|Flickr Credit: Jorge _ Brasil|
Today was a hard day. Somewhere along the way a dream went belly up and now imagination rides in a black car at the head of the procession, because everything is dead, dead, dead. Nothing comes, nothing goes, and they call it black gold but toner is more like debt dirt.
I don’t know how to help, and I’m still sorry.
Writing feels impossible—the box says it’s supposed to be a 500-piece panorama but it looks like somebody got the boxes mixed up at the puzzle plant. These pieces certainly don’t fit together right, and you can see more of the carpet through the border than anything remotely near that promised Grand Canyon.
But I guess a dream isn’t a puzzle. Maybe your imagination doesn’t exist just to put things together. And perhaps a thing isn’t beautiful because it all fits together nicely. I hope your tongue doesn’t find curses too bitter because you have something of a sweet tooth in that regard. I hope you remember that it is when you are sobbing the hardest, that’s when you should smile. Give us consequences. Give us fire and brimstone and things that go bump in the night because they are the opposite of what we want.
We don’t want to read the words that are ugly and brutal. We don’t want to see the flesh and the metal, the disjointed letters in the words because they are broken at painful angles and they are wrong. But we need to hear them anyway.
We need to watch them fall. We need to follow them to the Underworld and into the deepest depths of Tartarus because we are them—we are the ones who gorge ourselves beyond satisfaction on our own beliefs, our politics, our gods, our heroes, our codes. Not everyone will be saved by the last page, you know. Sometimes good guys sink to the bottom of the ocean with their hands tied behind their backs and bloodthirsty wolves become kings.
We have given ourselves to you, Discouraged Writer. You have made us assassins, though we like to think we have some sort of veil between the deaths here and there. You make us heroes, you make us wolves, you make us children, you make us rebels. And even though our banner burned long ago, we do love to watch it wave in the wind.
Can you feel them? Our beating hearts, all bleeding?
Maybe it was a paragraph, a chapter, a common thread, an entire novel, a rejection, a review, a letter you hoped never to find in your inbox. A word.
I don’t know what happened, and I’m sorry. But dear, dear Discouraged Writer, don’t stop.
Our hearts are in your hands. It’s a responsibility we gave you because you knew you’d always come back to us. Get up. It won’t be the same without you.