For a long while now I have been unable to write. Part of the reason for this is that I had established a standard of writing I deemed “quality writing” and was unable to reach it—and so I couldn’t write. Another reason is that I was feeling so much and everything was happening so fast that there wasn’t nearly enough time and emotional health to put it all down. I was depressed, I had an existential crisis, I contemplated suicide, and then contemplated dropping out of school. I didn’t want to do anything, I didn’t want to be anything. I didn’t want help and I didn’t want God, and I really didn’t want to write it all down. Hélène Cixous: “Writing: a way of leaving no space for death, of pushing back forgetfulness, of never letting oneself be surprised by the abyss.” I did not want to remember those horrible feelings; by not writing, I willed the death of the memory.
By not writing, by not constantly trying to compartmentalize the more interesting, more thought-provoking parts of my life, I allowed myself to die every day (not completely though because the part of my brain that houses the writer continued to thrum away analyses). I don’t keep a diary anymore, unless one counts this blog as such. The things that saddened me like not remembering what I ate for breakfast four years ago and why I made that choice still sadden me; the only difference is that I’m more accepting of the transient nature of life, of the incompleteness of memory, of change and evolution.
From Tavi Gevinson’s The Infinity Diaries Pt. 2:
“It’s not just in memory that we change who people are or see only what we wish. If you’re that used to doing it in writing, you’ll start to gain a reflex for commodifying in real-time interactions. This talent doesn’t start with malice; just imagination.”
I couldn’t write, and maybe it was a good thing. Maybe what I needed was to step out from my unhealthy routine of constantly analyzing my every choice and every thought and every feeling and just live. Maybe I need to follow the advice I give my friends of putting themselves out there without regard for whether the outcome is good or bad. It’s not about being careless, it’s not about acting without regard; I just cannot continue to treat my life like it were a carefully curated history project, or a script that has to hit specific beats for it to work. I don’t even think my analogies make sense, if they are analogies at all. I don’t care. I don’t want to care. I want to be able to try new things without worrying that it doesn’t fit into the brand I’ve outfitted to represent my very being. I am always changing, always going to change and that’s okay.
Tavi, again because her Infinity Diaries on Rookie are life-changing:
“[…] I believed I had to stop writing, taking pictures, noticing punctums, or hearing music. These had gotten my imagination far enough to conceive of these characters and their world as real, but they also placed me firmly, time and again, in the audience. Or, as the star of a one-woman show.”
I’m in the mood to write again. I’m going to try not to pressure myself. I’m going to write fiction and screenplays and subject myself to the universe and try to lose control and hope for the best—or not hope at all—and die each day and be born each day and try to live my best life.