I can say without shame that the “writer’s urge” is one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced. “The urge” is totally different from “the block”: the urge calls forth words and forms cohesive thoughts with ease, while “the block” puts a kind of intellectual embargo on my mind, where any kind of spark is mysteriously smote. With the writer’s urge, I feel powerful and independent as my back arches over my paper, my eyes focusing intently on it.
It’s the kind of itch that needs scratching. It’s also the kind of scratched itch that gives a lasting satisfaction: unless I strike my own words out, they are there to represent me and what makes me tick. I feel like I become some sort of divine being that rules over my own individuality, all-powerful in the creation and destruction in my own ideas. However, there’s a compromise for this power: in allowing my ideas to live, they take on their own struggle for existence, where they will inevitably meet their own challenges. They’ll be met with criticism, which can be ruthless and oppressive, where complaints of numerous fallacies erode the very fabric of what you thought was artistic and intelligent.
In receiving a critique of my writing, I try not to become offended. My thoughts represent me. You attack my words, you attack my sense of individuality. I wonder if that was how Tennessee Williams felt when critics put down his later works. Williams only wanted to try something new and thus expressed his self in a novel way. Alas, his creations were smothered by negativity, and he was lead into believing that he was a failure. It’s a tragedy when somebody thought that their own expression was a failure because somebody else thought that their expression lacked taste or left something to be desired.
An idea’s conception really is like childbirth: you painfully toil away at your craft for what seems like forever and then you make the final contraction, delivering your message to the world. The courage, the power to formulate these words is what I feel during “the urge.” An idea is planted inside my mind, and with growing excitement, I let it free as a part of me for you to see. I surrender any kind of protections I might have for my writing and this vulnerability allows it to be human, instead of being simple scratches on paper. I believe that writing will always be relevant for this reason: with the white flag that the author raises, we can see them in a way that we can’t in person, and we can appreciate all of their strengths and weaknesses without a face-to-face interaction.