The last renaissance of my blog-smithing began on July 19, 2014 when I first discovered The Daily Post. That instance of my spark died out on December 15th, 2015. Much of that spurt of creativity (such as it is for me) was driven collaboration with members of the “blogosphere” that I met and discovered some kinship with. Through the photographs and music links and text on this blog, my inner artist got to get out and play for a time.
That’s the problem with choosing to live in secret with my depression. When it strikes, my inner artist puts himself in the way of the darkness and holds it back. He’s the only one that can do it, and he does it gladly so that my waking self can function. So it’s been for most of this year, week after week of quietly fighting the darkness in the deepest recesses of my mind. I have always believed “was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich stärker.” This probably wasn’t that Nietzsche had in mind, but it still works. Throughout my life, my creative spark has faltered and perhaps even died. So far, every time, he wakes up when I serendipitously bring him into contact with something that sparks his interest.
I’ve written here before about the faint strands of my creative lifelines. One of those is a book, and another is a person. So the person released a book. I read the book. Then I went back and read that most important thing he has ever written, for me anyway. Which sent me back to the roadmap. This is a journey I’ve been on before. It’s familiar, but it’s never exactly the same.
While on this journey, I stumbled upon this:
Which led me to this:
He told BuzzFeed: “I started with Stardust: It was (in my head) being written in the 1920s, so I bought a fountain pen and a big notebook and wrote it by hand to find out how writing by hand changed my head.”
“And it did, it really did. I was sparser, I would think my way through a sentence further, I would write less, in a good way. And when I typed it up, it became a very real second draft – things would vanish or change. I discovered that I enjoyed messing about with fountain pens, I even liked the scritchy noise the pen nib made on the paper.
“So I kept doing it. Sandman: Dream Hunters and American Gods and Anansi Boys and The Graveyard Book were all written by hand. The last two-thirds of Coraline was also written by hand.”
(Photo credit to Hayley Campbell of Buzzfeed from the preceding link.)
I felt my inner artist stir. Well, more of do an Undertaker Zombie sit-up and look around, eyes wide open.
So for the past month, I’ve been writing again. On paper. With a fountain pen. Today, I felt able to write here with a keyboard again. Small steps. Sustainable steps.