23 March 2016

To Write // No. 1: Permissions

(photo from Paris, May 2015)

To muse begins my work, which is, to write. I simply cannot tease the two apart, would never dream to. I fly from those inquiries (that when one writes, one so often attracts) --
what's it about?
what's your plan with it?
where will you publish it, how?
why do you write?
and the most benign-looking, but dangerous of all: so you're a writer?


I fear these questions because they erode the many possibilities of magic. Reshape them into...answers. They edit something still so beginning, so being formed, so premature, and lovely; something so not ready to be ready. 

For awhile, I answered the questions. What does the girl do? The one both deeply feeling...but also...people-pleasing? To appease, I made offerings. (Ever capricious ones to quiet the particular parties.) I played at what it was, what it might become, who might read it, what it's...worth. (In fact, "I" can in fact be substituted for "it.") 

A string of whowhatwhenwherehowwhys I didn't have a shred of belief in. 

These were not generosities. Generosity flows from authenticity. No, these were offerings. Presentable, tidy. In fact: meek and small, reductive, unimaginative, dishonest, self-belittling. 

No, I didn't believe the words as they flew from my mouth, even as that lack of authenticity is the sole enemy of anyone who dares to write.

And that's what I want. Not to be a writer. But to write. To dare to do it. 

So I have come to worry about these questions. About surrendering my writing & all the possibilities of things I could write to those questions. And for what? 


I know that now. I know what the questions are after.  

On this, I could continue to ruminate. But the point here is -- don't. 


The point is permission. The point is permission free from circumstance or outcome. Permission free from impressiveness or impact. Permission free from judgment by any person, not least of which, yourself. 

The point is: 

Please don't not write. 

Please, in fact, write. 

Please write unimpressively. 

Please write honestly. 

Please do not worry about being original, because you are, and also you are not; your honesty will make you original enough, and any kindredness in craft is that -- kindredness. It is sighs and countless "me toos." And that can be beautiful if you let it. It is why we do this at all. 

Please write as much as you can. 

Please make yourself do it when it feels impossible.

Please don't worry about what it will contain, where it will go, who will hold it. There is a time for this. It is not yet that time. 

Please obsess about your writing because you love it. And not because you want someone else to.

Please let "done" be enough, and not "perfect" -- which is lifeless and impossible and the opposite of writing. 

Please write to write. You are a writer because you write. You dare to do it, and you do. 


  1. Thanks for being such a great person. This is applicable to all humanity I think. <3

  2. Imperfection make words more relatable. Life isn't perfect. If you write imperfectly you have succeeded in capturing the world. This post is so relatable to me and thank you for posting a little snippet with a Paris photo! It has been long awaited for me and it's beautiful

    1. Thank you, Thia! I agree wholeheartedly. I think that's why I'm so interested in the natural texture/shape of different people's writing -- it's the actual shape of their thoughts. So varied. At times strange. All wonderful.

      And loads of Paris photos to come soon...working on that...

  3. If ever words could water the garden of my mind, those did.