Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Writing Process; A Tale of Horror

~There is an AA meeting out in the Pacific Palisades known as The Writers Group. It's a Closed Meeting, meaning it is only for 'self identified alcoholics'. It was founded by a small group of professional writers who were also recovering alcoholics. I'm sure you're thinking, “Alcoholic writers? Who ever heard of such a thing?”

Anyway, I consider that my 'home group', even though I have not been there in years [it's a 160 mile round trip from here]. And I'm not breaking anyone's anonymity in this - the meeting is publicly listed as such - except my own of course and that horse left the barn years ago.

Once upon a time, a writer whom I respect was talking about their 'process'. He said it was a lot like being 'active'; he was 'driven' to write, even though it often tormented him, that many times writing created problems in his relationships, and while he often failed at it, at other times it gave him amazing highs. In other words, it was a 'form of insanity' that he could not escape.

There were a lot of nodding heads and rueful smiles that night. I personally really really 'got it'. I spoke with him after the meeting, sharing how I'd been in a 12 Step group called ARTS Anonymous [Artists in Recovery through the Twelve Steps] and how it had been a total failure for me [and quite a few others] and I had realized over time that the Artistic Process could not survive the direct application of the 12 Steps; it was form of Madness. We could only use The Steps upon our own Self and then hope that such would make living and working with that process a bit easier.

That is what I'm dealing with now. The past few days I have felt 'lost and emotionally hollowed out', which is the standard aftermath of finishing an intense bout of writing. [I use the word bout quite purposefully] I also tend to forget this as well, like an addict or alcoholic who forgets the havoc of using each and every time until they either die or get Sober...and I'll be a Writer until I die.

Some of you try to 'push me' to 'get going'. Well, you can forget that shit. In my experience so far, the only external behavior that helps me is to be 'babied' and allowed to writhe and moan until I'm done. Anything else only evokes anger and jams the entire process up.

Yes, that's fucking annoying. Even I find it so when I'm not 'in process'. But when I'm in that place, it seems to be the only thing that comforts me and moves thing along. In other words, if you want to support me in my writing, you have to 'enable' me while I'm doing so. Now ain't that a bitch. lol

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