Why Emotional Excess is Essential to Writing and Creativity

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Why Emotional Excess is Essential to Writing and Creativity
– Anäis Nin

“Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them.”

I like to live always at the beginnings of life, not at their end. We all lose some of our faith under the oppression of mad leaders, insane history, pathologic cruelties of daily life. I am by nature always beginning and believing and so I find your company more fruitful than that of, say, Edmund Wilson, who asserts his opinions, beliefs, and knowledge as the ultimate verity. Older people fall into rigid patterns. Curiosity, risk, exploration are forgotten by them. You have not yet discovered that you have a lot to give, and that the more you give the more riches you will find in yourself. It amazed me that you felt that each time you write a story you gave away one of your dreams and you felt the poorer for it. But then you have not thought that this dream is planted in others, others begin to live it too, it is shared, it is the beginning of friendship and love.

[…]

You must not fear, hold back, count or be a miser with your thoughts and feelings. It is also true that creation comes from an overflow, so you have to learn to intake, to imbibe, to nourish yourself and not be afraid of fullness. The fullness is like a tidal wave which then carries you, sweeps you into experience and into writing. Permit yourself to flow and overflow, allow for the rise in temperature, all the expansions and intensifications. Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them. If it seems to you that I move in a world of certitudes, you, par contre, must benefit from the great privilege of youth, which is that you move in a world of mysteries. But both must be ruled by faith.

“No More Walls”

“I am an excitable person who only understands life
lyrically, musically,
in whom feelings are much stronger as reason.
I am so thirsty for the marvelous
that only the marvelous has power over me.
Anything I can not transform into
something marvelous, I let go.
Reality doesn’t impress me.
I only believe in intoxication,
in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me,
I escape, one way or another. No more walls.”

― Anaïs Nin

#2 (c) jkm 2015

#2 (c) jkm 2015

Anais Nin on Proust

a writer's word - day title sunday
Anais Nin on Proust
Created by Jk the secret keeper
Illustrations by j. kiley
Created 11th January 2014
Posted Sunday 23rd February 2014
A WRITER’S WORD

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Anais Nin

Anais Nin on Proust

If what
Proust said
is true,

that happiness
is the absence
of fever,

then I will
never know
happiness.

For I am
possessed
by a fever

for knowledge,
experience,
and
creation.

I think
I have
an immediate
awareness
in living

which is far
more terrible
and more
painful.

There is
no time
lapse,

no distance
between me
and
the present.

Instantaneous
awareness.

But it is
also true
that
when
I write

afterwards,
I see
much more,

I understand
better,

I develop
and
enrich.

I live
more
on time.

What is
remembered
later

does not
seem
as true
to me.

I have
such
a need
of truth!

It must
be
that need
of immediate
recording

which
incites
me
to write
almost
while
I
am
living,

before
it is
altered,

changed
by distance
or
time.

Marcel-Proust

Marcel Proust

Anais Nin Speaking with Henry Miller – Part Eight

a writer's word - day title sunday
Anais Nin Speaking with Henry Miller – Part Eight
Created by Jk the secret keeper
Illustrations by j. kiley
Created 11th January 2014
Posted Sunday 16th February 2014
A WRITER’S WORD

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Anais Nin

Anais Nin
Speaking with Henry Miller
Part Eight


I teased him.

Perhaps
all I have written
is untrue,

untrue
of June,

untrue
of me,

all illusion
and
delusion.”

“No,”
he said.

“Whatever
you see,

or

whatever
you do
is right.”

“Am
I
Not
the Idiot?”

“No.
you see
more,

you
just
SEE
more,”
said Henry.

“What you see
is there
all right.

Yes.
For the
first time
I see
some beauty
in it…”

“I cannot
express
tenderness,”
mused Henry.

“Only
extravagance.

Only
passion
and energy.”

Henry says,
“It is
quite clear,
of course,

that I
am
a
failure.”

“But I
don’t want
you to be.

I won’t
let you
be one.

I want
you
to write,

to live

and
be
recognized.”

Henry Miller

Henry Miller

Anais Nin Speaking with Henry Miller – Part Seven

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Anais Nin Speaking with Henry Miller – Part Seven
Created by Jk the secret keeper
Illustrations by j. kiley
Created 11th January 2014
Posted Sunday 9th February 2014
A WRITER’S WORD

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Anais Nin

Anais Nin
Speaking with Henry Miller
Part Seven

“How you
get at the core
of everything,”
said Henry.

“What feeling,”
he exclaimed,
while he read
the diary,

To sneer,
to rebel,
to revolt;

that has been
his only
work so far.

And not
to care.

To destroy
is easy.

When
we talked
once about
my writing
in the peace
of my house,

I said,
“Perhaps
you could
not work
with peace,

you need
excitement,
interruptions,
noise.”

“It would
be a
different
writing,”
said Henry.

Does he
want
the peace
and
delicacies

I am
seeking
to escape
from?

Does he
hunger
for gentleness
and
subtlety?

Will
he turn
around
and betray
all this,

destroy it?

Henry Miller

Henry Miller

Anais Nin Speaking with Henry Miller – Part Six

a writer's word - day title sunday
Anais Nin Speaking with Henry Miller – Part Six
Created by Jk the secret keeper
Illustrations by j. kiley
Created 11th January 2014
Posted Sunday 2nd February 2014
A WRITER’S WORD

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Anais Nin

Anais Nin
Speaking with Henry Miller
Part Six


“June
is evil,”

Fred said.
“June
is bad
for you.”

“She is
not bad
for you,
Henry,”

I said.
“Her lies,
her unnecessary
complications
as you call
them,

interest
the writer
in you.

Novels
are born
out
of conflict.

She is
so busy
living

that she
never
took time
to listen
to you,

to
understand
you.

June
will be
good
for your
novels
,

and
I will
be good
for you.”

june miller photo

June Miller

Anais Nin Speaking with Henry Miller – Part Five

a writer's word - day title sunday
Anais Nin Speaking with Henry Miller – Part Five
Created by Jk the secret keeper
Illustrations by j. kiley
Created 11th January 2014
Posted Sunday 26th January 2014
A WRITER’S WORD

anais-nin photo

Anais Nin

Anais Nin
Speaking with Henry Miller
Part Five

We were
both so
aware
of her
power

over
both
of us,

of
the
friendship
which bound
Henry
and me,

of
the friendship
which bound
me
to June.

When Henry
realized
that I
had
trusted him

because,
I
understood
him,

he said,
“What
penetration
you have,
Anais,

How
wise
you are.”

june miller photo

June Miller