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I write for the ones without a voice.

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Highest expression.
It's so difficult for me to write. At the risk of pain, I'm doing it anyway.

Human relationships, perceived worth, single stories, empathy, perception, emotional correctness, fear, passion, desire, love, shame, vulnerability, self-revival: all concepts that I've organized and filed over the past few weeks. Human relationships, using them as measures of self-worth. There's the fundamental need for connection and understanding from another person. But things have always gotten to a point for me where that connection turns into atrophy. I love her; I don't desire her. I'm the tyrant that hurts another person with distance while fighting with my need to keep her close. I'm the tyrant that tosses people aside in the name of my art, feeling perfectly justified, and yet regretting the pain left in my wake. I show little to no empathy as it happens. No matter how conflicted I am over my actions, no matter how much I feel like a terrible person, I have to remember why I felt compelled to do what I did.

Leaving relationships was never about my art and me against the other person. It was about that inexplicable decay the relationship had caused to my ability to write well. Of course, the people I've left behind tend to have one idea about me. A single story of how badly I had hurt them, how much I lied, and all the awful things I brought to their lives. Such an incomplete picture of me that does no one any justice. Those people were the easiest to forget about and move on from. I felt I had no business agonizing over what it was like to be in their shoes when they could not do the same for me. That didn't stop me from wishing I hadn't hurt them in the first place. I had to learn to appreciate what was and what is instead of wishing for an imaginary universe.

Writing is so integral to me. It's my first and only form of expression. I grew up thinking that it was wrong to express myself. I was raised to think that it was audacious, disrespectful, taboo, inconvenient, and ultimately a waste of time for anyone involved. I've been struggling with that negativity again lately. My first two novels have gone nowhere. Looking back on them now, it's because of how passionless they were. From a technical standpoint, I think my original work is a fine example of how well I can write. Well as in I followed the fun grammatical rules, I had believable character and plot arcs, and I kept plot holes to an absolute minimum. That's barely scratching the surface, if at all, when I think about true expression.

That state of hyper-awareness, when time slows down, when emotions burst at the seams, when the words flow endlessly and when fear threatens to paralyze you at each turn, and yet you continue, rising above that fear. The fear of rejection, the fear that people will read the emotions on the page and judge you for them, the fear that the plot and characters will be scrutinized, the fear that every theme will be over-analyzed until every last drop of emotional connection is choked from the pages, and you are left with nothing but scathing reviews about how you are simply too invested in everything that literature is not and can never be.

I haven't written with that mounting dread since I was eighteen. There were a few chapters here and there over the years that held my heart captive as I wrote them. But for the most part, I shifted my focus to the technical aspects to avoid people seeing my emotion expressed on the page. Somehow, once my feelings poured onto something tangible, they were able to be judged and criticized. I cannot stand that. Someone taking my personal thoughts and feelings, lining them up as facts to be observed and called-out on. It's the single highest affront to my character when someone does that. I wish it didn't rile me up so much. I wish I didn't crave a career that goads me to put my heart on society's mannequin for their collective target practice. Things would be so much easier...

And yet that's not the case. This is the burning beam of my path in life. I can't follow it well without human relationships. I can't follow it at all if I mire my self-worth in whether or not I have the person I love. There would be times when I watched certain movies, like Black Swan, Amadeus, Beloved, The Hours, Lucy: I went through the motions exactly as I know I should when writing. I've been making excuses because of my fears, because of how much I want to stop hurting people. Letting them too close kills passion; keeping them too far away breeds discontent all the same. It's a fine line to walk. It's a constant balance that I have to maintain. To be fair to her, to keep her just close enough that she desires me, to perform for her and have enough people sing my praises for her to be proud of, to be compassionate toward her even in the direst of circumstances, to offer security and reliability while still keeping excitement between us. All of this while being able to escape and let go just enough to rise above my fear of true expression. That's not difficult.

The hardest part is falling and landing at rock bottom. I've stopped caring about whether or not an audience sees it. If I'm going to do this, I have to learn how to free-fall. I've gotten better at it in the past few weeks. Falling from the best perspective, to see when I should have made my main character more human in all the ways I'm afraid to be. I've turned into an old person with my art, getting dressed in the morning--writing--as one who hasn't forgotten how, but why.

No more chains. No more atrophy. No more mental prison just because I can't fucking say hello. No more excuses. The fear will persist. The fear will always be here. We're frenemies now. I'm still a tyrant that will tear down anything that threatens to decay me. I will do the same to anything that threatens to destroy what sustains me. Having this fear about what will happen in a few weeks has really opened my eyes. Having so many people try to sway me off this path and onto theirs has shown me what I need to focus on, now more than ever.

Black Waltz. Novel #3. This is the thought-process behind it. I can't tell you what it's about. You've just read a summarized version. I don't want to spoil you.

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