Some person named D.W. Winnicott said “Artists are people driven by the tension between the desire to communicate and the desire to hide.” My embarrassment at quoting a person I do not even know of is paled in comparison with my shock at how true the statement is. On the one hand, I am shy. On the other, the truth is super important almost to the exclusion discretion. Then I want to share all the things! Other times I wonder what right almost do I have to say anything. I bet many famous people wished they had just kept their mouths shut, worked on their own problems and left the publicity to those with a clean record and actual ability. I’ve said before that I’m too cowardly to have committed epic crimes but just not qualified to proclaim much of anything. I need to choke on old, dry books, fatten dozens of woodchucks, fill up a few dumpsters of ugly paintings, smoke up the kitchen a hundred times and generally actually become expert at something the hard way. Then I can feel good about what I wrote even in the sober moments.
I guess the famous writer never said “Write drunk, edit sober.” People are scandalized probably because of the puritanical fear of alcohol. Maybe they need to stop being so lame and juxtapose the above words with those of a meloncholy Irish poet in a kind of syllogism.
William Butler Yeats: “The problem with most people is that they have to drink to get drunk.”
Nobody: “Write drunk, edit sober.”
Me: “When the riotous, drunken fit is upon you, having nothing to do with mortal wine but rather a muse’s whimsy, say what flows into your mind. Post it as the night wanes, for that is when the mood is apt to strike. When sunlight uncovers the shame of what you have done, reread it with a critical eye, which comes naturally at this time. It may need a lot of alterations, additions and omitions. Don’t give into the temptation to delete it entirely.”