This week someone described my writing as “pedantic” and another person said my content was all thrusting and nipples and they asked me why sex shows up in every story I write. Another writer said you could be really great, but….you shouldn’t be so focused on sexuality.
When Elizabeth Wurtzel died, I had a catch in my throat. She truly changed the publishing paradigm for women, and I paused all day to honor her. The cover of her second book was her giving everyone the middle finger, because she was so criticized for her first best selling book. God bless that woman for her courage, her different, her warrior, for taking the shame out of the wild and the sad at an age when most are so deep in it they often can’t find the words.
For all writers and readers out there, please consider Elizabeth Wurtzel, Cheryl Strayed, Lidia Yuknavitch, Audre Lorde, Jeanette Walls, Maya Angelou and so many other women who gave you permission. They taught us it’s okay to write the truth, no matter how dark or painful, because it leads us somewhere else.
We don’t write for popularity.
We don’t write hoping we will have mindless followers who see the world the same.
We write because we have to, because we have no other choice.
We write because changing the lens on a camera matters, and we keep changing that lens so everything matters.
We write because it’s like putting on our own oxygen mask first when someone we love may be choking beside us.
Writing is challenging, it’s liberating, it’s ass backwards and doesn’t make sense to everybody.
If one author’s writing doesn’t make sense to you, read someone who does make sense to you. There are many great writers out there. We are not writing to make everybody love us.
Last, we write because the alternative might just be too much to bear.
We write to open our minds, heal our wounds, change our own thought patterns – and to stay in discovery.
So I’m giving you all permission to write however the fuck you want to write.
The road has already been paved.
Tell your story however it resonates for you, and know that it might enrage and upset some people, or make it hard for them to look at that part of themselves they aren’t ready to see.
Your writing will make someone uncomfortable.
Burn it up, writers. Let’s make this the decade of truth. Place your words like flames on the page and then hold the ashes of story in your hands.
We will all grab a part of you as you float through the air.