Writing Out The Darkness
I have always believed that any writer worth their merit drew their most precious work from personal experience; no matter how mutated and 'fictionalised' that experience may be. It is the writers obsession to revise their life and events in their life into written form. The book's pages are always rustling in the background.
Last year I was embroiled in a series of tragic events, my destiny was unalterably changed. I took stock of my life and my work to date and found it wanting. I realised that much of my prose had been written in a cloud. I had, in fact, become fixated upon extricating negative feelings via the medium of my art. I glanced through notebooks of poetry and the darkness constrained within crushed me also. A horrible realisation dawned upon me: I felt as though I had not written a single word of any worth.
To read those pieces, especially my personal poetry, a reader might be led to believe that here was dark, despairing man who only beheld the negative in life. The truth is far from this. I am a child of laughter, I engage the light, and I am learning to engage it more. Not that I am about to begin churning out Self Help books, or New Age fluff. But I realised there was something missing, something that is intrinsic to any writer or person wishing to take up this trade: that is open-mindedness. Simple, but it sometimes involves stepping away from yourself and viewing YOU as through the eyes of a stranger to get it.
Perhaps it takes personal tragedy to propel a being to this state. But once you take a good look at yourself you realise that it is so easy to become locked into a narrow prospective. Writers need fresh input, beyond deep introspection (which is valid too, indeed it is part of the process of assimilation), because the writer is prey to becoming introverted and self centred (like any artist), it is important to step out, to engage society, no matter how fucked up it might seem (and believe me this comes from a man who believed he was a complete outsider), but it is there we draw ideas, it is there the seeds of inspiration await.
Posted by D.M