One of the common theories about writing that I disagree with is that: the mind of anyone who ‘writes’ is a terrible place. A meme to this effect confuses me whenever it surfaces on my timeline. To quote it,
“You write so well. The inside of your brain must be a terrible place!”
While it may be right that sadness prompts a better thought process than numbing happiness, and everything sounds extra poetic when infused with melancholy. It might be an effective mood to write but to assume that all writers are people with terrible minds filled with pain and suffering is a gross misunderstanding.
There are a lot of reasons that might make one write. The first and foremost is the love for the language. Anyone who has read good books and loves the language will want to write, to give a concrete form to their thoughts and to revel in the beauty of the language they’re writing in.
A lot of different factors influence one’s writing, and this is not about the skillset they possess. The urge to write might also come because the ‘writer’ has something to say, some topic over which they want to express their opinion on. And sadness is but one emotion that might color the words pouring out from the proverbial writer’s pen. There are a lot of emotions, the strongest of which might prompt a person to write a beautiful piece that is beyond compare.
Understanding the fact that all writers are not sad people is a crucial thing. The assumption that writers are sad people because their words are profound and powerful stems from one single popular practice. Romanticising chronic sadness and glorifying such a draining emotion into something beautiful is a good chance to revel in the grey bubble. It is a justification that allows for sadness and pain to be called beautiful and powerful.
Describing sadness as something romantic and beautiful is a way to use that as an excuse. Writers write because they love the language, and because they have something they want to say. Some words are powerful and moving because they are heartfelt and might resonate with another person very effectively because they are relatable.
I write for a lot of reasons, but unless absolutely called for, I try not to infuse my words with pain or sadness, which are, in a way, very private emotions. Writing is seldom a tool used for venting, because I am of the opinion that strong feelings color the words into different meanings than would normally be obvious. A perpetual sense of melancholy is a painful thing to maintain, and draining in the long run. Writing with that in mind is like driving a long nail onto a wooden plank. The nail maybe removed, but the impression remains.
So every time someone calls my mind a terrible place, I am going to wonder why people want to romanticize pain to an extent where they think calling someone’s mental makeup as disturbed is a genuine compliment they are paying. It is never a compliment, even if the intentions are good. On the contrary, the moment you try to praise someone’s ability as a byproduct of their mind’s imbalance, it is a veiled insult. Sad people can be writers. But not all writers are sad people.
*Hagrid End Rant*