving her way around the world.

So I guess i'm trying to answer my own question and console myself that there is a place for all this, just in a different time, with new perspective and understanding.  But that makes me wonder if I should be posting this stuff, if I should be putting it out there at all.  Or if the right place to say these things is in a journal where it can sit and marinate for a while.  And if that is the case, how do I keep up with writing everyday when the only thing that comes to mind is the pain?  How do I keep up with my year of writing dangerously when the stuff i'm writing is too dangerous?

I would honestly appreciate real feedback from folks who have struggled with these same questions.  Please, don't just say "hi"- say something real.  I need it right now.

Thank you.


  1. I've commented on a couple.
    I don't post really personal stuff, so probably not the right person to ask. I'm sorry you are struggling right now.

  2. I think people are hesitant to approach true pain. I would say to do what makes you comfortable, but understand that the bulk of society is unsure how to deal with pain in a public forum.

  3. Write it in a private journal and if you have a trusted friend, talk to them. Once it's out online, it's out. If given time, when it's not so raw, you can decide if you want it out there through clear eyes. I'm so very sorry to hear you are in a bad way right now. Huge internet hugs.

    1. Thank you- it seems like that's the way to go.

  4. I am revisiting my comment. I would suggest writing your thoughts and feelings in all their raw emotion in a journal, as H.R. Sinclair suggested. That in itself is cathartic. But then, once the words have had a chance to sit, you can revisit them, adjust them as seems right to you, and post them. It allows you to vent but then provides a sort of 'armor', or a way to assimilate, yourself, what you are writing about and enable you to put it out there for response and understanding. (I suspect I'm saying this poorly...)


Thank you for your comment! I will love it and hug it and pet it and call it George. Or, you know, just read and reply to it. But still- you rock!