smashing your toe with a hammer

A commenter on the previous post accused me of being a cliché: “the tortured writer”. That may be a fair cop. Perhaps I am a cliché. If that is the case, it isn’t really my fault. I am what I am. I’ve suffered from depression since I was a teenager. I can’t cure that, but writing is a sort of therapy for me. I write more when I’m depressed or angry or even ill. It is the writing that gets me through.

The point of the question, though, seemed to be lost. I guess what I was getting at was that old nugget “write what you know” and asking something about life experience. I’m not a happy person. The things I write reflect that (often). If I was happy, balanced and even could I write about the ugly side of life well? It’s like this: if someone who has never been in love writes about being in love, how likely is it that their depiction will fit with the experiences that the rest of us have had?

What I was asking was: do you have to be what you write? Don’t you have to live a life to truly write about life?

Just as with the other questions I’ve been posing, I know my answers. I am interested in yours.



  1. folks who write stuff tend to be empathy parasites and connection whores. we leech to the visceral and feel around unlivable insides and write it knowable for whoever cares to read and detach on to the next host. and everything that’s anything is fucking cliche.
    that’s mine.


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