Tuesday, January 26, 2016

4 Reasons Why We Need Miserable Writers

Some of the best writers were miserable. 
While I'm stuck in the middle of my book, I reflect what the new year brought us. 
Heartbreak, misery, and shock. 
But just because your life sucks doesn't mean you should give up. 
It means you have something to say.
The world hurts and our words are supposed to heal it.
What about healing the writer?
Can our own words soothe us or do we selflessly reveal our souls to help others find their own? 
Misery wants to empathize. 
We want to relate.

(Yes, this is a happy photo I took. There have been no gloomy days here so I've been extra cranky. I need my gloom or all the happy irks me. Balance, people. Works both ways.)

1. Brings Value
2. Makes You Relatable
3. Strong Emotions Produce Best Results
4. Therapy for Writer and Reader

Which writer did you relate to who had horrible experiences? Maybe you didn't relate, maybe you just felt their work was beautiful. One of my favorites is Edgar Allan Poe. If anyone read his work, they have at least one favorite. With my disturbing perspective of what's beautiful, his violent poetry speaks to me. It's dark but it's honest. He lost so many in his real life that his only outlet was writing.

Now what if he lived a happy life? Annabel Lee would not have the same impact.

When darkness veils your life, it's an opportunity to create. When Alan Rickman died, my soul broke. Didn't want to do anything that day. I got drunk and cried. My years of drawing fan art, writing fan fics, and watching his films three-fourths of my life led to a very miserable week. After I sobered up his day of death, I painted. I had to. The brushstrokes were therapeutic. I didn't hurry it up to post my tribute with everyone else, I just painted for my soul's sake. 21+ hours later, I submitted my tribute on my art page. For miserable reasons, it ended up being my best work yet. I handled every detail with perfection (as much as I could). This is one version:

Didn't sleep. Didn't eat much. Even stopped drinking. Cried a lot watching my painting become him. Skipped the Bargaining stage. Disbelief, Anger, and Sadness mostly. I shouldn't use my emotions to work, but sometimes I need to. It produces the best results. If I didn't find a way to channel my emotions, I would've kept drinking. Not good for anyone who depends on me.

Another way I coped with tragedy came more immediate, years back when my dog died. I never got serious about writing until his death. I had to write. I promised him.

It still hurts.

My first book leaks my loss of the greatest friend ever. People will find solace in their loss through acceptance of death. That's my hope, anyway. Nobody should deal with that alone.

Our darkness is what gives us value. Without miserable moments, we can't be relatable. Total misery is doom but if we find the balance to accept the light and dark, then we can find the words to make writing worth reading. I'm not saying be miserable all the time. Not saying be happy all the time either (ugh...that's the worst...so fake...hate fake, all-happy people). But we can't help what happens to us. We can help what we do about it.

Further insight to accepting our darkness: Why Our Dark Sides Make Us Better Writers

Writers who led miserable lives:

John Berryman
Virginia Woolf
Edgar Allan Poe
Tennessee Williams
Hunter S. Thompson
Ernest Hemingway
Robert E Howard
Anne Sexton
Sylvia Plath

And again, not saying misery is a good thing or that we should glorify it, but successful writers had awful lives. Certain all these committed suicide. If you think your life sucks and are not talking to someone about it, don't keep it in. Seek the light. Sometimes writing won't be enough to soothe your ache. I want you to find hope. Every aspect of your life is meaningful, even the misery. But if it hurts too much, please--please--don't keep it to yourself. Those stages to suicide are bullshit. My friend died and no one saw it coming. Wanna talk? I'm here. Seriously.

This post is a mess. No apologies. Talking about misery where spots are still sore is not my favorite, but I have to, especially if it helps you.

Tell me what you think. Tell me your feels.

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