I’m guessing you’ve read this Greek myth.
For the writer, writing has a quality of opening Pandora’s Box. When I write, I’m opening up more than my journal or notebook, I’m opening the unknown. In the unknown, everything, all possibilities, exist. What is going to be roused in me or you remains to be seen. That which has remained hidden to yourself is given an opportunity to emerge. This can feel scary. Feelings can be tweaked, excavated trauma (I’ve referred to this in an earlier blog). You decide if it’s worth bringing up again in this unearthing.
With writing (especially fiction and poetry) and art-making, there is nothing straightforward. You don’t just sit down and write and remain unruffled. You are taken places. You volunteer for this journey a bit unwittingly. “Yes, I’m a writer therefore, I write!” What you soon come to realize is that you have gone down a rabbit hole and you are being compelled as much as you have chosen the journey.
Who or what are you going to meet along the way? White rabbits, card soldiers, tin men, fairy queens, purple people eaters. You don’t know. It’s yet to be discovered. Which Pandora’s lid is going to be opened in you? What is going to leap out from your own inner underworlds and scare the heck out of you? How did that get in there? You can turn tail and run; slap your journal shut and find another interest.
Or you can continue the venture of discovery and inner sorting through the writing process.
Consider how you manage your own writing journey. If you are writing Non-fiction, are you less likely to encounter the unknown? Or, in your research, do you uncover something that sends you there–into the unknown–regardless? If you are writing fiction, do you get thrown off course when you are diverted down the rabbit hole? What does getting back on track look like for you? Or is the diversion where your writing really wants to go? Is there a best way to sort the chaff from the gold and carry on?
Opening my journal…
opening to the unknown.