Posted on Jan 24, 2015 in Blog
Back in November, when I was deep in the darkest parts of that depression, or sadness, or funk, or whatever-you-want-to-call-it (can it truly be a depression if you come out of it, if you are loved, if you are lucky, if you have so many things going for you? And on and on and on the questions go now, with the doubt), one of the things that I talked about out loud to friends was this creeping realization of my patterns as a writer. Namely, the cocoon-create-emerge-months-later rhythm that always, in the thick of it, feels so safe and rewarding.

The problem, of course, is that I embrace the isolation wholeheartedly. I disappear into my house, I make forays out for work and groceries, and that’s it. I spend my weekend days dressed in pyjamas. I work and write and work and write and sooner or later I come out into the world and there’s a novel, yes, but perhaps it isn’t a novel that goes over very well with those who read it, and all of a sudden the thought of more cocooning makes the panic flutter like a small bird in your heart.

But I want to talk to somebody, you say. I want to talk to somebody and I want to spend a week — or weeks — doing something that isn’t writing or work or getting groceries or cleaning all the gunk away from the taps around the kitchen sink. I want to go out. I want to live.

Doesn’t that sound silly? It sounds silly to me. And still I type, still I put the word out. Still sometimes I think, deep down in my soul: is writing really living? Or is it only ever the dream of living, a dream you hope to make so real and wonderful that it will come alive for someone else?

I figured something out at the beginning of the year, I think. Something to do with structure and points of view and how to make things all come together. And now the cocooning doesn’t seem so terrible anymore. Now I look ahead to the days where I can just come home from work and not go out, and I’m excited. To write. To disappear again until another draft is finished.

I feel like there’s a fable in here, somehow. Something about a person who sits down to create a world and comes out to find their own world empty when it’s finished, the memories of people that you used to know just floating on the wind.