Celinda Bickner

Honestly, I have no idea why I write. Some of what I have written I haven’t shown to anyone. I think it would be too embarrassing and too revealing to share some of what I wrote down. When I part with old injuries I surround them with fiction and dialogue, then I assign them a caretaker. A character, nothing like myself, is created to protect the injured words and tell the story with strength or sometimes just enough weakness so they can be understood. Perhaps I write to expose these little bits of pain to the sunlight so they might heal.

Most have a quote from Ernest Hemingway that they identify with. I am no different. “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” I found this iconic quote some years ago when I was much younger. As young people do, I thought I had stumbled on some piece of wisdom that no one else understood. I thought I was the only one who felt this way. I was wrong of course and this revelation led me to find many other things I took for fact that were not. Most often there are at least a few other people who think and feel the same as we do. I didn’t realize this was the case. I truly thought I was alone in my thinking and therefore unworthy of any real understanding. Perhaps I write to show others they are not alone, and their thinking has not made them unique to the point of exclusion.

Dialogue chatter and plot information run through my mind constantly. The thing I want most is time. I struggle to quiet the chatter of my imaginary characters while still spending quality time with my living ones. That may be the secret that no one wants to share. It’s not your blood that drips to the page when you write it’s the blood of those who’s chatter won’t be silenced. The bit of crazy that fuels the creative mind needs an outlet. Perhaps I write to find balance and quiet.

One lazy Saturday, years ago when I had idle time, I watched a movie. The title was Remember Me. One part of the plot was about a character that had committed suicide. It slapped me in the face right where I sat. That experience was shared by my family, and we had been trained never to speak of it. This was supposed to make it easier for everyone to go on with their lives but it didn’t. Here somebody had written about suicide, and then they made a movie with that scene, and they released it for everyone to see. I was stunned. Something about watching that scene freed me to write about whatever I wanted to. It was a small and otherwise insignificant moment in cinema history, but it was exactly what I needed to see so I could speak. Perhaps I write so my characters can scream.

Celinda Bickner