why write, and why this much?

maybe it’s because someone — many someones — told me there would be a dip productivity in post-tenure and im trying to capture whatever comes out whenever it chooses to do so for fear that it’ll be nothing but crickets and the sound of bad tv in the background (upcoming silent retreat aside)
or
because a semi-anonymous space to dump out and try out words is definitely less threatening than the alternative of public, over-evaluated writing that has been my reality of late. (besides, no one knows im really a dog pawing away at the keyboard.)
or
it may be that i have kept just so many thoughts in check for so long for the purposes of focusing and being productive that given the chance to breath, even just a little bit, they rush forth like over-excited cannon balls
or
perhaps, like suzi and sebald*, i simply can’t help myself.

writing mystifies… i wonder whether other modes of communication have a similar pull (hint: the answer is not no)…

* in the la times obituary of this writer, who came into his writerly identity later in life and died much too soon, the following is noted about sebald feeling compelled to write:
“I found a patch of my own,” Sebald told Reynolds. “It was a kind of therapy, self-therapy. I never thought it would take over, but you write one thing, and then you feel compelled to write another. It’s a kind of compulsive disorder.”
” Writing is quite painful,” he added. “There’s the odd chapter I can do in my sleep, but for the most part, I grind away with dogged persistence.”
i only became familiar with this writer in the past year, but each time i think of his death — and perhaps especially as i continue to live with his words, both in his composed fiction and in his responses during interviews and other dialogues — my throat tightens up and i feel the warm embrace of a strangely generous melancholia.
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3 Responses to why write, and why this much?

  1. It is a retreat, writing, isn’t it, Sabonseine? Love this and the penultimate post. I need a nice cup of hot chocolate and no children to read it properly 🙂 You write beautifully: thank you for your comment today.

  2. sabonseine says:

    a retreat for sure, as both site and practice. your writing is a lovely source of inspiration so your words about mine feel especially meaningful. thank you. hope you enjoy your hot chocolate 🙂

  3. Lesley says:

    or because writing is finding/making yourself and your intellectual interests…and sabbatical provides an unparalleled space to think through where you want to go in your next seven years, that delicious and delirious sense of freedom…

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