If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.
– Anais Nin
Words like this ought to inspire me. But they don’t and it’s not the best feeling. I know of too many writers who can’t get past a day without writing and I’ve been asked if I’m one of those writers a couple of times before.
In all honesty, I don’t see myself as someone who writes to ease the pain or discover the person that they are. Sometimes, I don’t even see myself as a writer. And as much as I hate to say this, I am intimidated by writers who find an escape through their writing. Reading their work utterly devastates me and I find myself longing for more.
To a writer, writing is like breathing, and writing is a reason to live, to stay in this world. It gives me so much sadness, but at the same time, I begin to think that beautiful writing comes from pain.
“I write because I can’t imagine not writing.”
Sometimes, I feel like I’m only in this for the attention and not for the love of writing. I feel less real, less genuine. Like I’m a waste of ink that otherwise, someone else could possibly use to cure themselves of heartache. I feel like a joke, you know? And I know I could stop writing any day and it wouldn’t feel any different.
To everyone who writes to get through anxiety, depression or childhood trauma, I apologize for being so inconsiderate, for romanticizing your illness even when it’s only in my head. I am overwhelmed with guilt. But you don’t know how much I admire you, and how I know, deep inside, that I would never make it there.
Nevertheless, I’m so grateful everyday that I am a happy person, in every sense of the word. I am the product of a merry childhood and I pray that I would always be able to say that out loud with the biggest smile on my face.
And what’s important to me is the people I meet and grow with, and the relationships that come to stay. I want to touch lives and inspire, but perhaps writing is not the way. Perhaps it’s something else entirely that I haven’t figured out yet.