The “Bad Husband” Chronicles

Just another day for you and me in Paradise

“To write is to sit in judgment on oneself”

Posted by mozziestarlet on May 26, 2009

Self_reflection_pic

As much as I’d love to be able to take credit for that statement, I hardly can.  Henrik Ibsen, a remarkable 19th century Norwegian poet and playwright, penned that statement even before the turn of the 20th century.  I can remember first reading that when I was about fifteen years-old, and feeling the complete brilliance and truth of it sitting squarely on my shoulders.  You see…for a writer, there couldn’t possibly be any statement more at the heart of the matter.  Not to sound exclusive, but it’s a difficult thing to explain to someone outside of this reality; to someone who hasn’t spent the majority of their life trying to make sense of their existence year after year, through each stroke of their pen.  The funny thing about being a writer is that it’s very much a feast or famine talent.  You may go through periods in your life where the words seem to leap from you faster than you are able to write or type them.  And other times, you lull through months or even longer where you simply cannot find the words, no matter how desperately you need to.

Certainly, I cannot speak for every writer on this planet.  But, in my thirty-six years on this earth, this is exactly how it has been and continues to be for me.  I’ve often found myself wondering why this is…why are there times and periods in my life where I cannot stop writing and others when the pen sits frozen in my hand?  Is it a type of possession that temporarily takes hold of you until you’ve said all you feel you can say on the subject?  Or, is it a God-given gift that like any type of talent should be nurtured and fertilized each and every day in order for it to continue to grow and flourish? 

I really couldn’t say one way or the other, and I hardly have a definitive answer on the subject.  However, there is one thing that I know for certain; one thing that I hold dear and true.  Henrik Ibsen was right.  “To write is to sit in judgment on oneself.”  And perhaps, it is this self-scrutiny, and this personal dissection, that makes our writing ebb and flow.  At times, this self-reflection is a necessary evil for our own understanding and personal growth.  And at other times, the cruelty of sitting beneath a microscope of self-analysis is simply more than a person can withstand. 

I don’t think the admission of this duality makes me less of a writer, really.  I think it’s what makes me a human being.

 

“If I’m trying to sleep, the ideas won’t stop. If I’m trying to write, there appears a barren nothingness.”
~ Carrie Latet

“Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.”
~ Franz Kafka

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”
~ Ray Bradbury

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