Breaking Through The Silence
As a writer, a lack of inspiration and/or motivation can feel lethal to the spirit. I can’t recall the number of times I started to write and then stopped because there was nothing… just empty space on the page and in my mind. I would search each room in my head for some telltale sign of that elusive spark of creative vision. Yet, every room I entered was barren and cold. I tried to force my muse to cough up something, anything, but that only produced writing which was stiff and, well, uninspired.
After spending hours pulling words from my guts and stringing them together to form a somewhat cohesive thought, I would take a step back and realize I created a ‘Jackson Pollack’ with letters. This only added to my frustration and compounded my inability to make words with my face hole. What has made this ordeal feel even more bizarre is that I enjoy writing. In fact, I love writing. Anything that allows me to be creative, lights me up inside… sculpting, drawing, dancing, music, etc. Writing, especially, has been my parachute more times than I count. When I’ve slipped off the edge or felt destined to crash and burn it’s been my soft place to land.
In essence, writing has become my sanctuary. Some people go to church for clarity. I turn to my journal. Thus, when I’m feeling down or overwhelmed, or any number of things has me feeling askew, I reach for my pen (or computer keyboard) and usually find peace there. However, until I sat to write this article, I’ve encountered nothing but a sense of emptiness and a paralysing lack of words to express my inner happenings.
This is the first time I have been able to get anything out and down in weeks. I’m not sure if the world’s current state of affairs is what has had me tongue-tied and incommunicado, or if it’s the personal pangs of grief as the anniversary of my daughter’s death approaches. (Every year I think it will hurt less and every year, as the day draws near, I find myself unable to breathe.)
These days, the world herself seems to be lost in the throes of grief, expressing her pain through fire, floods, and famine. Death has become a permanent guest on the nightly news… shootings, suicides, bombings…
Like so many, I feel it all and it piles up around me like corpses of lost potential and “what could have been.” When these feelings have risen in the past I’ve always had an outlet, the written page. These long stretches of what has felt like abandonment left me holding the weight of heartache with nowhere to lay it down. As my arms grew tired, and with no channel for what stirred inside, I was left to wonder if the world around me had lost its mind or if it was me who was slipping into madness. Sometimes the distinction is impossible.
I crave expression. I need the release. Like Mother Earth, I burn with anger and my tears flood the very ground on which I stand. I need a reprieve lest I be consumed by my own inferno or swept up in the current of grief.
Through the years, I’ve become driven by some unnamed beast to reach out, to connect, to share my experiences and take in the experiences of others. It’s a part of who I am now. This way of being in the world has been sewn into the fabric of my existence. It is my way of making sense out of the senseless and of reclaiming some of my sanity in an insane world.
Some who read this may not understand, but there are many who will. They have the same creative force within them that longs to break free. They understand the need to channel that pent-up energy into birthing something new so they can release the old.
The release is what keeps us from falling apart or caving in on ourselves. When you are still and quiet you can feel what I’m talking about… the smouldering and simmering. If all of what you hold inside isn’t given an outlet it will bubble over.
This is why “writer’s block,” no matter its cause, has been so painful. People’s opinions, fear of rejection, losing faith in our own voices… all of these become like a noose around our necks, choking us into silence. It takes all of our strength and fortitude to reach up and cut the rope.
For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends 52 Ways to Live a Kick-Ass Life: BS-Free Wisdom to Ignite Your Inner Badass and Live the Life You Deserve.
Sip a little more:
How I’m Finding Myself, Even When I Don’t Know Who I Am