I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo, and if an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of hunger for life that gnaws in us all. ~Richard Wright, American Hunger, 1977
At some point during the day, a mad person sits down with pen and paper, or finger on keypad…with nothing to write. Nothing to write always gives birth to an immensely creative art of words. This mad person bleeds out words from the tips of his fingers. Searches for more insanity from the depth that is his madness. That is what I describe as the process of writing. Writers are mad (…but that is a story for another day.) A writer’s madness is a very private thing. It is the date for your period, the exact figures on your payslip, it is your personal identification number. Yet this writer chooses to share that which is private. One’s madness. The story of a writer is told by the poems he writes…the short stories he/she constructs. A writer is his own work.
For a writer, it is an obligation to write. Without doing so, you refuse to give birth when nine months are here and the water has already broken. A writer will so often burn with a desire to release. If they do not, then they burn. Creative juices can never be contained when they flow in you. The number of bloggers I have come to know within the last few months is overwhelming. I have realized that there are people who live on writing. Dinner is always prepared from herbs that are verbs and nouns, downed with a glass of connectors and gap fillers. They eat and sleep on their blogs.
However, in the sequence that is writing, the person that completes it and is so often forgotten is the reader. Readers are to writers what rain is to a desert. Excuse my cliché’. The writer bleeds on a ground, and without the seed that is the reader, the writer dies. Anyone who has ever blogged will agree with me that feedback does matter, not to show off, but because it motivates you. A friend once told me that nothing gratifies him than a reader identifying with his madness. We have already established that writers are mad…or rather, I have mentioned that. When they transform this madness through words and put it on paper, and then one or two people identify with this madness, then they thank the writing gods. We release words onto the world as seeds with the hope that they will germinate. Even a conversation held with oneself would never last long.
So the next time you listen to a poet perform a piece, next time you read a blog, appreciate that piece beyond a ‘Oh-my-God-I-Love-your-poem’. Try backing it up with a sincere statement of explanation. It helps for a writer to feel that they are not yapping for friends who will so often tell them that their writing is good out of friendship obligation. It helps when you question our writing…when you ask us questions as to why and why not. Even when you fail to understand a piece, it helps to tell me that you don’t understand my madness…that I have lost you. When I am flat, kindly do tell. When I score points, kindly do tell…and tell me where. So dear silent reader, one who always reads and never says a thing, a word from you, is always fuel for tomorrow (C.S). Do not withhold. It’s against the law.
For a writer, success is the echo that is send back from the word that is hurled into the darkness. Hit us back. We write what we know, and sometimes what we do not know, so we need to see through your eyes… Irrigate us with an Echo!