Journal: It’s not Madness if people buy it as Art

I’ve always been highly creative. However, it took over half my life so far to realize an artist can suffer mentally– even physically– from lack of an outlet. My recent forced isolation (resulting from my immune reactions) has facilitated a renewed sense of purpose.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” —Flannery O’Connor

“I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means, what I want and what I fear.” –Joan Didion

Beyond the practicality of being stripped of potential distractions since I can’t safely go anywhere, I’m finally getting down to business– wrestling with God about certain things I’ve avoided too long. Hopefully, my struggles and realizations can serve as a guidepost for other people.

“You write to discover what you want to say. You rewrite to discover what you have said and then rewrite to make it clear to other people.” –Donald Murray

“We read to know we are not alone.” –C.S. Lewis

As for fiction, all the past writer’s block has been bulldozed by sheer force of will; I absolutely must escape to anywhere else. And if such a place doesn’t yet exist yet I’ll invent it.

I used to be intimidated by the pithy advice, “Write what you know” until I found out some of the most profound writers in history were reclusive. Experience has nothing to do with physical presence; that’s what research is for. Thanks to modern technology, I can simply explore the World Wide Web for technical details.

The Human Experience– emotion & psychology– that’s what makes a story come alive and resonate with the reader. I may not have been to prison but being trapped in my home, at times held hostage by my own body, gives me a unique perspective.

“I think everything you do helps you to write if you’re a writer. Adversity and success both contribute largely to making you what you are. If you don’t experience either one of those, you’re being deprived of something.” –Shelby Foote

Not only am I finishing a memoir about chronic illness, ideas for fictional stories are coming to me fast and furiously. Often, they interrupt my thoughts; sometimes they even narrate themselves in my sleep. Creativity is a relentless force. I’m finally going to surrender.

“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works. –Virginia Woolf

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