The sun was rising. The horizon, tinted blue only minutes before, was growing lighter, its sleepy colour giving way to the warm wakeful pink of dawn. Within minutes the little light the sun was giving off had chased away the night and its evil and dreams, leaving a fresh start to those rising to take up whatever battles they had been fighting the day before. By mid-day the God-like sun would become vengeful, scorching the sidewalks and sending people running for their air-conditioning before even a minute was allowed for the sun to make their skin cancerous. But for the moment the sun was a friend of all, and those who rose up to meet it were glad for it.

In a house that needs no description on a lakefront that needs no description in a bed that needs to description a man known as Jason Salter stirred, he too about to meet the coming day. Pulling back the covers and sitting up, head in hands, Jason took note of the rays on light that had penetrated the blinds and were showing themselves off on the floor a few feet away from his own foot. He paused and looked at them sleepily for a minute, remembering how, years ago, a morning as bright as this meant that summer was coming, that soon all of his child-like troubles would be forgotten. He smiled as he remembered a time where summer meant more than just warmth-it was a release from all of his burdens. Now summer was merely just a word used to describe longer, hotter days-no release was given, no mind put to ease. What went on in summer occurred without fault in fall and winter and spring, year after year. But Jason couldn't complain. Life spent as a novelist working his own hours for himself wasn't exactly one that made each morning almost unbearable to face.

After doing a stereotypical waking-up routine involving yawning and stretching and whatnot, Jason stumbled down the hall to his kitchen. Opening the blinds over the back door of his house the sun that had teased him through his bedroom window now gave him a full greeting, enveloping his face in its warmth. Jason smiled to himself as he looked out over the fastness of the grassy hill in front of him, way down to the perfect splendor of the gentle lake and across to where the trees met the horizon on the other side. He took ten seconds to note how human beings had been blessed and was grateful for it, and took another five minutes to ponder how many other humans looked at the sun each morning and felt the same way. Because of this thought he felt righteous later as he sat down for his usual coffee, sitting and staring vacantly into his mug. Living alone in a big house was definitely a way to become acquainted with silence, so much so that the morning seems too early a time of day to complicate life with things such as music or news or any other form of noise other than the occasional wind through the open window. And with silence usually came thought, and thought was usually good if you were a novelist.

Finishing his coffee a good ten minutes later, Eric set about preparing himself for his commute to work, which consisted of him walking down the hall and going into the first room on the left. Though being alone in a big house working for himself provided such luxuries as being able to work in whatever attire he wanted, Jason felt that in order to be fully functional he needed to be dressed. As well, being what he considered a righteous and self-motivated man, he had set hours in which to write and to take a break and to eat lunch. He worked as many hours in a week as any office worker, with likely as much time spent goofing off or pulling out hair as any office worker. It was this structure that made him feel justified for the simplicity of his day, and also kept his friends from denouncing his chosen profession.

After a fairly quick shower Jason went into the now fully-lit bedroom and changed into his clothes. Grabbing the supplies he needed for the day- notebooks, floppy disks and coffee maker-he went to that first room on the left in the hall and closed the door behind him. The room, like everything else, was well lit, so much so that he decided it be blasphemous to shut the blinds and deny himself the enjoyment of this wonderful morning. Sitting sown at his state-of-the-art computer he turned it on. Waiting for it he looked around-to the lamp above his computer to the books, encyclopedias and dictionaries on the shelf behind him, to the wheels of his extremely comfortable and mobile chair to the sun outside. It seemed as if all was well in the world for a few minutes. And everything was, until he opened up the file on his computer in which his work-in-progress novel was. Scanning the last few pages to remind himself of where his train of thought was the night before, he realized that the last thing he needed was a sunny day. There on the page were dark, bitter thoughts, the result of a stressful, rainy day yesterday. He had to pick up where he left off, continue to probe the darkest depths of his heart and mind, rather than turn his thoughts to happier things like he so desperately wanted to. He knew there had to have been a hitch with this good day-some reason why he felt so happy and euphoric. This was why. He had forgotten the stresses from the day before for that first hour of consciousness. Now they were all back again, staring him in the face. Instantly the weight came back to his stomach, the clouds to his mind. He had to work through them-he had no choice. Sighing, he shook his head as he began to type.

Hours, coffees, and lunch later, it was three o'clock in the afternoon. Jason sat, head in hands, staring at the screen, He wasn't close to accomplishing his writing quota for the day. It seemed that with each paragraph he wrote something went wrong-his mind overruling his heart, his good ideas lost, his emotions that he wanted to keep inside and out of his mind taking him over all at once, leaving him to try and get them down one at a time in a way that made sense. Now he sat here, eyes trying hard to focus on the monitor, thoughts whirling around in the vortex of his head. Such as good day had been ruined by the fact that he had to drag up all of his emotions again and put them all down. Now everything about his life that had seemed so good this morning felt wrong. But he had no choice in the matter. He couldn't write a happy story-he needed no release from happiness. He needed to write stories filled with hardship and despair and angst-those were the feelings he needed to be rid of. On a day such as this where no bad feeling was to be felt, he couldn't just take the day off- the deadline was looming over his head. He had to press on. But why? Why was he forced to express himself for someone else? Why were his thoughts and his feelings and his stories put on a deadline by someone other than him? Why was someone able to take what he had poured all of his effort into, sit in a big office chair and read it over, figuratively tearing it apart with an editing pen? And why was that person, in turn, able to pass on his story to another person who would publish it and make money off of it even though they hadn't lifted so much as a finger to create it or even edit it? It made no sense. Nothing made sense. And Jason knew that when nothing made sense the only thing he could do was write. But he could not write in his story, not now. Be it ironic or not, now that he had dark feelings he couldn't put them into his work. He needed something new, something fresh. A few clicks on the mouse and he was staring at a blank "paper" on his computer screen. Without pausing for so much as a second, he began to write.

This is bullshit. It makes no sense. I have no idea where I figure in all of this. All I know is that I have to get up every morning and come here and sit down and go through these same motions with these same thoughts and words. Every day I have to take something from inside me and make it material. But why? I need to express myself, but not every day. Why was I ever fool enough to try and make a career out of expressing myself? To the inexperienced mind it seems stupid- doing something artistic with your life makes about as valuable a contribution as, well, nothing. Artists don't make the world go round. They don't harvest the food which feeds us. They don't mine the minerals that make our things. They don't generate the power that runs our lives. They don't lift a finger when it comes to society. They just sit around and pull something fickle out of their minds every once in a while and write it down or draw something on paper and colour it and say 'This here is art' and get paid millions and buy expensive clothes and expensive houses with other expensive and ridiculous pictures on their walls or books on their shelves. To anyone else art is useless.

But to me it is everything. I have to write to survive. I can't have any bad emotion inside of me, not one. As much as I try to be a man and hold it in, I can't. I can't tell anyone though, so what I do is write it down. Putting it on the page makes it real, almost as if someone else is telling me they're feeling the same way and it will all be fine. And to some it may be complaining or ranting and to others mind-blowing or genius, to me it is simply me. I have to write. It simply is who I am.

But I don't want to sit here and write about how other people view writing. I want to sit here and write about how I view writing. How something that I write that is a product of my thoughts and my emotions can be read by so many others and disregarded and not cared about. Even someone who could even have their life changed by what I write cannot fully understand the impact of it on me, whether they want to or not. What I write is a part of me, a part of my life, but to them, no matter how profound, it is still just pages, still a book, just a bunch of sentences and paragraphs that are important but at the end of the day don't ring out with feeling.

And I know it's the same for me, that when I pick up a book and read it I'm seeing the product of another person squeezing every last droplet of emotion from their heart and bleeding onto the page and wracking their brain for the most eloquent way to put something down to express exactly how they feel. But no matter how much I think about it and no matter how much it blows me away or brings me to my knees or hits me like a shotgun blast in the chest I still don't see things the way they do. I don't feel the way they feel. It's only human nature, but what is the point of telling someone how you feel when you know they don't understand, when you know that all it does is makes them think at best or makes for a conversation or something to take up their time at worst.

But at the same time how much of what that person writes is them, how much is how they feel? Whatever is felt by the heart must run through the mind before going to the outside world. And the mind takes this pure and simple form of expression and waters it down, making it sound elegant and profound and beautiful and making it fit into sentence structure within a paragraph within a story. You think that this must be how you feel, these words and this punctuation and the way you said this, but really, how much of it is how you feel and how much of it is how you think you feel? And how do you know? And why do you care?

And why do I care? Why do I sit here and think and wonder when anyone else who considers themselves to be a writer or a poet can write down anything and say that this is how they feel or how someone else would feel? Why can't I just write and sit back at the end of the day and say "Yep, that's that. That is exactly how I feel and how I could feel or should feel in this situation and this is a word-for-word account of what has been running through my mind for the past few days." And then why can't I submit it to my editor and let him tear it apart and make it sound good to him so it'll sell and make the company money and we'll all get paid?

I have no clue. I want to make a living out of this but I almost don't want to be famous. If it's anything like the music industry chances are if I sell a lot of copies of a book then it's too simplistic and crappy and everyone can read it because it's so damn accessible. Like Chicken Soup- something that touches a certain nerve in everyone and everyone buys it because of that. I don't know if this is my heart or my mind talking here, but even if I don't make a living out of this, even if I have to do the 9-5 thing with this on the side, I'd be happy if I was able to touch someone. Even if only a few people ever felt touched by what I wrote, if I could help them somehow in their life, my work would be done. I know what it feels like to be touched by a song or a story, to look up and realize that you're not alone in the way you feel, that someone else out there has felt or is feeling the exact same way and knows exactly how you feel. If I can do that for a few people, even if it is just one, I'll be happy.

I write because I can't avoid it, I publish it because I want others to see it, and the reason I am sitting here right now writing this is because I want to love it more than anything else. But whether I do or not doesn't matter. So long as someone out there can think of me and remember something I wrote and feel better about themselves and their lives, then I would have done things right.

Jason slowly finished typing and sat back, reading what he wrote. A smile crept across his face as he realized what he had done. This was what he had been looking for. This was that release-that time where all of a sudden his mind didn't exist and what he wrote came straight from his heart, describing exactly how he felt and wanted to feel. He shook his head as he wondered why he couldn't do it all the time. Saving his work, he turned off his computer and got up. It was just past five o'clock, quitting time for the day. He started to think about what he would eat for dinner, alone in his house, with the sun giving him its final kiss goodbye before the darkness and the loneliness that came with it set in. Looking out the window of his house over the lake once again, he started to feel like the way he had before-tired, frustrated, and depressed. Then suddenly his mind became as clear as the lake that he was staring at. Suddenly he realized that all of this-this feelings, these thought, and everything-were worthwhile. Because there was a chance that someone out there had a book of his at home, and whenever they felt overwhelmed by life and what goes on in it and feeling like thing will never change, they might remember something he wrote or even just start to read right then and there and realize that somewhere, a man felt exactly the same way as they did. It was that connection that made it all worthwhile.

Pulling away from the window, Jason smiled to himself as he shut the blinds. He no longer dreaded the darkness that would soon come. If so many others across the world could feel better by seeing how he had felt, then he could too.