“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” I respectfully beg to differ Mr. Hemingway. Only artists leave the placid safety of the womb twice during the course of a lifetime. The bleeding takes place long before one sits down to write. The blood of past experience is the ink of current words. If life is a pursuit of meaning, the joys and sorrows of yesterday become the prose and poetry of today. A writer sits at a typewriter to heal, not bleed. Only words can bind his open wounds. Words written, words read, words understood. Language being the bridge between two human beings. How the color black can bring light to a writer’s life is a paradox yet to be resolved.
This healing process takes place when the writer draws from his own personal experience throughout the creative process. He travels in time, visiting long lost friends, rekindling relationships, confronting old enemies, and considering unanswered questions of the past. He also travels in space, revisiting locations, cities and countries that remain an integral part of who he is. Whether the work is fact or fiction is immaterial. Ideas and emotions are always grounded in reality. Even imagination has its own logic. In the end, experience that leads to contemplation fosters personal growth, bringing understanding and closure. This is why the writer imparts much more than a solitary fingerprint when he touches a key. Every healing word carries within itself the meaning of past experiences and the semblance of the writer’s primordial soul, words sent overseas on a diplomatic mission.
The reader is under no obligation to agree with the writer’s intended message, but he should receive every word with the same consideration and respect befitting a foreign ambassador. Negotiate with opposing themes, debate with seemingly contradictory ideas, disagree with the writer if need be, but at all times, refrain from inarticulate judgment and please observe the following diplomatic code of conduct. Praise what sincerely touches your heart and the writer’s heart will be sincerely touched as well. Never compliment what you do not understand and your misunderstanding will complement yourself. Never debase what you do not comprehend, lest you debase yourself. When in doubt, ponder; ask questions; humility only ennobles the self.
Remember that the creative process divests the writer of every false pretense and displays his naked sincerity before the world. To delve into the complexity of the human condition, he must be willing to reveal his innermost secrets. Some willingly confessed, others tacitly admitted. As the artist removes his emotional panoply, he accepts a vulnerability that may expose him to unmerited derision if misunderstood by insensitive readers. This is when the real bleeding resumes. This is when more healing is needed. Welcome back Mr. Typewriter, or should I say, Mr. Computer.