“If you keep writing as you’re writing, will you accomplish the things you want to accomplish in the rest of your life?” his therapist asked him.
He thought about that for a long time and finally, reluctantly, quietly, answered, “no.”
“I know we’ll talk about how I can modify my writing to fit my life, but I am more interested in fitting my life to my writing. When I have money, I go out in the evenings to writer gatherings and then I’m less vulnerable to feeling ostracized in Orthodox life. I have my writer community. When I have no money, I can’t drive anywhere, and I just go to shul. It’s free.”
“If you died tomorrow,” his therapist asked, “would you have accomplished what you wanted in life?”
“No,” he said. “I would not. That possibility fills me with ache, with loss. Those are the themes I’m driven to write about. I can write about happy things but they’re not what I vibrate to and therefore they have no power. In many senses, I have no choice but to write about what moves me — loss. Some people would call it negativity. Whatever you call it, that’s what moves me. That’s what gives me the energy to write. Writing is exhausting. Unless I’m moved, my writing doesn’t pack a punch and has no effect on the world.”
“I haven’t accomplished what I wanted in life. I haven’t married and I haven’t had children, but there are moments after I’ve poured everything out in a blog post that I lie back exhausted, having left everything I’ve got on the field of dreams. I’ve poured it all out. I’ve gone as deep as I can. I’ve been as honest as I can. I’ve given everything I can. And in those moments, I feel a deep sense of doing what I was put on earth to do. I’ve surrendered to my task, no matter what the consequences to my life.”