What’s so hard about writing?

Color silkscreen poster promoting conservation of flowers as a natural resource. Designed by Stanley Thomas Clough, 1939. Source: Library of Congress

Doubt. Words. Sentences. Silencing the voice that needs to explain what it is. Or why now. Or how, exactly, you do it.

I write to heal, to express myself, to forgive. I write to feel proud, I write to solve a problem, I write until there is nothing left in me to say.

Writing is work. I write despite the fear of being judged, of making a mistake, of losing a loved one. I write despite deciding there’s nothing new left to say, that it’s all been said before.

I write because what’s more important to me than all of these things is the feeling I get when I’m lost in my world, of holding my breath before letting it go, treading through the tangled brush of not knowing, rescuing things long discarded, examining them piece by piece. What’s more important is unlocking secrets. Saying what exactly what I need to say in the unwritten spaces between words.

It’s beginning a conversation. It’s picking up a smooth stone washed ashore. “Here—take this. Carry it with you.” It’s reminding others, “It happened to me, too. And we’re both going to be okay.”

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