There are times, like right now, when I sincerely feel that I could live my entire life very happily without writing another word for someone else’s eyes. Other times, I feel that I must - at any cost - eat, breathe, and sleep writing, not only as a passion but as a profession, too. It’s this duality that causes me so much angst.
Where is the middle ground? Is there a space in which I can write when I want to, when I’m called to and let that be that? Why is this so hard to access?
Writing has been the tool I use to sculpt meaning and purpose and lessons out of the stories in my life. It feels irresponsible and selfish to not use the gift I’ve been given to help others heal, to help others create themselves. But often when I share my writing, I feel as though I am being robbed of something intimately personal. As though what I wrote about no longer belongs to me. Sometimes that is why I share my writing - to relieve the burden of carrying painful memories on my own. Other times I share my writing because I feel that I should share my writing, that not sharing my writing makes, somehow, the work less valuable.
What good does 1500 carefully crafted words do tucked away on my computer, away from the eyes who may need to hear what I have to say? On the other hand, does possessing a gift obligate you to share it with others?
I don’t believe there is a right answer; it seems to me that each creator has their own belief around this. I am still trying to sort it out for myself and my writing. It is especially challenging because writing has, over the years, become so intertwined with who I am that untangling that which I can do with that which I am feels like removing a limb. Or an organ.
I have come to the understanding that, eventually, the pendulum will swing back in the other direction. There will come a time when I am hungry again, a time when I find myself eager to share, a time when recognition and compensation for my writing will drive my work at least somewhat.
For now, I am allowing myself the luxury of writing only when the muse calls and the mood is right. For now, if I am going to write at all, it will be on my terms and as a result of a life so fully lived that the overflow must come out on the page.
Who needs middle ground when you let yourself write - and live - high and low?