Monday, August 23, 2010

Writing as Antidote

It’s hard to write about the experience of feeling bad during the moment of feeling bad. The moment I begin writing, I feel better. 
Usually, when discouraged, I’m unable to write even a word. As discouragement diminishes, words begin to flow. The motive for writing about discouragement is to expose it for what it is and to move beyond it, to overcome the inertia and lack of motivation. To do something creative feels better than sinking into dullness and despair.

Actually, the act of writing acts as an antidote. Of course, one could use words to create a sense of despair. One can find literature of despair at the library. However, as the narrator of Dostoyevsky’s Notes from the Underground suggested, there’s a kind of pleasure in writing about one’s conscience, or in exposing one’s feelings. Maybe it’s similar to the child who turns on the light to chase away a nightmare. Put the feelings into words and the intensity of the feeling becomes manageable. Writing might enable one to go on, even though one feels unable to go on, as a Beckett narrator said.

I’m not talking about writing as therapy, or as a means to solve problems. That’s another issue in itself. I’m merely noting the ability of writing to help one through a crisis. Instead of exploding in a rage, write it down and soon the rage dissolves. What’s the rage anyway, other than a bunch of thoughts racing around? Lance the strong emotion with the tip of a sharp pen and allow words to ooze out like puss.

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