As a I writer, I am faced with a lot of questions and expectations by my readers. But mostly, and I think that any person making creative content has encountered this, people assume that everything I write comes from a genuine feeling or experience that I am living right now, at this moment, in the exact way I describe it in my poems.
Of course, in the midst of any creative process, there is always a very fine line between real life experiences, genuine emotions and imagination. I, as a writer, will always relate to my work, one way or another.
The process of writing helps me get heavy and strong emotions off my chest and relieves me from an emotional strain, and I believe that is what the general conception of any creative process is to most people.
Sometimes, however, I will write about other people’s experiences and emotions, maybe even characters in books or films, because I have been moved by their stories. I have been affected by what has been shared with me to the point where I feel I can write about it and taking ownership of a new, unknown emotion. You may of course think this is very much self-centeredness, but to that I say that the world and all its colours can only be perceived through one’s own perspective, hence the “taking of ownership”.
In search for an inspiration, I might also dive into my past emotions, relationships, life-changing moments and struggles so as to write about them. Again, even if these emotions were very real at the time, they may not be relevant to my present self anymore. They have been a way for me to let go of the past and move on.
Apart from the expectations my writers have had about my work, I believe there are a few things I can say about my creative process.
The defining reason why I publish my work, is because by allowing other people to identify with my experiences, I allow for them to take ownership of these feelings. These stories are not mine but everyone’s. This helps me to distance myself from my past.
Writing was therefore at first a therapeutic mean for me to acknowledge and put words on a profoundly painful experience I was unable to get past by. Hence, I was able to give form and meaning to what I was going through.
Many disregard labels and words as limiting, unworthy of our human experiences. To that I say that words create thoughts and feelings, not the other way around. Only when articulated can an emotion be understood, felt and fully embraced, otherwise it remains a chaotic mess that lacks any meaning or form.
Words help us describe our reality, but also recognize and separate different kinds of emotions. Without words, we are unable to spot any difference between strong feelings, we cannot give form to our experiences.
This also goes, in my opinion, for relationships. Indeed, labels may be limiting. However, they are crucial for the relationship to grow and thrive. Without words, there is no base to built our relationships and our future on.
Giving form to our emotions is the first step to be able to move on and embrace the future. For me, writing has been liberating and has helped me get past very destructive relationships and emotions, but also let go of all of the expectations and illusions I had about myself. It has suddenly become very clear to me that staying true to myself was about defining who I really was. And on my journey, I have come to realise that the person I thought I was carried a lot more irrelevant features than the person I really am.
So as to be able to find my core self, I need to write and keep on writing. I need to give form and meaning to my life. Some say that fear is conquered once it has been defined. I believe I can only conquer myself and take control over my life if I am able to give form to my experiences.