As early as my preteen years, when I was a little girl, I had difficulty to freely express my feelings, to talk about them. Maybe because of my character or my upbringing. I lived in a small village and everyone knew everyone else. And I was afraid that people would laugh at me. What others would think or say was what worried me on most days. So at the end of the day, I used to write down my thoughts and feelings only to tear up the piece of paper before I went to bed.
I did this not because as William Blake, who burned most of his own work, said:
“I should be sorry if I had any earthly fame, for whatever natural glory a man has is so much detracted from his spiritual glory. I wish to do nothing for profit. I wish to live for art. I want nothing whatever. I am quite happy.”
I did it because I didn’t want anyone to know how I felt about certain things. And mostly because I didn’t want to be caught and made fun of. In high school I tried to write about everyday life around me and about what bothered me most. I was berated by my teacher. “Why can’t you write a simple story, like a love story or something like everyone else does?” he would say. And I didn’t write about what I really wanted to write about for a long time after that.
What I didn’t know then was that people like my teacher have a name in society. Julia Cameron calls them Crazymakers. And that they are destructive to creative power. Fearful of my teacher’s criticism, nervous and full of self-doubt, I stopped writing my heart out. Instead I wrote what was required of me, or at least what would make him stop criticizing me in front of the whole class. And that hurt.
I still shudder when I think back to those lost years. Of how crushed I felt and how I continued to destroy what I wrote even after I was done with school.
Martha Graham writes:
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.”