Funny, right? Well. Sort of.
I mean, we all go through phases. We grow up. We grow out. We grow through. Today's question asks me if there's one substantial change I'd like to see in my writing at the end of this 30 days. Or even at the end of three months.
Swear to God, my first thought was “God, I'd like to stop writing such intense and raw melancholy bullshit.” I've had enough baring my soul, thank you very much.
And by the way? God, or whoever you are – why do I have to do this so publicly all the time?
It's not just this challenge, which by the way, I could have done alone and never posted a word on any of the group pages or on my blog. But my heart is strangely masochistic.
I don't understand this forced blood-letting ceremony, but I can tell you this much, because I know myself. Without the prompting, without the public confession I would never grow up, or out, or through.
As humans our hearts, our minds, our psyches, they want to take the path of least resistance. I have to be forced out of my shell. Literally kicked out of my comfort zone. Posting my thoughts, no matter what they are, is an exercise in obedience for me. Obedience to the process, yes, but it's more than that. I have been posting this stuff because it keeps me honest. It keeps me raw. Flawed. Vulnerable. Exactly where I need to be.
So if I could see one substantial change in my writing would it be that it's less raw? Less honest? Honestly, no. I guess I don't want to stop writing raw, I just want to stop feeling so damn raw. But that's not a change in my writing, is it? It's a change in me.
Still, I am my writing and my writing is me.
Or at least, that's how it's been. But is it necessary for it to be that way? If inner turmoil has the potential to produce great art, do we as artists need to keep ourselves in a place of perpetual turmoil in order to feel as if we're able to produce?
This is an important question for me. No, listen. I mean it. Not just important. Essential. This self-sabotaging bullshit can't be the price of admission. I will never survive an elongated career writing at this level of intensity.
Maybe it's getting to be time to say goodbye to another one of those people I used to be. Or maybe it's just ok to be in this place, at this time. Hurrying through this “dis”comfort zone might cause me to miss something important. Something vital.
Birth is messy. Maybe rebirth is even messier. I think what I want most is to see the next iteration of myself emerging from the darkness. To hear the newborn cry of my new voice emerging from the blood and the afterbirth, clean and clear. To hold it close to my chest to be fed and nurtured and protected, and then, like all precious gifts – unwrap it a page at a time.