‘Writing things was important, wasn’t it?’ Nakata asked.
‘Yes, it was. The process of writing was important. Even though the finished product is completely meaningless.’
– Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore
I have written countless pages since I was a teenager.
Most of those words have been destroyed.
Some of them hide in apps and notes and files as ideas. Some of them enjoyed an ephemeral existence as bits of live performance – monologues, skits, poems, prose. Some words helped me manifest some of my biggest dreams, while others freed me from my nightmares. Too many of my words have been blurted recklessly into tweets, texts, and Facebook rants – an explosion of thoughts that did not want to be contained, ideas that should have been an essay, or a play, squandered on the instant gratification of a platform and a touchpad.
The least number of my words have been published in websites that were not my own. I am proud of those words, not for the finished product they represent, but because they reached people, resonated something lonely and familiar, or presented something new and exciting.
I’m not sure if it’s my age, or that I have survived so much, or failed so much – maybe it’s some combination of these things – but writing seems to be the only thing helping to make sense of my experiences. Writing puts these events into context, creates a space for feelings to exist outside of myself, rather than letting everything stagnate inside me, laying to waste.
We are creative beings. While there will always be parts of ourselves that not everyone will know, we were not meant to contain our ideas. We thrive on sharing. We fall apart when we become isolated.
It’s time to stop burning the pages and start sharing them, to honor an important part of the process, no matter what the finished product might be.