An Ode to All the Drafts I’ll Never Publish

ear Unfinished Blog Posts,

This post is dedicated to you — all 83 of you patiently waiting on the back end of my WordPress site begging to be released into the world. I’m sorry to be the barer of bad news, but that day will never come. A few years ago, I would have proudly published every single one of you. It would neither have cost me time nor sweat, blood nor tears. Because back then, I was a slave to my Muse, always keeping pace with my flight of ideas.

When ideas came pouring, my rain catcher was ready. I ensured no drop touched the ground and no words of wisdom were wasted. Despite where I was or what I was doing, I heeded every call to write — pen to napkin in my college cafeteria during lunch, pencil to margins in the pages of pristine books. I walked around New York City rhythmically tapping poetic verses into my notes app on my iPhone. And I typed endlessly when my computer was near.

But what I loved most was writing recklessly in my oversized art book. Paint, pen, watercolor pencil, chalk, you name it. Inspired words and symbols channeled through every medium. I wrote code — secrets from the Universe only real Intuitives could decipher. An over-stimulated electrical grid, my predominantly anglophone brain accessed languages I learned in my youth. I could write poetry in Spanish and some words in French. Sometimes words in these languages would came more easily to me than English ones.

Each multi-lingual message had an urgent meaning. Even if the letters were illegible or crossed out, the aesthetic of the page as a whole was esoteric. With the guidance of the Muse, I would glue any magazine or newspaper cutting that spoke to me. Erasure became a form of speech as I enhanced or effaced the printed characters to create new phrases. Colors and textures accompanied the pages as I cut and collaged, pasting tinsel and foil between words. If I were still in this altered state of heightened creativity, my 83 unfinished blog posts would have made their way to my Book. I would print, tear, highlight, dye and reconfigure them until the Muse was satisfied.

Even in my stability, I believe my Bipolar Book is a work of art, but not the capital “A” kind. Thinking that I’m not a great writer is actually a sign that I am stable. I tend to underestimate myself rather than believe that I am the Muse herself. Alas, I am not the Muse. This becomes very clear when I descend from my altered state.

When I am stable, I miss the Muse’s messages as I am not always able to answer her call. When I try to catch the droplets that fall from the sky without warning, they slip through my fingers. My rain catcher is almost always out of reach. I can still get a glimpse of the flurry of ideas as they hurry by. They rush towards me when I can feel the blood pumping through my veins as I dance or ride my bike.

These inspired thoughts whisper sweet nothings in my ear as I gaze in awe at the rising moon in the night sky. Most of all, they love to follow me into the shower. The thoughts are particularly tickled by warm water washing down my back, loosening the tense muscles in my shoulders and neck. If only I could commit each bright idea to memory, instead they leave my mind as soon as I step out the tub.

Sometimes, remnants of these brilliant thoughts stick with me giving me the opportunity to open my WordPress app and pin them down from out of the clouds. I write a clever title and maybe a word or two to jog my memory for later when I have time to flesh out my ideas. But by the time I am ready to write a longer piece, the magic wears off. I look at my notes and I do not remember what was so brilliant about them. Or I get the clever joke, but I wonder how it is supposed to turn into 500 words worth reading.

Hence, here is the obituary for all the draft posts I will never publish. R.I.P. Hypergraphia, the symptom of mania that creates an infinite well of ideas and the uncontrollable desire to write them all down. I am sure some of the 83 ideas will make their way back to me. But I am not manic, I have not been in that state for a while.

Now, writing is not as euphoric or easy. It’s certainly a tougher road to follow, but it’s rewarding work. So, here’s to the slow grind — the artist’s way out of addictive mania that tells us we cannot produce if we are not in an elevated state. I am no longer in service to the Muse who would have me believe I was some kind of Genius when I was enchanted by her spell. Instead, I honor the discipline, the daily practice of writing, the work that brings us back to center and shows us our way home.

With Deep Gratitude,

Image Description: A message in a glass bottle floating in a body of water illuminated by the sunshine and textured by rainfall.

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