Guilty as charged. But of what?
We are all guilty of something. Some of us hide a dirty secret; some are guilty of fibbing to save a friend’s feelings, others might be guilty of actual crimes or heinous acts. For even others, the thought of owning their guilt is so terrifying, they point the finger of blame at anyone, other than themselves.
But what about guilt as the propeller to action?
This morning I read Stoner’s response to the daily prompt, before I’d even discovered the word prompt, and was struck by the thought-provoking words. You can read it here. Equally, I was inspired by Stoner’s use of an Albert Camus quote, ‘A guilty conscience needs to confess. A work of art is a confession.’ This made me think about my own manuscript and the reasons behind my need to get that story out. The need to tell my version of that chunk of my life is tremendous, and maybe guilt, as well as regret, has been a propeller behind it. This could certainly be why my fingers fly over the keyboard, words coming quickly and forcefully. It’s been a catharsis. There have been times when it’s been like picking at a scab and making myself bleed again. There have been times when I have thought to myself that my navel-gazing is too much, and to ‘pull my socks up’ (a fave saying of my mum’s throughout my childhood) and get on with life.
But last week, I received a morsel of good news that gave me the impetus to keep going. That even if the writing is fuelled by self-indulgence, or I am guilty of hidden agendas behind it, it’s absolutely fine. Writing is writing. Art is art.
Do your thing people, whatever it is you need. We each have to be able to look in the mirror and face ourselves.