You know that song “I’m Only Happy When It Rains?” by Garbage? Well, tonight I realized I Only Write When I’m Sad, and I don’t mean blog writing, I mean fiction writing, like short story writing, the kind you do for yourself and hope to one day get paid for.
For the past 6 months or so, I’ve been working on a compilation of short stories, and when I say short, I mean really short, like a page or less. The crazy thing about these short stories is, I only work on them when something has made me upset, and it’s usually not something from the present. Almost every time I crank out a one-pager, it’s because I’ve recently seen or heard something that reminds me of a time in my past when I was upset or depressed, and the only way for me to put that depressing time to bed is to write about it. Literally, it’s the only way for me to cope with it, and I’ll admit it’s the cheapest therapy there is.
I wanted to tell you this, because I feel like it’s important to understand where our passions come from. It’s times like these when I realize that I was actually born to write, because it is the one thing I turn to in all situations, the one thing that calms me, the one thing that comforts me, the one thing that makes insanity acceptable in the eyes of society. And by that I mean I make my fictional characters insane when I’m feeling mad, and by the end of the story I am healed, and the reader has had an adventure.
If you’re feeling insane, and want to dump all of your problems on other people, fiction is the best place to do it.
But before you start getting worried, I am perfectly fine. In fact, I’m only 5 stories in, which means I have only had 5 visits from Heartache in the passed 6 months. But I mean to say that I have realized this very night, that fiction (good fiction) only happens for me when I am upset, whatever that means. And it just so happens that I can’t crank out a single thing otherwise. I’ve been told that this might be a semi-normal thing with writers though. One time, at a Bret Easton Ellis book signing, someone asked if he was working on a new book, and he said he was done writing books because….he was healed.
I knew exactly what he meant, and tonight, that’s exactly what I mean.