So a writer once told me.
There is no denying the wisdom of this concept. Yet time and again I find I cannot follow this advice. My ideas arrive so fleeting that I feel I must immediately grasp hold and pull down with all my might to keep them from drifting away. A diaphanous thought on paper exists, at least, but a weak thought conceived and never born miscarries, and is as if it never was. So I toil at endless shards, beginning after beginning, piece after piece, little completed, nothing robust.
‘How can it be so difficult?’ you ask. Don’t scribble furiously in the notebook, don’t open the blank document and let your fingers fly. Simply refrain.
But are words so easy to muzzle? The secret you had resolved to keep utterly private, the unkind thing you were determined never to say aloud—these things fly from our tongues like bats disturbed in caves. Keeping silent when you want to speak, not expressing the things you wish so much to share—it is a supremely grueling task. The suppression of language is no mean feat. It is not merely a choice to remain passive—it is an active decision, one that often requires superhuman strength. Words tumble about in your head, rearranging themselves endlessly, beating against the sides of their cage, begging, crying to be freed. Only with intensity of purpose, with undiluted focus, can the words be kept inside.
Words of every medium yearn to be liberated, to live unfettered and dance in the space they exist to fill. But sometimes they must be quashed. It is a task often performed with a tear—but always with a greater goal in mind.