If you wish to live, you must speak out. You must express yourself. You must explore your feelings. You must create, and do so publicly, to survive.
I don’t mean this in a literal sense, about attempting to do these things as a profession (although God bless you, if you can manage it), nor am I speaking about simply about artistic expression, although that’s definitely part of it.
I’m talking about that intangible thing that spurred you to create in the first place; the voice that pushes you to stay in on Friday nights and compels you to commit “just one more paragraph” to paper before calling it a day. I’m talking about the narrative that’s welling up inside of you, right now — begging, demanding to be told.
Not everyone lives this way, you know. There’s a whole populace out there who goes through the machinations of their day to day without worrying about the legacy of their endeavors or whether or not their voice will be heard. They savor their victories and brood over their failures within the quiet confines of their own internal monologues. They are not like you. They made different choices, in their lives.
But it’s no longer a choice for you, is it? You could no more fall silent than you could cease to breathe. There is something about the human condition that you must share, things you must say. Like a sailor bailing water in heavy seas, these reflections come to you as quickly as you can cast them out into the world.
It is no coincidence that you will feel this way most strongly when you are confronted by the life that has twisted its way out of your grasp — when you a catch a glimpse of someone you once loved on Facebook or remember a long-lost friend; when the bills are piling up and your deadlines seem insurmountable. Those are the moments when you will feel the siren-call of self-expression most acutely, because the only way to quiet those feelings is to share them with the masses; because there is a thirst within you that only the accolades of casual acquaintances and the praise of strangers can quench.
You may be poor. You may be tired. You may be alone. But you have a voice.
And you must express yourself, lest you drown.