It is my belief that, as a writer, you have to be observant of everything. For me, people-watching strongly influences my writing process. While people-watching, I’m picking up on context clues in conversations, nonverbal communication or body language as well as dreaming up various scenarios and their potential outcomes. During the course of observing life, its’ wonders, and complexities, something will happen, like finding myself attracted to someone. If I’m in deep creative mode, I can detach myself from the surface-level attraction and use it as a muse, of sorts. That’s my way of making sure nothing is discarded from life’s observations. But then, there’s this not-so-often situation when I find myself unable to shake the attraction because it goes deeper than an initial magnetism. Yes, there’s a component of intrigue that draws me even closer to the person, igniting a desire in me to investigate their inner workings. That’s when I have to admit that I’m officially ‘crushing’. I call these instances ‘beautiful distractions’.
Let’s face it, as humans, we desire to be connected to each other. It’s how we sustain, really. All of these external pursuits of living such as our dreams and goals are not complete until we have someone who can share in their revelations and manifestations. Yet, at the same time, there is a period in life when adding an intimate Somebody to your life can be challenging, especially if you’re compassionate about making sure they receive the sensuality and connection that they need. So, it’s just best to keep them at a distance….or is it? That is the question that I’ve been pondering for quite some time, now. For many years, I believed that it was a good idea to leave it all alone until I’m in a better place to manage an intimate affair. I do not abide by this anymore. I’ve made some adjustments. As I found myself being so withdrawn from any kind of intimate contact, I saw my work suffering. It was about two years ago that I realized crushing and creating were connected.
It’s not a good idea to dam up your emotionality for the sake of your creative work, after all, our emotions, as writers, often drives our work. How believable would our characters be if we detached our emotions from them? In my writing, I link the emotions from distinct experiences to the characters and story; for instance, in penning a line like, ‘At first kiss, the taste of forever was in his mouth’, that came from somewhere within me, whether it is an imagining or a memory. In my opinion, writing is an endeavor in vulnerability anyway, as Ernest Hemingway stated, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Shange, one of my favorite writers, often mentions the poems written to & from lovers in her works.
In evaluating how to effectively crush while creating, I’m learning more about myself as a woman and a lover. It’s pretty exciting shit. The only thing is, I have to make sure the man I’m crushing on understands what I’m doing when I send a mushy, steamy ass poem to him, or else, he could potentially think I’m parched, which is beyond being thirsty. Unfortunately, in this current climate when a mere ‘hello’ can be deemed ‘thirsty’, we can never be too sure. It’s a sad world, in that way. We must change that. But, I digress. The bottom line, here, is that I’m expressive. I’m a writer, for God’s sake, which is perhaps the most expressive art form ever (I’m biased, of course). I sing songs I love very loudly. I commit to memory lyrics that speak to me. I dance when the groove hits me. I, sometimes, yell joyously, when I’m feeling good. I laugh loudly. I moan when I make love. If there’s any part of my life that is restricted from expression, the other areas of my life suffer as well. I cannot afford that, not as an artist or a woman. So, instead of shunning, distancing myself from the attraction because I’m trying to focus solely on my work, I have to incorporate it into my creative process, perhaps use it as a way to escape when writing starts wearing on me.
Of course, my crushing is not done in vain. I am hoping to seal the deal, in some way. Here’s where reality steps in because I cannot control the outcomes in life as I can in my writing. To complicate the matter, I have to ensure that the outcome does not overly affect my work. That’s a topic for another post, I think, because the end results of crushing could potentially materialize in new work (and it usually does). My point is that I’m not crushing on a man just so I can take a break & find a way to let off some sensual steam, but instead, I am seeking that man who will compliment my purpose in life. With each crush, I want to explore the possibility of him being the one, yet, I have to accept the end result. Hopefully, it’s favorable for me but, if not, at least I said how I feel. Right, Rhian?