Writing often involves throwing myself into thick gooey mud. My dreams and nightmares are reawakened and some of what I write hurts me, pains me, makes me cry when I am in the shower or riding the Tube. I’m sensitive and vulnerable but I stay concretely this way because material can’t form beneath the glare of the sun; it thrives under rocks and within shadows.
Material has to move and often it has to hurt – because it’s true. But not all of my writing is dark, some of it is light and funny. But for the past two weeks I haven’t been writing regularly, because of the uncertainty of my life. I have been moving to a different apartment at least once a week and can’t stop thinking about my instability. The uncertainty in life has dimmed my creative spark, and made me unsure of what moves to make because I can’t exist in a character’s life when I am not well-grounded within my own. It’s a privilege to create characters, to be able to transport away from your body and into the mind of another.
Perhaps this is a sad, stupid excuse. But the story I was so passionately excited about just two weeks ago has slipped through my fingers and I’m finding it hard to care. Maybe I need to start a new story, something new and fresh that has feeling reflecting my current situation in life. I just don’t know.
Mostly I have felt interrupted in this instability. New and interrupted. Because I’m beginning something different, and it’s difficult to explain yourself when the waves of the Universe are crashing in such sudden, haphazard ways.
And I’m okay with myself. Because I’ve been awakened but have yet to get up to check the weather.
You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe
you are living. Then you read a book (Lady Chatterley, for instance),
or you take a trip, or you talk with Richard, and you discover that
you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of
hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second
symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into
death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous
illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die
like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car.
They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some
shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens
them and saves them from death.
- The Diary of Anaïs Nin , Volume One 1931-1934