They don’t tell you this when you start out- at least, not if you started out the way that I did, as a little kid. I’ve been writing since I could make letters into words. Of course, no self-respecting elementary school teacher would kneel down to a first grader’s level and say, “Now Katelyn, I know you love writing, but you should really give it up. Trust me, it will lead you absolutely nowhere in life.”
You know why else nobody told me that? Because it just isn’t true! Writing isn’t about getting places in live- it’s about living in the moment and sharing your moments with other people. Maybe that’s why I’m having such a hard time writing right now- I don’t want to share these moments with anyone. A lot of what I’m seeing is shades of grey and black. I don’t want to inflict that kind of pain on someone else. More importantly, I don’t want to acknowledge it. I don’t want to admit it’s real. So I push enter after writing another mediocre paragraph and try to continue, not into it.
Balance. That’s what the articles tell me that I need to find in my writing life. To ‘find balance in yourself to combine willpower with relaxation, stubbornness with joy.’ Right now, writing for me is stress, then exhaustion, then stress. Coffee helps. But coffee isn’t a reliable way to solve your problems.
I need direction. This stupid project sucks. I just don’t feel anything strong about this project. This isn’t what I signed up for- this isn’t the kinds of things I wanted to write about. Maybe that’s why my muse is on strike. I can’t write about things I’m not passionate about. And besides, it’s hard to write about ideas. Writing is a medium that is much easier to work in when you’re working with characters and their struggles. It’s not something that works terribly well with abstract ideas unless you’re really fucking good at it.
Not all men!
Yes but enough men that every girl is terrified of smiling to that guy on the bus or talking with the boy in the coffee shop. Every girl has been walking late at night at one point and been afraid of who might be following her. Every girl has referred to someone as a “creep” and every girl has refused a drink from someone she doesn’t know.
Not all men.
But enough men that all women are now afraid of most men.
It’s gotten so bad that we have to be afraid of even telling you we are afraid. We can’t ask that you please stop talking to us. Because if we do we run the risk of being labeled a “stuck up bitch” and blamed for murders and rapes in which we are the victims.
So we speak to you with body language that we hope you’ll understand. We cross our legs and look out the window and wear giant headphones that are giant signs that subtly read “DON’T TALK TO ME!” But you insist on ignoring those signs because you have it in your head that our body language doesn’t mean anything. That our bodies aren’t our bodies.
Not all men.
You can start fucking saying that when all women can stop being afraid. But that’s not gonna happen if every man a women opens up to about this issue dismisses her by saying “Not all men.”
unofficial letter to the skeezball at work all men.
Faerie circle, toadstools ringing
Elven children - dancing, singing
Moonlight fancies, timeless dreams
Nothing’s ever, as it seems
Mab in attendance, faerie Queen
provides benediction, barely seen
Miniature fiddlers, bowstrings calling
make quaint music - rising, falling
Gaily tripping, round the woodbine
stirring heartstrings - making you mine
Still. We watch, from hidden bower
benumbed of mind, bereft of power
Elfin magic, calls, “come hither,
join the dance and live forever”
So, we watch, afraid to dance
(Love must ever, take a chance)
- You are stronger than you realise.
- You are crueller than you realise.
- The smallest words will break your heart.
- You will change. You’re not the same person you were three years ago. You’re not even the same person you were three minutes ago and that’s okay. Especially if you don’t like the person you were three minutes ago.
- People come and go. Some are cigarette breaks, others are forest fires.
- You won’t like your name until you hear someone say it in their sleep.
- You’ll forget your email password but ten years from now you’ll still remember the number of steps up to his flat.
- You don’t have to open the curtains if you don’t want to.
- Never stop yourself texting someone. If you love them at 4 a.m., tell them. If you still love them at 9.30 a.m., tell them again.
- Make sure you have a safe place. Whether it’s the kitchen floor or the Travel section of a bookshop, just make sure you have a safe place.
- You will be scared of all kinds of things, of spiders and clowns and eating alone, but your biggest fear will be that people will see you the way you see yourself.
- Sometimes, looking at someone will be like looking into the sun. Sometimes someone will look at you like you are the sun. Wait for it.
- You will learn how to sleep alone, how to avoid the cold corners but still fill a bed.
- Always be friends with the broken people. They know how to survive.
- You can love someone and hate them, all at once. You can miss them so much you ache but still ignore your phone when they call.
- You are good at something, whether it’s making someone laugh or remembering their birthday. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that these things don’t matter.
- You will always be hungry for love. Always. Even when someone is asleep next to you you’ll envy the pillow touching their cheek and the sheet hiding their skin.
- Loneliness is nothing to do with how many people are around you but how many of them understand you.
- People say I love you all the time. Even when they say, ‘Why didn’t you call me back?’ or ‘He’s an asshole.’ Make sure you’re listening.
- You will be okay.
- You will be okay.
My name is Katelyn Dorrell and I’m a freelance editor interested in working on YOUR manuscript! I have an extensive background in writing, and I currently attend Emporia State University as a Creative Writing Major. I am as passionate about editing and improving manuscripts as you are about writing. As an American struggling to pay my way through college, my editing rates are some of the most inexpensive you’ll find online. Understanding people (especially writers) aren’t made of money, I’m charging $10 USD for 10 pages or less, then $1 per page after that up to 50 pages, and $0.50 per page after the first 50 pages. Message me if you’re interested, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Writing a novel is a terrible experience, during which the hair often falls out and the teeth decay. I’m always irritated by people who imply that writing fiction is an escape from reality. It is a plunge into reality and it’s very shocking to the system.