Remember why you write. It is important. You write because you love character. You love thesecharacters. You write because you love dialogue and narrative, in that order, and you love it even more when either reveals character without being expository. You write because you can’t not. You write because you are compelled to. You write because no matter how much it hurts, no matter how fucking painful it is or how much effort it takes to get it out, it is nothing—nothing—compared to how agonizing it feels to just leave it alone.
It is not just a mental need. It is a physical compulsion for you. If you cannot touch a pen to paper, if your fingers cannot flutter across a keyboard, you suffer. You lose it. You can’t. Not. Write.
There are so many words that you need to let out, words that you need to let bleed onto a page, and it is just like that, it is just like tearing skin and letting out all that blood, except. Except then it clots, stops flowing, scabs over almost instantly. And then you have to practically claw it out of yourself. It begins to feel like a poison. You need to get it out, and yes, it hurts, every fucking God damn inch of the way.
Of course it hurts. But when you spread your poison out, when you’ve dragged every last bit of it out and smeared it across the page over and over again, sometimes it turns out it wasn’t poison at all.
You do not write for others, though it can be great motivation and inspiration. Reactionary writing, too—you can feel a great compulsion to write when you feel you are responding to something. But you cannot let either of those things become the only reason you write. You cannot let every piece become a gift. You cannot make every piece a part of an argument or debate or conversation. You cannot let that happen, because if that happens, then you are no longer writing for yourself, and this is important. This is so God damn fucking important.
You need to write for yourself. Ninety-nine point nine percent of the time. It needs to be for yourself.
This is you. These are your words. If it hurts, if it physically hurts to not do something you want—no, needto do—then do what the ad says and just fucking do it. This is you. This is not a gift. This is not fucking Christmas, this is not a forum, this is not being put on the floor for debate. This is you. You need to write for yourself because you need to write, for yourself.
Remember this. When you are feeling hopeless and helpless and you don’t remember why you’re here,stop your fucking crying and remember this. You are here because you want to write. You are here because you need to write.
There is an exceptional scene in Honey and Clover that will forever stick with you, a scene that resonated so deeply with you that you actually fucking cried as you watched it unfold because it felt so true. As with any other creative artist out there, there are boxes in your head. Boxes containing things that will fly every which way as soon as you open them (and yes, you need to open them), and you will have to chase every last item down, pin it to the ground, and make it pretty and perfect and just right. It will take blood, sweat, and tears (God, will it ever take tears), but you will do it, and in the end you may even have something that is vaguely close to being pretty and perfect and just right. It will feel fantastic. It will feel amazing. You will feel amazing.
But. Remember this.
You never run out of boxes. You finish one, and then you turn around and you’re surrounded. There are boxes everywhere. A thousand, a million, too many to even count. You will never run out of boxes. But running out is not the problem.
The problem is opening them. You need to open them. Every last one of those boxes in an insurmountable mountain of them. It will be crippling—it is crippling—but it has to be done. And there’s never enough time, and it never goes fast enough, and sometimes it is just so fucking hard because there are so many boxes filled with so many things and all of them will run away from you and it will take all your energy and effort just to get them into your line of sight. Some (if not most) will get away from you and you’ll lose them forever. You can’t catch all of them. You can’t open all of the boxes.
But you’ll do it anyway. You have to. You can’t not.
Remember why you write. You write because the need to do so is overwhelming. You write because it makes you happy. You write because it keeps you healthy and sane. You write because you have a million giant boxes with a million little things inside, things you need to catch and study and know and perfect.
You write because you have to. You write because you can’t not. You write because out of all the things you need to do in this world, you need to do something for yourself. And writing should be for yourself. Your words, your blood, your sweat, your tears, your fucking million boxes with their million fucking flying things that you will have to wrestle to the ground, you you you.
That’s how much you pour into it. So remember this: your writing, ninety-nine point nine percent of the time, needs to be for you.
The poison isn’t always poison. You will never run out of boxes. This is important. This is why you write.
So don’t fucking forget it.
~ ♥ ~
Thank you sbj. I needed this.