Exactly what is it about a difficult time that makes us want to write?
“I’m going out on the road to find out what it’s like to be poor and needy and then I’m going to make a picture about it.”
– John L. Sullivan in Preston Sturges’s film Sullivan’s Travels 
Years ago, my friend told me she stopped journalling. We were in our twenties then. Everything tortured us, although we acted like nothing did. “I was only writing when things weren’t going well,” she explained. Lost love, lost opportunity, lost anticipation. She said she suddenly realized anyone reading her diary would mistake her life to be a sad one, something far from the truth. She had loved happily—people and moments and herself. “When everything was wonderful, who had time to write?”
Maybe being confident and daring is nothing compared to the loss we can share with others. Especially when we throw it into a space, either cyber or head, fact or fiction. After a while, writing about struggle and loss for so long with so many other losers gives way to a certain flair in style. We share with a unique flourish, so it’s nice (Ok, therapeutic. Duly noted.) to put pixels to the page and explore with one another what develops.
That Picture: The typewriter. Indeed a universal symbol representing “The writer.” Slip in a blank page, one that stares back at you. Now what do you have?
Photo by Saada Branker