Hemingway & I

Once writing has become your major vice and greatest pleasure only death can stop it.
Ernest Hemingway

For some, writing is second nature. It’s like blinking, or breathing, no real thought put into it. I used to be one of those people. It used to feel like nothing else I’d ever experienced. It gave me freedom, it gave me peace of mind and a space all my own to retract within when the real world became too hard to handle. And then one day it was stolen from me. The shattering life events that turn people’s worlds around that I had only read about, actually happened to me. And I lost all my writings and all my notes. All my sketches, all my doodles. Gone. All of them. And with them, I lost the will to write things down.

The thoughts remained and the ideas were there, I couldn’t silence them how I tried. But I wouldn’t bring myself to compose another paragraph. It was like using a cork to stop a deluge and it was painful. So I found distractions and I filled my hours with various activities, ensuring I had no solitude. No moment of quiet where the threat of writing could slither its way back into my life. What I had taught myself was to suppress the memory of the pleasure it once brought me.

It’s taken over 12 years for me to get back on the proverbial horse although, if I’m going to be honest with myself, I did “slip” a few times when things were positioned just so, and I was moved either by experiences so tragic or equally inspiring that I’d forget my own constraints.

And so the lesson learned is: always embrace your passions, they will come back to haunt/bite/kick you either way.