ask Knox: inspirations
This was a comment on a previous post which we thought warranted an Ask Knox response:
So after reading your blog post and visiting the website I was thinking about what you said about hoping the author never winds up reuniting with his muse. Do you think he would stop being able to write if he was happy and got what he longed for? Do you think the only good writing comes from unrequited love? And do you think your writing would be the same if you met the girl you’ve been searching for? Or do you think that no girl fills the bill because you are sabotaging yourself?
Excellent question. I can’t say for sure whether this guy would still be able to write what he writes if he were suddenly happy. It’s impossible to say what really drives any individual’s creativity. I’m reminded of when I briefly taught a high school English class – it seemed most of the American cannon are total fucking bummers, often written by depressed alcoholics and suicide cases. Could they have done it had they been on antidepressants? I’m reticent to say conclusively, though my gut tells me no, they couldn’t. It’s not that you have to be a sad person to be a legitimate writer. What’s important, is that the writer has a large spectrum of feeling that he or she exercises frequently. That, and, you know, imagination.
Bottom line, though, it comes from a loving place that wishes to share experience with others and gain some kind of grasp on the perplexing human condition. Obviously this requires that we ask some difficult questions of ourselves and our surroundings, and sometimes that means wallowing in the depths of painful emotions just to understand them. And sometimes one gets stuck down there because it feels more real to relate these truths to others, despite looking self destructive and miserable from the outside. And I believe there’s something noble about that, even if it is masochistic.
Finally, do I think that I’m cursed and all relationships end up going south because of some latent desire to sabotage myself? Well, I’m not a psychiatrist, but my gut tells me yes.
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