That’s something Chuck Knudsen used to say, and this is what he meant:
For the past few months, I’ve been laying low and making things. It turns out that when I’m in a really dark place, I can’t write. I mean, I can, but nothing that’s honest or meaningful.
Even now, I can’t describe the Really Dark Place. It’s a spiritual abyss. It’s a frozen star out in the furthest reaches of space. It is the slime mold that forms over an expired pudding cup. It is all of these things, yet none of these descriptions communicate its wretchedness.
Most people have seen the Really Dark Place. They tend not to spend too much time there because, frankly, they have too much to do. They have homes or significant others or kids or stable careers, etc. Some people even have all of those things at the same time, so they have many reasons to stay out of the Really Dark Place; they latch on to these items to pull themselves out. All of those items listed, however, are beyond my reach. As such, I’m left in a pickle. I have to find another way out.
This is me curled up in the Really Dark Place:
This is me clawing at its earthen walls:
This is me nearly escaping:
“I am going to die here,” I think.
So I put my head down and try to fill what time is left.
Nothing I make has any market appeal.
And most of these items just live in a drawer.
But I keep making them anyway.
They don’t seem to. That’s okay, though. No one can love them as much as I do, anyway.