don’t write.

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“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
―Ernest Hemingway

Don’t write because someone asks why you haven’t in a while, or because they tell you that  you should.
Don’t write because it’s been a month, or three, or seven.
Don’t write because you made a promise to yourself to do it every week or two.
Don’t write because you live for views, or likes, or shares or retweets.
Don’t write because someone else is writing.

Don’t write, unless…

Don’t write unless you have learned, unless you have grown. Don’t write unless you have felt, unless you have lived, somehow.

Don’t write unless you have discovered or reaffirmed one of life’s truths and you need to get it out through your fingers.

Don’t write unless it is release for you. For some people it’s music, for others it’s exercise, for still others it’s drawing or painting or dancing. Don’t write unless for you, it’s writing.

Don’t write unless the words are burning their way through your brain and if you continue to resist writing, you might just catch fire.

Don’t write unless you want to, unless you have to. Don’t write unless somehow, finding the right words makes life more bearable.

If it does, then make a cup of coffee. Or pour the whiskey. Take up your pen, or your keyboard.

In the journey to find the right words, remember for the thousandth time how frustrating and imperfect language is. Know that you will never get it completely right. Forgive yourself.

Write it out. Let it go. Move on with living. And then… Don’t write.

Let a week pass. A month. A year. Don’t write.

Let them write, blog, snap, chat, post. Don’t write.

Keep going on not writing until you stumble upon a word or phrase or feeling that will not give you rest, that haunts you both in solitude and in crowded rooms. A notion that lurks in the moments before you fall asleep and in the darker corners of your brain.

Continue on, not writing… until you can’t.

That’s when you write.

so, you want to love a writer

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“You must stay drunk on writing so that reality cannot destroy you.” -Ray Bradbury

So, you want to love a writer. Are you sure?

You know how they say we wake up in the middle of the night to write things down? That’s true. Do you feel like dealing with that? Will you get annoyed when you look over at us in the darkened room as we type furiously in the notes section of our phones?

We also have to pause at certain moments when we come across the perfect word or phrase. We’ll stop in the middle of the sidewalk or a conversation just to make sure we remember it perfectly. We’ll repeat what you said over in our head about 1,000 times. Okay?

We’ll get quiet and you’ll wonder why. You’ll want to pry open our minds to see what we’re thinking about. But saying things out loud is hard for us- give us a pen and we’ll be able to work out our feelings eventually. Anything we say of any consequence regarding our feelings will be painful because to us it’ll feel incomplete. And that’s because-

We edit. Compulsively. Text messages, tweets. It physically pains us to see that cafe sign on the street with “biscotti” misspelled. The words we use are important to us, and we think they should be important to you, too. Will that drive you crazy?

If you break our heart, watch out. The only way we know to deal with our feelings is to release them through our fingers. If you’re lucky, they’ll end up in a Moleskine notebook in our bedside drawer. If you’re unlucky, they’ll end up on the Internet and all of our mutual friends will find out just how painful that conversation was. Are you willing to take that risk?

We’ll randomly quote books or movies and judge you if you fail to catch the reference. If you don’t catch it, we’ll give you the book to read or the movie to borrow. You’ll wonder if half the things we say are stolen, and they might be. You’ll have to compete for our attention with fictional characters and figments of imagination. Can you?

We’ll want to travel. We’ll want to see new places and meet new people and find new things to write about. We’d rather buy a plane or train ticket than a new watch or purse. Our money goes to concerts and plays and cafes and pubs. Is that okay with you?

We’ll spend hours scribbling or typing and we might not want to share what we’ve just spent all day working on with you, not yet. Nothing we write is ever just words to us. It’s a piece of our soul, and sometimes we have to be careful about who we let see it. Alright?

We’re quirky and confusing and annoying as hell. We get lost in thought more than we get lost on the subway. We’ll get restless and lonely and existential and introspective. We’ll pull you endlessly into museums and bookstores and coffee shops and sometimes expect you to talk all day and other times not to say a word.

So. You want to love a writer?