I’ve always fancied myself to be a creative person. A reader from a young age, I wrote my first “novel” in the fifth grade. I won prizes for my short stories in high school. I went to graduate school for creative writing, and I write for a living today.
For a long time, though, writing was something I had to do—as Maya Angelou once said, “There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you.”—but it wasn’t necessarily something I enjoyed.
You see, I bought into the myth of the suffering artist. I thought great art could only come from a place of pain. I identified heavily with Hemingway when he said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
I conveniently forgot that Hemingway killed himself, which is the most destructive act anyone can ever achieve.