Sometimes, the words are a river. Their ferocity and intensity threaten to carry me away, to wash away the last connection with land and safety and security.
What is that security? It is the place where words were mocked and ridiculed and controlled. It is the place where the words were scrutinized until they dried up in a drought of self-doubt and self-pity.
Pity – the word makes me angry somehow. Although I was threatened with the loss of all that I treasured – the beautiful words that flow past the bank – I still feel trapped in what I’m sure has become a prison of my own making. One cannot afford the luxury of pity. It makes one flounder in the shallows, afraid to toss oneself into the currents of the deep water.
And then, there is fear.
The words are flowing today and at the same time I am drowning. Nearly 89,000 words written of my “derivative” novel. I should feel some flush of pride and achievement in that. And whilst I do, there is the fear of feeling them too strongly, of feeling anything too strongly.
Emotions were burnt out of me. Ironic then, that I write about people and their feelings. Is it to regain what I cannot feel fully for myself, without fear? Perhaps.
Today I have worked very hard, and yet it is not the work that society deems worthwhile. After all, this new novel is for private consumption, and in a very real way (I’m reassured that it’s all right to say this), it is for me: to prove that I can do this again, without drowning, without being destroyed by the scrutiny of those lining the bank.
Yet the river swirls and eddies around me, and I feel the pull of dry land, the stagnant safety of sun-baked earth. I feel torn in two. One part of me wants to swim for shore, where I will surely face the death of my words and my dreams. The other part wants to take me into the deep water, to study the letters and words and meanings as they flood my soul. I still wonder whether I will drown in them, and whether that will feel so bad.
This fear seems to go on forever.