When I was younger I was able to write much more quickly. I was more in-tune with the connection between writing and my emotions (as well as the emotions of others). It was always interesting for me to share my poetry or prose with others, as I would find that the words on the page would resonate with them in surprising ways. Back then, I used to write to hide. My readers, on the other hand, would read to reveal.
What my readers would find within the writing was a small secret. No matter how much I wanted to hide, I also wanted to be found, so I would leave clues, hints and pointers. A word here or there, an exposed nerve. What I was searching for, through my writing, was an authentic reaction, and this too, was what my readers were intent on discovering.
Back then it was easier in a way. It was easier to write and shy away from responsibility. It was easier to claim that the writing was separate from the writer.
But then a hollowness fell over my words. I found that my writing began to lose some power and that the energy that had driven it was missing. I still wrote often, thinking that strength would return. I turned my hand to plays, to short stories and to articles, and while they were "clever", they would only sometimes approach the full force of emotional engagement. Clearly I was burnt out.
When I came back to writing after a short break I was surprised to find a shred of authenticity in a page of one of my plays. It was funny, because I remembered what was going on when I wrote those particular words. It was frightening, because those words seemed to hit me in the chest. It was sobering because I knew, now, what it would take to write.
I had discovered the secret of my secret.