ON WRITING – Conveying the Bad and the Ugly

Reflection from June 24, 2011 @ 30 Yrs 


I had a bad day yesterday.  Mostly I was just tired I think.  But I met with my psychologist about my writing and it didn’t go real well.  I mean, it actually went just as I had expected, but I guess I had hoped for better than that.  Nothing wrong with hoping though.

He was actually quite critical.  Whether the criticism was constructive, I have not yet decided.  To be honest, I think he was totally turned off by the crude language and had a hard time seeing past that.  I think he found the whole thing rather disturbing and perhaps is concerned for me, that I would put that part of myself out there for others to see.

I understand and appreciate his concern, but it is also a big part of the problem.  It’s so fundamentally looked down upon in our society to show this “ugly” side of yourself, such that most people who preview it, I think, will say that “no one’s going to want to read this”.  But what do they know?  And what do I know?  I mean, there’s just no way to tell.

So yeah, maybe people won’t want to read about how ugly a person can be.  But maybe they will.  Maybe they do want to understand.  Maybe they do want to know they’re not the only one who has this dark, ugly side.  And maybe they will see the beauty in it that Dr. Godfreid so obviously cannot.

Dr. Godfreid asked me where I was going with this “book” or, essentially, what the point was if not a happy ending.  Good question.  And I don’t have the answer to it quite yet, except to say, I do not necessarily believe that a “happy ending” in the traditional sense is what is needed or warranted in this situation.  I guess a happy message at the end, tra-la-la, life is wonderful now, I am perfect now, the medications work, the doctors help, tra-la-la…I guess that might help get through the rather depressing and disturbing parts of the book.  But I don’t know, I don’t think that is what I want.

I mean, it’s not that I want to depress people and make them feel uncomfortable for no purpose.  But then, I suppose the answer is that, I have a purpose, and I don’t want to dilute it with a stupid sappy happy ending.  Things are not perfect now.  Yes, they’re better than they were.  That is absolutely true.  But nobody ever goes through life without struggle.  So why should I portray that I take my medications and see my doctors and now my life is perfect?!  It’s not!

I still struggle with the medications, most notably because they make me numb and blah and boring much of the time if the mix and dosages are not just perfectly right.  I now understand better why people don’t want to take them.  I can see the benefit in not taking them now, to an extent.  I can see an even greater benefit in experimenting in dosages to allow for more feeling, but to still keep my feet on the ground and my body above it.

All I can tell you is that my appointment with Dr. Godfreid, and what he had to tell me, irritated me.  I mean, of course I want people to receive my work well.  I want them to see the meaning and the value in it, and to appreciate it.  I want those things.  But I have to accept that everyone will not feel the same way.  Some will hate it; some will hate me because of it.  That just is what it is.  But there will be love too.  So is the hate worth finding the love?  Isn’t that just the never-ending question?

Is the risk of happiness worth the risk of failure?  I think so.  But we’ll see in the end.  If failure should come, will it destroy me?  Or will it make me stronger and lead me ultimately to an even greater success?  I just can’t believe that there is any worth in fearing failure to such an extent that it makes dreams not worthwhile.  I don’t want to live my life that way.

17 thoughts on “ON WRITING – Conveying the Bad and the Ugly

  1. Pingback: ON TIME — Building My Dream By 33 | THE CULTIVATION OF BEAUTY

  2. Pingback: ON DREAMING BIG — It IS a Choice, Actually… | THE CULTIVATION OF BEAUTY

  3. I love your writing and your honesty! I too find myself all over the board in regard to my writing. I originated my blog to be more consistent in finding a place to write. My book that I am almost finished with has been on hold for a while. Today was the day that I was going to roll up my sleeves and start up again.
    Funny people don’t realize that you don’t just write a book. It is an emotional journey. Unless you are a writer with a formula like Nicholas Sparks or Danielle Steel etc… It is a series of writing non stop and then rereading and yanking out and being stumped at a place so you write around it until you come to the end and wonder exactly where you want to go because after all the ending is what stays with the reader long after they have closed the book.
    But it is easier to come here and vent or inspire daily! And as you grow your followers even if one person gets you each day… it is all about the connection! So not sure how anyone can judge that!

    • Yes that all is so true. This book for me has been a labor of love and it’s all just been in my mind for the most part right now!! I mean, most of the writing is done, but then the “putting together” of that writing has been a nightmare!! It’s like I don’t even know where to begin, so that’s kind of why I started doing this blog too, to get myself focused. So we’ll see if that happens hah ;0) The validation is nice though for sure.

  4. Krrielle Adelshine:

    I may not be an expert as Dr Godfried, but as an ordinary person, I do appreciate and like your writing. You write to the point, directly dealing with the target topic rather than going tangentially, something I like most. You expose your readers to the world yet unknown to them, and while doing so, you enlighten them (by skillfully removing the utter darkness of ignorance in their lives.) To me, again as ordinary as it can get in the areas of mind analysis or understanding art and literature (vis-à-vis scientific topics), I do like your writing. As regards to the language, nature of topics, whether they are good, bad and ugly, it is really in the eyes of beholder. What I perceive as the most beautiful may be regarded by experts such as Dr Godfried as the ugliest. Interestingly the world is a great mix of everything, and we simply cannot reject something that is outside our perception or conventional mindset. What’s more, the world is always evolving, it is never still, and the convictions of today may not be valid or even true tomorrow. It’s better not to be judgmental, because no one can claim to be the perfect one and/or the most beautiful. The feelings of appreciation, liking or disliking, considering something ugly and getting disturbed about it are all manifestations of our own inner feelings, of what we really are. As Hermann Hesse, one of my most favorite authors since childhood, said appropriately (and may be relevant here): “If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us.” You see, it’s all within us, and not outside in other person or her/his thinking and/or writing.

    My apologies for long e-mail (a good indication that I cannot make a good writer :-) ). Hopefully I have captured what I wanted to say. Last but not the least, your writing is powerful, and please continue with your reflections. Some day these thoughts will bring about a change. In my humble opinion, you are doing a great job – not just for yourself but for countless others, nameless and faceless infinite others, who do not have the voice or courage to speak up. Thanks for being around in the blogosphere, and make a great day.


      • Some of the excellent creations by Hermann Hesse are Siddhartha, Damien, Steppenwolf, Narcissus and Goldmund, The Glass Bead Game, and Gertude, just a few to mention. All these books are in German, and available as translations into English. I had posted my favorite quotes from these books in my blog every now and then. Hermann Hesse was a Nobel Laureate in literature (awarded Nobel prize for Magister Ludi or The Glass Bead Game), and a great writer in the area of contemporary philosophy then. Hope you get a chance to read any of these books.


        • Love, love, LOVE Philosophy! But in terms of priority based on my interests based upon what you’ve read of my writing…which would you recommend first? I’ve been itching for an amazon book order in any case :0)

              • Thanks Kyrrielleadelshine. I will surely feel comfortable and free to send you the links hereafter. I selected Damien, because it is a beautiful story, which in reality was a kind of search process that Hesse went through using reflections and psychoanalysis techniques by Carl Jung. He wrote it first under a pseudonym, and only later his identity as author was disclosed. It’s a great “coming-of-age” story and the young protagonist’s search of his true self, while finding the environment at odds and hime swimming against the tide, if you will. We often find struggling with the similar questions. Thought you may find this book interesting to read.

                Now I will be able to respond after three days, as I am awy for the weekend, with no access to computer. So I am so glad that I read your comments right away.

                Have a wonderful weekend, and I shall look forward to reading your excellent posts soon.

  5. i think that he was very wrong in his response and criticism of you and to you on this. as you have probably already experienced, people respect, listen and support your honesty and candid approach to your writing and you telling your story. i think that it is very brave to put ourselves out there, knowing not all will understand or even like us, and we have to accept that as okay, without any judgement of ourselves. this is what writers do. this is our nature. i’m happy you are doing better, which of us ever becomes perfect after all, the best we can do is work towards becoming the best person it is possible for us each to be. you are working towards that and that is a huge accomplishment in itself. if we always try to portray a happy ending, then we are not honest, and it paralyzes us, for that is not how life is. i applaud your honesty and strength. peace, beth


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