There is the theory that artists are a bit mad–that there is a higher preponderance of creativity in those with mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder or depression. That the madness fuels the art.
That may or may not be the case. I’m starting to realize there is another underlying factor that ties good writers together. I’m not talking about famous New York Times bestselling authors. Some of these authors have this bragging right. But I’m talking about good, thoughtful, provocative, nuanced writers. Writers that make you think. Writers that change the way you think. Writers that touch your soul. Writers that change your world. Writers that put words to feelings your gut or heart feel.
These writers are resilient. Oftentimes we hear of humble beginnings, struggles, traumas, chaos in their upbringing. It is these people who overcome tragedies and find meaning in life events and pain and suffering. They carry the wounds softly, and transcend the scars to offer wisdom and compassion and a soft place to land. There is Beauty and Truth in this resiliency of the human spirit.
These writers are Honest in their Truth. They bear their embarrassed, unsure souls to the world. They know that fears grow in the dark shadows, so they turn their soft underbellies bravely to the light to show the world that we all have these similar soft underbellies. These bellies that quake with laughter and shake with sharp sobs and get tied up in knots of anxiety and fear. There is Grace in this authenticity.
These writers are resolved with fortitude to soldier through this hard life. They refuse to stay down because they see the beauty in these lives filled with tears and screams and losses and celebrations. They recognize the healing power of connections, so they use their pains and losses and gains and triumphs to remind us that we are more similar than different.
These writers are wise in understanding that even when they felt so alone at their lowest points, they know they are not alone, we are all here together. This wisdom buoys us when we feel alone and fragile and raw and shaken. These words beckon lonely and broken souls to join in empathy and compassion and a spiritual connection.
One might say it’s pure madness to not connect with grace and beauty. Perhaps the art of life is what keeps us all grounded. And these writers, their brush and canvas are keystrokes and paper. These writers, with their art of transforming pains and sorrows and faults into art. These writers, they own their stories. They live these stories instead of trying to live someone else’s story. Or society’s expectation of the story. I hope to be such a writer when I grow up.