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Why Men Write: Life, Death, Sex, and Soul

Why Men Write: Life, Death, Sex, and Soul

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Published by Jed Diamond
“It was a great mistake, my being born a man. I would have been much more successful as a sea gull or a fish. As it is, I will always be a stranger who never feels at home, who does not really want and is not really wanted, who can never belong, who must always be a little in love with death.”

--Eugene O’Neill, Long Day’s Journey into Night

This piece is inspired by Helen Black’s wonderful article, Why Women Write. She says, “It’s not like I’m not writing for men…but women have a certain way of conversing with each other.” And, of course, I’m not talking about why all men write. I’m just sharing some things about why I write that might resonate with others.
“It was a great mistake, my being born a man. I would have been much more successful as a sea gull or a fish. As it is, I will always be a stranger who never feels at home, who does not really want and is not really wanted, who can never belong, who must always be a little in love with death.”

--Eugene O’Neill, Long Day’s Journey into Night

This piece is inspired by Helen Black’s wonderful article, Why Women Write. She says, “It’s not like I’m not writing for men…but women have a certain way of conversing with each other.” And, of course, I’m not talking about why all men write. I’m just sharing some things about why I write that might resonate with others.

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Published by: Jed Diamond on May 02, 2010
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05/27/2013

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Eugene Gladstone O'Neil (Playwright) Creative Commons
Mourning Becomes Electra Creative Commons
 
Why Men Write: Life, Death, Sex, and Soul
Jed Diamond, Ph.D. has been a marriage and family counselor for the last 45years. He is the author of 8 books, including
Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places, Male Menopause, The Irritable Male Syndrome,
and
. He offers counseling tomen, women, and couples in his office in California or by phone with peoplethroughout the U.S. and around the world. To receive a Free E-book on Men’sHealth and a free subscription to Jed’s e-newsletter go towww.MenAlive.com. If you are looking for an expert counselor to help with relationship issues, writeJed@MenAlive.com
“It was a great mistake, my being born a man. I would have beenmuch more successful as a sea gull or a fish. As it is, I will always be astranger who never feels at home, who does not really want and is notreally wanted, who can never belong, who must always be a little inlove with death.” 
--Eugene O’Neill,
Long Day’s Journey into Night 
This piece is inspired by Helen Black’s wonderful article,
Why Women Write
.She says, “It’s not like I’m
not 
writing for men…but women have a certain way of conversing with each other.” And men, I believe, have a different way of conversing.And, of course, I’m not talking about why
all 
men write. I’m just sharing somethings about why
write that might resonate with others.So, early on in my marriage, my wife, Carlin, and I decided we needed a day justto ourselves. We both worked. We both had children from a previous marriage.We were both writers. And we both hungered for time to ourselves to think, tofeel, and to write. When I got back from my first “alone” day, Carlin asked whereI went. I told her I went to San Francisco and spent a wonderful two hours in arestaurant we both had enjoyed.We got into a big fight. “I thought this was supposed to be a time to for ourselves,” she fumed. I fumed back, my voice rising in anger. “And I thoughtthis was
my 
time. If I’m going to have to get your permission before I can gowhere I want, I’d rather not go at all.”Once we calmed down, we talked about what we were really angry about (Haveyou noticed that we’re never angry for the reason we think?). For Carlin being
 
alone means being in a place where there are no people. She assumed if I wasin a busy public restaurant, I was there to engage with others (and in her fears,pick up some cute young thing and commence a torrid affair.) She told me shecouldn’t sit alone in a restaurant without being eyed by most men in therestaurant. And yes, she was quite attractive then and still is at age 70.I explained that I could sit in a restaurant, or any public place, and I would beinvisible. I often had images of myself sitting and dying in a restaurant and noone noticing. I might have my eyes on someone beautiful in the next booth, but Iknew there were no eyes on me.Men and women may write for similar reasons, but we see life through differentlenses.I recalled the first book I wrote shortly after Carlin and I got married in 1980. Itwas published in 1983 and created quite a stir.Inside Out: Becoming My Own ManAfter fifteen years as a psychotherapist many friends and colleagues told me Ishould write a book about men. “I’m not a writer,” I insisted. “But I’d sure like toread something by a man who wasn’t afraid to tell the truth about the maleexperience.”I never intended to write a book. I started out writing a journal that later turnedinto a book. The book opens with a scene of my wife, my best friend, and me ona camping trip together--and a sexual scene that no one expected would ever happen, but when it did, it changed our lives forever.No publisher wanted to touch the book. I was told it was too personal, too raw,too close to home for the men and women who read it. Just when I had decidedto publish it myself I got an offer from a major publisher. By then, I was excitedto do the book my way and not to censor it to fit the sensibilities of the publishingworld.I talked about my father’s attempt to commit suicide when I was 5 year’s old andthe fears I lived with all my life:
My feelings will destroy me if I let them out.
I’ll go crazy like my father.
I’ll be a failure at work and lose my family’s respect.
There’s something dangerous and violent in me waiting to destroy thepeople I love the most.
Women will “love” me, but underneath they surface, they’ll feel pity andcontempt like they did towards my father.

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Jed Diamond added this note
I've been writing here on Scribd for more than 2 years now and have just passed 2,000,000 reads. Wow! Thanks for the readership and support. I write a lot from a male perspective. Hope you enjoy what I share. Let me know.
Jed Diamond added this note
Why do we write what we right? Here are some of my reasons.
Jed Diamond liked this
Greetings, what inspires me to write is not new ideas, but my obsession with the idea that what has already been said is still not enough.
Jed Diamond added this note
People ask my why I write. The short answer is that it gives me great pleasure to share my feelings, thoughts, dreams, and reflections with others who are on this same path. This article has jumped into the "adult" category so you have to agree that you're mature enough for such words as "life, death, sex, and soul." So if you're up for it, take a look and let me know what inspires you to write
Jed Diamond added this note
Now that my new book, MenAlive: Stop Killer Stress with Simple Energy Healing Tools, my 10th, is nearing completion, I thought it would be fun to reflect back on the reasons "men write." Or at least the reasons I write. Let me know why you write and what you like to read.
Jed Diamond liked this
Jed Diamond liked this
Jed Diamond added this note
A thank you to Helen for her wonderful article "why women write." So here is my Valentine's response from my own life experience. What creative muse awakens in your heart?

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