The joy of writing


I just re-read my post on the difficulty of writing and was frankly dismayed at its pessimistic tone. Maybe that's because I recently read the first essay of Ray Bradbury's Zen In The Art Of Writing entitled The Joy of Writing, in which my writing hero uncle Bradbury describes the sheer thrill of writing, naturally. The zen, the gusto, he calls it. This essay took me back to the primal joy of art that drives us all to create, it took me back to being a boy and reading Bradbury's stories and actually feeling them, hearing them, seeing them, because he had put the joy and rage and wildness onto the paper, my god, what gusto!

Somehow, in my manic anxious shell, I have lost the joy of writing for writing's sake, I have misplaced the just because of letting the mind go wild and following along for the ride. I have become old and suspicious of my own work, of storytelling, even of reading, shame on me. I have become busy, transient, fleeting, no more able to focus on a thing of concrete certainty and follow it to it's conclusion in the written word than I am able to stop checking my phone for indefinite periods of time.

In short, I have become a creative curmudgeon. It could be just a season, or an imminent foreshadowing of my bleak non creative future, but whatever it is, I defy it. I defy and damn my curmudgeoniness and I say 'Nay dragon, thou shalt not slay me, I shall write another book about a wild character and maybe it will have commas in it, but maybe not, I shall do what I please because I love it, and neither you nor the invisible audience shall stop me.'

Yes, I will say it all, just exactly like this, for I shall be silly and pompous to the dragon that stands in my creative path. I will continue to love creative output and see the blank page as a friendly challenge I engage and warm to, I will raise the dead and say goodbye to the living in my writ, all the while weeping and laughing for it, because this is the ferocity (as my brothers and I call it) of art, of creation, of being, of making, of living. If there is no joy, then there is no ferocity, no zen or gusto, and without this, what's the point?

So now I will go forth and create the greatest thing ever written, and I will do it not with difficulty or dread or doom, but with sheer ferocious joy, thank you Poppa Bradbury!