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4 Reasons to write when the world is going to hell

December 28, 2012

I try to write when things are a little much for me because it helps capture the essence of the mood. There are times when, for one reason or another, the demands of life are far beyond your ability to fulfill. And no one really cares. It happens to everyone, and yet like fools, we run around and try to attain an outcome that’s simply not possible–or beat ourselves for “failing.”

Come on, you know you do it, too.

And that’s a human feeling. It’s something everyone can relate to. Try talking to a new mother about it, especially the week or two after maternity leave ends.

I need to get up and do all the stuff I did before and be a full-time mommy, too? Are you insane?

Or maybe it’s when you’re working on the project from hell and then someone decides you aren’t nearly busy enough so they put you on another project from hell. (And everyone else can reach you on instant messenger for whatever they need, too.)

Sometimes life just sucks. It’s temporary and it comes with the job description. Eventually life’s equivalent of a cold front comes through and cleans up all the crap so the sun can shine and the sky can be a deep, enticing blue again.

Unfortunately, when you’re in the sucky part, the last thing you probably want to do is write. I sure don’t. I want to sit in a room alone and watch television, so as not to pollute the human gene pool with my crappy day.

So this is the part where the trite cliches come in. Writers write. Ass in chair. All that.

Like most cliches, they’re also true. And they might help your emotional situation. After all, writing is:

  1. Enjoyable. You enjoy writing stuff, right? At least you don’t hate it. Oh, we like to joke about the sitting at a keyboard and opening a vein thing, but it’s supposed to be fun, or at least gratifying.
  2. Different. If your current pain is your job, your family, the kid next door, or the seemingly never-ending parade of appliances that are failing, writing is none of those things.
  3. Creative. You are building something. Sure, during the workday, you’re beaten down and feel like you can’t do anything right. But when you sit at the keyboard, you have the ability to create worlds.
  4. For you. Sometimes it’s vitally important to have something that’s yours. Maybe writing is it.

I recently wrote about the jock culture, based on how the Kansas City Chiefs football team reacted to tragedy among the guys on their roster. Practice and playing the game were their sanctuary–at least according to a lot of football players whose opinions I saw. It was a way for them to do something normal when life was abnormal.

Maybe that’s writing for you.

One Comment
  1. December 28, 2012 1:47 pm

    A nice post Chris. Thanks!

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