Writing ≠ Suffering

In these emails I talk a lot about writing as a way to deal with your pain, your problems, your past.

It’s an incredibly powerful tool for processing difficult or unexpected stuff, and I certainly cling to my journals like my own personal storm buoy when things get tough.

But pain and suffering are not the only catalysts for writing. In fact, they tend to wear rather thin after a while.

Eventually all the bad stuff gets written out, and if you’ve been relying on your suffering to fuel your creativity and your self-exploration, you’re going to find yourself in a dead end.

Our culture has a kind of twisted view of creativity and the creator. We fetishise how hard it is to be creative, how torturous. And there’s no denying that some days it is hard.

But it’s such a narrow view of what a creative practice can be.

Any kind of creativity — whether it’s writing (publicly or privately), music or art or cooking — it can also be easy. It can also be a joy. It can be a space where you cultivate love, and trust, both in yourself and in the universe at large.

It can be fun. It should be fun.

Even on the days it stretches you, there should be an afterglow that makes it all feel worth it.

Creativity should be generative. It should fill you, not drain you. If your writing or creativity leaves you exhausted and empty, take a step back. See if you can clean the lens through which you’re looking at it.

Find the spaces where you can let a little light in, and start to cultivate joy in your creations.