The courage to write

lilac and whiteWriting a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way. —E.L. Doctorow

You have to be brave to write poetry or fiction,[and I don’t mean fear of criticism,] because all you have ever felt,experienced or studied can be drawn up into your consciousness whilst you write.

A friend of mine who is a writer put it like this.”It has taken me to places I’d rather not have gone to.” However she said she manage to live through it.At the time I had only written mathematical works so I didn’t understand what she meant.But I have now had some experiences which give me a hint of what she was trying to say.If you’ve had many fearsome experiences then these feelings may come up when you loosen the grip of consciousness.However I have also found a spirit of laughter in me which is new.Step into the darkness without knowing.It’s only by going there that help may come.But the fear is that it won’t.You can’t get an insurance policy beforehand.
Are you stepping into a void or will there be something there?
Also in drawing or painting it can take courage to draw what you perceive.I found that especially when drawing buildings and studying perspective.I’ll see if I can find a drawing to illustrate it.I have the feeling,”No,No.It can’t be this steep a gradient.It’s too much”
And in being inside a building like Westminster Abbey or Durham Cathedral trying to assimilate the vision,the huge spaces and the power and size of the shapes can create awe or even terror.One can lose one’s sense of self entirely.But it can also be revivifying when one has returned.The fear is that one will not return.
Maybe it’s the same with relating to people as well..intimacy can make one feel and be vulnerable.

6 thoughts on “The courage to write

    1. Quite.. and though people say writing is therapeutic Fiona Sampson aithour of the Expert Guide to writing poetry says to keep the phone number of the Samaritans near you.And many poets had mental health problems despite fine writing… perhaps the writing did not help them at all..

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  1. As an aspiring novelist, I know fear. I fear failure because that will validate that I’m not any good at writing. I fear success because I’m quite the introvert and I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. I fear I won’t have the energy necessary to market my book. If I don’t get my book published, I’ll forever have regrets and wonder what would have happened if I had.

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