It often crops up as a cringy movie scene. The artist “expresses themselves,” dancing naked across a canvas or hurling themselves at their art, releasing the muse by flailing their arms and waggling their toes and hollering to the heavens.
And behold: Art is made.
Maybe that works for painting.
It doesn’t work for writing.
This is what happens when a writer flails:
Writing with passion is like pulling fingernails out of your eyelids: painful and confusing.
But writing with misery wrapped around your throat?
There are some ironic benefits to being an irritable and miserable person. Take it from me.
One of them is that it’s much easier to be grateful for the small things. And I mean, really small.
Like, how there wasn’t a line for the checkout, and they had some of the bread I like left. Or that the stupid compost bag didn’t break when I stretched it over the bin’s lip like it usually does. Or that it wasn’t raining on my run when it looked like it might. Or that there was 30¢ off my favourite hot sauce. Shit, even mayonnaise was on sale. That was a great shop.
We live lucky lives, and most of us have many big things to be grateful for.
But the small things are often much easier to see.