Fear draws out creativity – telling ourselves a story that we made up can be soothing. When we share our stories they go from sublime-to-mundane.
Good writers manage to capture some element of the sublime experience and convey it. Dragging some element of magic along in their prose.
Some writers make us feel more sublime than we have lived or experienced – their words point to something we can only imagine at that moment. Some rare writers create new possibilities by writing them into existence.
There is something terribly doubt inspiring about locking your occupation to creative output. The Rumpus has an advice column — the mysterious Sugar who breaks this problem down with eloquence:
How many women wrote beautiful novels and stories and poems and essays and plays and scripts and songs in spite of all the crap they endured. How many of them didn’t collapse in a heap of “I could have been better than this” and instead went right ahead and became better than anyone would have predicted or allowed them to be. The unifying theme is resilience and faith. The unifying theme is being a warrior and a motherfucker. It is not fragility. It’s strength. It’s nerve. And “if your Nerve, deny you –,” as Emily Dickinson wrote, “go above your Nerve.” Writing is hard for every last one of us—straight white men included. Coal mining is harder. Do you think miners stand around all day talking about how hard it is to mine for coal? They do not. They simply dig.
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